Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

It seems there should be something. Some sort of wrap-up of the past year. Some sort of look forward to the coming year. I thought I would do one of those memes that cover them both. But it seems that most of my answers revolve around one thing. Travis. What kind of wrap-up could I possibly write about the 20 week life of a little half-baked boy?

2006 = Travis. That's all there was to it. The joy that was Travis. The sorrow that was Travis. The lifetime that happened in 20 short weeks.

Yes, there were many many many other things that happened this year. Many things that I am incredibly grateful for. Many things that brought happiness. A few things that brought sadness. But no matter what else happened, Travis cast a shadow over the entire year. For such a small half-baked boy, he sure did leave a large and lasting impression on me. It's such a shame that he never had a chance to impress the rest of the world too.

I don't know what I've learned or what I'm supposed to hope for anymore. I know I am incredibly blessed in a lot of ways, not the least of which is my beautiful Sam. I know that I miss my boys with all my heart and soul. I know that life is not fair and that it goes on whether you're ready for it or not.

As this year ends I don't know how to make resolutions. I resolve to put one foot in front of the other and do the best I can. That's all I've got left in me.

Happy New Year to all our friends and family.
May 2007 bring peace and happiness to your lives.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Welcome to the world Baby Trenton!!!

Congratulations to Kelly, Todd, and Lydia, as they welcome Trenton Thomas to the world.

Born December 30, 2006 9:28 am
7 lbs, 5 oz
21 inches

We are thrilled for your entire family and we send all our love on this happy day.

Friday, December 29, 2006

New Year's miscellaneous thoughts

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Fridays are perfect days for non-deep non-depressing thoughts, don't ya think?
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There ain't nobody in this world that's gonna do it for you...
Do what ya gotta do.
-Garth Brooks-
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2006 Blessings

-Steve and I stayed reasonably healthy (though I seem to be coming down with something, so I'm not going to celebrate just yet).
-Sam stayed reasonably healthy...except for that strep thing that scared the crap outta us.
-Sam learned to write his name.
-Travis.
-We officially adopted Rosie Posie.
-Our house renovation began and was substantially completed. I am going to break in that jacuzzi tub this weekend.
-My Aunt's cancer turned out to be less serious than initially diagnosed.
-We went back to having two cars. That one-car thing was rough!
-Friends kept checking in on us, no matter how depressing we were.
-Work that we could stand (though it may not be our life's calling). I settled two major cases within the past month...a good way to finish off the work year.
-Chocolate.
-Crochet.
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This morning I was listening to the radio and they were talking about the most annoying song of all time. What do you think? I personally vote for the Macarena. But there were definitely some other noteworthy songs (Steve will be happy to know that Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On made the list). I will have to think on this some more before I publish my top ten list.
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John Edwards is going for the Presidential nomination. Interesting.
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I need to stop and get some perspective. Lately I have been reading blogs and message boards and taking great offense at some of the things posted...as if they are directed specifically at me (I'm not self-absorbed at all, am I?). It's really stupid and I need to get a grip. Unless, of course, you think people really ARE taking shots at me, however indirectly?

You see? Paranoia is my friend.
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When polite conversation turns to the possibility of one-child friends having another child and how they're afraid their current child won't get along with their potential child...is it wrong to say, "I don't know, my boys get along just fine?"
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The crane that Sam got for Christmas was broken right out of the box. Two little wires were disconnected. Luckily, Grandpa is a whiz with a soldering iron. Sam must have said, "thank you Grandpa," a dozen times. Too cute.
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I always wondered what the big deal was about MP3 players. Now I have a Verizon LG phone with an MP3 player in it (got it free with their New Every Two plan) and I have tunes at work. I LOVE IT! Now I see what I was missing.
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An update to the Menu for Hope raffle.

Total raised: $60,925.12
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Gonna be working on the last "room" upstairs this weekend. Have to paint and lay flooring, all the while stepping around the contractor's crap. Or maybe I'll just cart the contractor's crap downstairs and send him the message that I want him done and gone. hehehe
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I'd rather be crocheting right now. My projects are backing up on me. But if I can get the reno done this weekend then I can stitch to my heart's content in 2007. I hope this sinus infection holds off for a couple days.
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I really want to get on a horse this weekend so that I can say that I rode my horse before the end of 2006. I do not want, however, to have to say that I went to the hospital again before the end of 2006. I wonder if Luna would cooperate?
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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Yeah, this blog is fun to read

I stole this from DD. It's a list of first lines. You post the first line of the first post of each month. Heh...witty and clever I am definitely not.

2006 in review...I'm particularly fond of July. Blech.

January: 2005 is in the record books.

February: It seems that everything is sucking the energy right out of me these days and I'm just not finding inspiration to write.

March: Steve and I have been invited to play fantasy baseball.

April: It's so strange the things that will take me back, or throw me forward, in time to an emotional place that I'm still not really sure how to handle other than with tears.

May: I hadn't seen her a few weeks.

June: This morning I changed the calendar on my month-at-a-glance desk-pad.

July: When you delivered, we sent off for genetic studies---it failed to grow (when we send off for this type of study, sometimes the cells don’t grow---which we need them to do to get a genetic profile on the baby).

August: Home today with the munchkin.

September: My office neighbor proclaimed excitedly this morning, "It's September already!"

October: Sam would watch this for hours if I let him. (Elmo)

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

December: I have a bitch. What's new, right?

I definitely need to work on my lead sentences. Looking at this, I'm surprised anyone reads this blog...I'm not sure I would read it if I weren't writing it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Get lost fatso!

I guess China is out as an option.

"The rules, which take effect in May, require an adopting family to be composed of a man and woman between 30 and 50 years old who have been married at least two years (or five years if it is a second marriage). They cannot be obese or have a net worth less than $80,000. And anyone on an antidepressant or other psychiatric medication is out, a rule sure to raise anxiety levels in a neighborhood where seeing a therapist is considered unremarkable."

2500 - my least favorite number

$2500 to fix the living room ceiling so that it is structurally sound (and so that there is not a post dead center in the room).

$2500 to fix the springwater line and pump into the barn.

I'm afraid to call somebody about my malfunctioning garbage disposal.

FITYMI 2006 Holiday Roundup

It was boring living it, so I'm sure it will be boring reading about it. I will, therefore, take pity on you, dear internets, and spare you the details. Let's just say that Delphi was precisely right when she said,

"I just can't even believe it some times. I had a son. He is dead. Today I had to visit my son, who is dead and buried in the ground. I had to sit next to a headstone in a frozen expanse of snow, surrounded by other people's babies who are also dead. Babies die. My baby died. I just don't understand it, not in any way at all. There are days where it is all too big and confusing for me. Today is one of those days. I just don't understand."

And with Christmas and all the "magic" that you're supposed to feel...I finally figured out my issue with religion and religious types. It's not the God thing...though that certainly still perplexes me to no end. It's not the judgment thing...hell...I would judge me too if I weren't me (in fact, I still do judge me sometimes...what did I do to deserve this?). It's not the self assuredness of it all...or the condescension with which it is all served up. Nope...it's much simpler than that.

At it's very root, it is offered as an attempt to make me feel better.

And I don't want to feel better.

See?

Feel better...your babies are angels in heaven.
Feel better...you will be with them one day.
Feel better...it is all according to some plan and not just random bad luck.
Feel better...there is a reason for your suffering even if you don't know what it is at this moment.

Feel better.

Just feel better.

NO!

That's my problem. I don't WANT to feel better.

That's not entirely true. I WANT to FEEL better...but I don't want to find any sort of peace in this. I want to live my life without the gut-wrenching pain and sorrow I feel when I see my boys' pictures on the wall. But I don't want this to be all OK. NEVER. I don't want anyone to ever think that I have moved on...that I have somehow forgotten them. I want to remember. Not what I lost...but who they were...as their own little people...who they could have been.

Maybe they are angels in heaven and maybe one day I will get to see them. Maybe not. Maybe this is all there is. And if it is all there is, then it is my responsibility to make sure that they are never forgotten. I don't want to feel better in the hope that there is something after. Because if there isn't, I will have missed my chance...and then they will well and truly be lost.

So when someone tells me, in no uncertain terms, that I should just feel better because there is a religious reason for doing so...I want to kick and scream and tell them this one thing they seem not to understand...

I am their mother.

Yep FITYMI 2006 is OVER. It ended not one minute too soon. My face hurts from fake smiling. I have a tension headache. My neck and shoulders feel like they've been tied up in knots.

I look up on my entertainment center and see three ornaments with three names. I look around my living room and see one little boy. How did my life turn out like this?

It's all too big and confusing for me today.

And I feel the tears coming.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Never turn your back on a four-year-old

I wanted to get Sam out of the house so I could wrap his Christmas gifts from mommy and daddy. He's only getting three, so I figured he could take the quick trip with Steve to the vet to pick up Old Dog's medication and the wrapping would be all done by the time they got home. Of course, Sam pitched a fit and didn't want to go, so I TOLD him why he had to go. I said, "OK...here's why you have to go with Daddy...I want to wrap your Christmas presents from me and daddy because we're going to open presents at Grandma and Grandpa's house tomorrow night." He was thrilled and happily agreed to go.

Upon their return, I was reading blogs and, quite honestly, not paying much attention. Sam came into the room and said something about not seeing his presents. I absent-mindedly said, "They're under the tree."

Next thing I know, I hear Sam yelling up the stairs, "Mommy, I need somebody to come down and help me put together the crane you and Daddy got me."

Wha?!?!?!

I flew downstairs and was greeted with Christmas-morning style carnage. Wrapping paper littered the floor and Sam stood there with his three presents...looking quite pleased with himself.

HE.HAD.OPENED.HIS.PRESENTS!

I don't know exactly what I said, but I recognized that in that one moment things could have gone either way...happy mistake that we will laugh about for years...or...moment that would create a serious need for therapy many years in the future. I opted for happy.

Secretly I wanted to cry because there will be no pictures of him opening his presents this year from us. But at least we will have a good story about WHY there are no pictures of him opening his presents from us this year.

Oh...word of advice...

If you have a young child...I suggest having this talk with them EARLY...

If you see a present...even if you know it is for you...DO NOT OPEN IT UNLESS YOU ASK FIRST.

Lesson learned the hard way here. We'll just chalk it up as being my parenting failure #857196730295

At least he really likes the crane.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thank you Secret Pal!

Thank you to my secret pal for a great Christmas surprise! I LOVE the cabled headband. I hope to someday be able to do cables...but we shall see. And coffee and chocolate...YUM! And thank you so much for the snowflakes book. I SWEAR this coming year I am going to do at least one snowflake a week so that when this house is all ready for its "pretty" Christmas next year, I will have the perfect ornaments for my tree.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Calling Jay Leno

I'm sure there is a joke in here somewhere.

We all gotta eat

OK...so here's a chance to do something good and maybe win a fabulous prize. If you like food or drink or fabulous prizes related to food or drink...take a peek and maybe donate $10. I plan to. Now I just need ot figure out which prize I want to throw my ticket in for.

They have currently raised over $40,000 for the UN World Food Programme.

Fa la la la la la la la la

I'm learning one thing during this Fake It Till You Make It holiday campaign 2006. What is it you ask? It's this...

You don't NEED all that STUFF.
You don't NEED to bake and shop and wrap and sing Christmas carols and run around trying to please everyone.
You don't NEED to party and try to cram in all your holiday cheer into one or two weeks.
You can survive without it.

This year I sent out Christmas cards, decorated ONE room in my house, didn't bake a single cookie, and plan to stay home as much as possible for the actual holiday part of things...and I am actually feeling rested and relaxed and GOOD about the holidays. While my friends run around and try to meet Marth Stewart standards, all the while attempting to please immediate and extended family, I sit and sip hot cocoa with my son while we snuggle under a blanket and watch a movie. While they jaunt off to this or that holiday activity, we throw tennis balls around the living room for the dogs to go fetch. While they bake and shop and stress about what they'll serve on Christmas day, I sit and crochet an afghan for a friend.

It really isn't all that complicated. It's that perspective thing coming back around again. It's because I have spent the last two years REALLY appreciating family and friends...so I don't feel the need to hurry hurry hurry to let someone know I love them and am thinking about them right now. There is no need to force out magical family memories. Magical family memories can be made in a simple trip to McDonalds or a Saturday afternoon in a swimming pool or an everyday evening playing trains on the living room floor. You don't need tinsel and garland and fresh-baked cookies for any of it.

I may still bake some cookies. I'll do it because I WANT to do it and not because I feel like I HAVE TO do it. Or maybe I won't. That's the beauty of faking it till you make it...you lose all those pointless expectations you have of yourself (or that you think others have of you). And you smile more. And you actually ENJOY the holidays. Even when you don't plan to. Or maybe BECAUSE you don't plan to.

huh!?!?

Who would have guessed I, of all people, would find holiday spirit?

Merry Christmas.


Is it just me, or do those little things on the top of my donut look a little bit like rabbit poop?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dear Universe

It would REALLY help if you would play along with my Fake It Until You Make It holiday campaign. I mean, really...a bomb threat? Is that all you got? Bring it on!

No...I do not make this stuff up. I took in a deep breath and ventured out to finish up my Christmas shopping. I went to Walmart to pick up a couple things I was unable to purchase with Sam with me (Santa fills the stockings as a surprise, after all). As I was approaching the registers and announcement was made over the PA system that everyone was to leave the building. No explanations, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on (though the Walmart employees were woefully uninformed about what was happening and were overheard, on more than one occasion, saying that they had absolutely no idea what was going on and that management doesn't tell them anything.).

Seriously. As if enduring the happy holiday crowd and listening to piped in Christmas music doesn't take enough effort to leave me bone-tired weary at the end of a trip, a bomb threat...well...I just don't know what to say.

I intended to stick around and complete my purchases. I did, after all, leave my cart at checkout 17 and could easily return to pay. But the friendly township fireman (who I did not recognize...he must be new...but he was cute...I must introduce myself) started checking cars in the parking lot the way one would do if they were, oh, say, checking for a car bomb. I figured the stocking stuffers weren't worth it at that point. Though I did have a moment of thinking that maybe I should go get a milkshake at the nearby Steak N Shake and hope that a bomb blew up the minivan that I hate. But my need to actually drive home and not be stuck with only one car again overroad my desire to blow up my minivan (hey, we all have our priorities).

As an aside...I will be in my boss' office in the morning telling him, in the event they identify the fucker responsible, to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Aside from the unnecessary emotional trauma it has put me through (now having to go out and REPEAT the shopping I JUST DID), there were old people and children in that store, for Christ sake. That is unacceptable and someone will pay if I have anything to say about it.

So if the universe or God or fate or whatever would just throw me a bone here and just for one day not make everything so freaking hard, I would appreciate it.

Thanks, Amen, whatever.

It should be noted that this post is written with a giggle and not with anger. I really did find the whole episode amusing and am giving all my co-workers quite the chuckle this morning with my retelling. Everyone keeps shaking their heads and saying, "Only you." Or my personal favorite, "You make the rest of us feel like we have NO troubles at all." Yeah...I loved that one too. But really...this is supposed to be funny...not sad and depressing. Upon reading it this morning I'm not sure the humor came off well.

Now if you want to know depressing...that would be the episode where a comment on another blog I read sent me off into a hysterical sobbing fit. Yeah...fun times this holiday stuff.

But really...

...think funny. :o) (<---see...a little smiley face and everything...funny!)

oh boy

I found myself in a weird predicament the other day while shopping at Super Walmart. Steve and Sam were acting absolutely atrociously together, so I sent them off to find something (can't remember what) while I proceeded on to the grocery section of the store. Of course, this led me directly past...you guessed it...the BABY section. Yee haw!

So I took a deep breath and steeled myself for the onslaught as I pushed my cart as fast as I could down the aisle that would lead me to the paper products (we were in desperate need of toilet paper). I prayed nobody would step out in front of me because I didn't want to (a) mow anyone down, and (b) slow down or...heaven forbid...stop.

But, as luck would have it, as I approached the baby section, a family with a newborn baby girl (wrapped from head to toe in pink, so I hope it was a girl...) stepped out to look at the perfect little Christmas dresses.

I slowed down.

I stopped.

I looked.

And there was the cutest little baby blue outfit with Christmas trains all over it. Onesies and pants and hats...mix and match...and on sale.

Oh God.

I had an almost irresistable urge to pick up an outfit and put it in my cart.

Huh? Wha? Have I lost my freaking mind? Our baby is dead and we don't need any cute little Christmas outfits!

When I met up with Steve and Sam again later, I told Steve about the outfits but I didn't tell him I almost bought one. I half hoped he would ask to go back and look at them himself...I hoped he would say, "So why don't you buy one?" But of course, he didn't.

Our baby is dead and we don't need any cute little Christmas outfits.

Our baby is dead and we don't need Christmas pictures.

Our baby is dead and we don't need a Baby's 1st Christmas ornament.

Our baby is dead and we're supposed to celebrate the miracle birth of someone else's baby.

Our BABIES are dead and we're supposed to celebrate the miracle birth of someone else's baby.

Merry Christmas.

Fake it till ya make it and all that.

Christmas cards are not so simple anymore

When I read things like this, I am so thankful for the internet...and that there are amazing women out there who are not afraid to share their stories.

(I also realize what a hack I am at writing...but that is another story altogether.)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ambrosia salad

INGREDIENTS

* 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
* 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
* 1 cup miniature marshmallows
* 1 cup flaked coconut
* 1 cup sour cream

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, combine the oranges, pineapple, marshmallows and coconut. Add sour cream and toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Courtesy: Judi Bringegar
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2005 Allrecipes.com


Of course, Grandma was a bit crazy, so this recipe was modified a bit over the years by adding and subtracting different ingredients.

Merry Christmas Grandma


A Christmas card arrived from my Aunt and Uncle yesterday. When I opened it, I kind of wondered what was going on in their heads. I know they've had a rough couple of years...my uncle's cancer, my grandmother's death, my aunt's cancer. So when I saw this card I was a bit concerned that maybe they weren't quite "right"...that maybe they had fallen off the deep end.

It's a lovely card. It's just...well...the people on it are black...

...and we are white...

...we are white...and not what you would call politically correct.

In fact, racial tolerance just isn't something that we discuss because there are some in our family who have downright neanderthal ideas about race relations.

So...this card perplexed me.

And then I opened it and read the note they had written on the inside.

"We found these in Grandma's Christmas cards. Just goes to show that she bought what was on sale...always. Love, Aunt J & Uncle H"

Even from the grave, my grandma was able to send me a Christmas smile...no...a Christmas laugh...and a couple tears. I miss her brand of crazy so much.

Christmas was a very special time for Grandma. We would drive the eight hours to visit for a day or two. No matter what time we arrived, whether it was noon or 2am, she had a full spread to eat...ham, turkey, potatoes, green beans, ambrosia salad...

...Oh ambrosia salad. That was made specifically because my sister mentioned one year, when she was about seven or eight, that she liked it. That was all it took for grandma to create a holiday tradition. And it remained on the holiday table even when my sister's palate matured and she outgrew ambrosia salad. I think Grandma probably threw a lot of it in the trash after the holidays and it probably would have made more sense to just stop making it every year. But it meant something to us...so it was always there.

She would put on her old LPs and sing along with the Christmas music (and I use the term "sing" very loosely...because Grandma was quite possibly the worst singer ever...cats would literally run and hide when she would sing).

She would put up her aluminum Christmas tree and decorate it with fake birds.

I have no idea how she did it, but over the course of a year she would collect garbage bags full of gifts to give to each of us. She would drag them out and lovingly plop them down in front of us with an announcement, "And here is your crap." She acted like she didn't care. But if you paid close attention, you would see her sitting there watching you unwrap each gift from your garbage bag, with eager anticipation in her eyes. She would tell you many times how if you didn't like it, that was too bad because she wasn't taking it back. But then she would also talk about the latest fashions she had seen on television that were like this gift or that gift. She would tell you stories about the shopping adventure that brought home this treasure or that treasure. Each gift, no matter how little sense it made to us, was given with love.

Even after Steve and I stopped travelling to Grandma's house for Christmas, my parents would still make the trek and return home with our trash bags of "crap." And as Grandma's dementia got worse and her health failed, the bags of crap became a great source of amusement for us. What was she thinking when she got this or that? What adventure did she have in choosing this for us? Taken out of the context of Grandma's Christmas we couldn't make any sense out of it. You see, the crap was there, but the stories weren't...and that made all the difference.

I miss Grandma...but more so at Christmas. And I imagine I will miss her every Christmas hereafter.

I think I'm going to frame that Christmas card and bring it out every year. Because it has a story behind it that I can tell...just like Grandma did. It will be my ambrosia salad.

Monday, December 18, 2006

My wishlist

I wish I were normal.
I wish there was a way.
I wish I had the nerve.
I wish I weren't so sad.
I wish I knew who I was.
I wish I could be happy.
I wish I knew what to say.
I wish I weren't so angry.
I wish there were answers.
I wish I had the strength.
I wish I weren't so scared.
I wish I could be supportive.
I wish I weren't so judgmental.
I wish no one knew what it feels like.
I wish someone knew what it feels like.
I wish I didn't have to remember normal.
I wish they had a chance.
I wish they were alive.

Pre-Christmas quotes

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Sitting on the Polar Express train, in seating groups of four...Sam said, "Mommy, I wish there were four of us."

Good Christ...just throw me UNDER the train, kid!
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Sitting in the car on the way to WalMart...Steve said, "If Mommy behaves in WalMart then we can get milkshakes afterward."

Yeah...Mommy is the one who acts like she's lost her mind in WalMart.
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Standing in WalMart, placing a very expensive vacuum in our cart...Steve said, "This IS going in the blog, right?"

Yes world...he bought us a Dyson...isn't he a great guy? I'm sure there will be many a post where I rave about my new vacuum.
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Standing in the Home Depot parking lot, throwing stuff out of the minivan...I screamed, "I told you it wasn't going to f***ing fit! And you bought it anyway! You're an asshole!"

Clearly, I am FILLED with the Christmas spirit and lost the faking it facade there for a moment or two.
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Sitting on Santa's lap at the mall...Santa said, "What would you like for Christmas." Sam (the kid of endless I wants and gimmes) said, "I have no idea."

The next day Sam said to me, "Mommy, I think we should go back to the mall and tell Santa that he needs to bring Daddy a new train because I broke his." This kid gets the Christmas spirit already. I get all teary-eyed just thinking of his kindness.
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Last night, I said, "I can't believe I'm laying in my own bed in my own brand spankin' new master bedroom!"

Yep...furniture moved in and the first night's sleep was had. Aside from a bit of a chill because we have not yet figured out the ideal thermostat setting, it was a lovely way to spend Sunday night after a LONG weekend.
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This morning, on the phone with the contractor, "Great...so we're talking $2500 to put in the new living room ceiling?"

Sigh.
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Saturday, December 16, 2006

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas...

Almost done. A couple more tiles and some caulk and we're ready for a jacuzzi soak.

tee hee hee

I'm giddy with excitement.

Of course, I think I might want to look into some window treatments for that very large window. Nobody needs to see my bare naked wet ass for Christmas. They could never have been THAT bad.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Thank you

~Thank you Cynthia for sharing this with me. I laughed and laughed and laughed. And Sam kept saying, "Do it again, do it again, do it again." Thank you for the holiday smile...even if it does illustrate how we're a little sick.

~Thank you Lisa for the beautiful little glass angel. I enjoy working for the MOM Project...and I truly appreciate your friendship. Mariam has a beautiful mom...and you honor her memory with the kindness you send out into the world.

~Thank you Holley, who heard my sadness and went out and bought me Christmas lights. You are the best!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rest in Peace Rocky

I never met Rocky, but I hear he was adorable. No, I'm not talking another dead baby. I know that's what you've come to expect here, so I wanted to clear that up first thing. lol. Rocky was apparently a rocking horse Christmas ornament made by Samuel's little hands. Rocky was apparently a TASTY Christmas ornament who met his demise in the mouth of one of the four-legged freaks we call our dogs. These guys have now demonstrated a taste for sourdough clay, Valentine's candy, wood, and a "rubbery substance" (my husband's oh-so-helpful description of Rocky's makeup).

Samuel was so proud of Rocky. He told me about him when I got home Tuesday evening. He wanted to show Rocky to me, but couldn't seem to find him. "I'm sure I put him here on this table." Uh...yeah...are you new here? The dogs are ALWAYS snatching things to eat off that table. That's why we have a "no food on that table" rule.

I found the wire that was used to hang Rocky...lying on the floor next to my recliner and I just knew. Poor Rocky. I feel sad about a Christmas ornament. Of course I do. Sam named him, for God's sake! I never even got to lay eyes on him. Good Christ...anybody sense a running theme in my life here? It's almost comical at this point.

Note to self, do NOT name Christmas ornaments or you will be an emotional mess when they meet their untimely demise.

Go Vote for Catherine...NOW!

Remember my nomination post for the Support a Mom contest over at The Mom Trap on Clubmom?

Please vote here for Catherine

Contest ends tonight at Midnight.

It's official

After three years, I finally submitted my application to become a member of the American Business Womens Association. Three years of being a guest at their meetings was enough. Though technically I didn't attend three years worth of meetings since I haven't been to a meeting since just before losing Alex. But regardless, they invited me to their holiday party last night and I had such a good time with the ladies that I thought it was time I paid the dues and admitted I actually like them. I feel so grown up.

Houston, we have a problem

So it would appear that our living room ceiling...the one that we thought needed cosmetic repairs from the great water cave-in of 2006...needs STRUCTURAL repairs.

Do you have any idea how much money is involved anytime my contractor says the word STRUCTURAL? And STRUCTUAL REPAIRS...well...that's just not a phrase you want to hear anytime in your life.

Oh.My.Freaking.Heck.

It would seem that one of the hand-hewn beams that form the structure for the living room ceiling is cracked...broken...busted. Half of it was apparently cut away at some point in history (that part of the house was built in 1840), in order to install something round (we're thinking a pipe chimney), substantially weakening the structure. Then, at some point, the damn thing broke all the way through and someone reinforced it with a piece of steel. Nice attempt, but not completely efficient...resulting in massive cracks in our ceiling plaster. We thought they were cosmetic and were willing to replace them at some time in the future. The waterfall episode moved up our timetable. Then...when the contractor went to remove the old fireplace yesterday, he was met by serious creaking and threatened collapse. It seems the fireplace may have been installed in an effort to lend some support to the sagging beam in the ceiling. Nice.

So...we now have a support column in the middle of our living room. And I'm waiting for the call about the price of this latest turn of events.

On a plus side, behind the old fireplace was, as suspected, a much larger living room doorway. It really opens up the room and changes the whole feel of the downstairs living areas. Plus, I will now be able to freely move furniture from one room to the other without having to remove doorframes in order to fit the larger pieces through. I LOVE it...as long as it doesn't cave in.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Good question

If you need help to get through the death of your children (meds), why not get that help?

Because, quite simply, there is nothing that can be corrected by a chemical readjustment. I've got two dead kids. They'll still be dead and I will have to deal with that when any prescription runs out of refills. I will still have to walk this particular part of the path of grief at some point in time.

I function well. In fact, I think I'm pretty good at my job. I just don't CARE about it. I don't care about a lot of things that I feel like I have to do.

Technically, lack of interest in things is a symptom of depression, yes. A generalized lack of interest in things. That is not this. I love to do things...bake, crochet, blog, play trains with Sam, work on my house...fun stuff. Depression runs across life lines and isn't job-specific. If it is, I've been suffering from depression all my life. lol.

I think it is perspective. Acute perspective. Perspective with a laser focus that reminds me daily that none of this crap means a whole hill of beans...and I'm tired of pretending that it does. Maybe I do need to shake things up and find something that I do care about. But here's the thing...I can no longer subscribe to the Tony Robbins school of thought that says I can do anything I want in this life. I have learned that painful lesson...twice. Dreaming is isn't enough. And waking up from those dreams can be terribly painful. So instead of dreaming, I feel numb and paralyzed. After all, there is NOTHING that I could dream of that would give me the satisfaction I feel like I was cheated out of when my true dreams died. Everything pales in comparison.

So those things that bring any measure of joy...those are the things I enjoy doing right now. The drudgery of a normal everyday life...there is no joy in that...so who cares? Find me the joyful moments. I live for those moments. I only exist between those moments.

Two dead kids and I'd rather be crocheting. I don't think that would sell as a bumper sticker.

Home is where the heart is

I am a big fan of the list format for writing blog entries these days because it is all I can do to focus my brain on any one topic for longer than ten seconds. This is not a good thing for formulating legal arguments either. I am seriously amazed that I have not yet been fired, since my productivity level is down to absolute zero. Heck, the fact that I just used "productivity level" in a sentence (and think I actually used it correctly) is a feat in and of itself. Then I see headlines like this...Sleep-deprived doctors make more mistakes - study...and realize that I'm not the only one going through the motions. I mean really...they did a study on this? This sort of thing makes my work look like rocket science...and I'm a genius...comparatively speaking. But I digress.

So what's going on? What's the problem? The problem is that I just don't have the energy or the desire to care about anything that exists outside of my house. I'm beginning to think this is why they tell you not to undertake any major projects or make any life decisions while you're grieving...because it gives you a focus for your energy outside of the sadness...that can quickly become obsessive. I would say it is depression, except that I don't feel particularly depressed. I just lack any interest in the stuff that I don't have an interest in. That doesn't make much sense, does it? Let me rephrase.

I am feeling quite selfish with my time and attention. If I could do something that I LOVED 24/7, I would do it. If I could make a living crocheting or beading, or playing with my son or my animals, or working on my house, or writing...I would do it. Anything beyond those things and I just don't really give a care. I just don't GET anything from much anymore. I don't want to be a stay-at-home mom. Been there, done that and it's not my cup of tea. But it seems like something is missing when I leave the house for anything other than shopping (I like to shop).

Isn't there a stage of grief that is about resignation? Maybe that's it. I don't know. It sure is aggravating, whatever it is.

I want to be out and about DOING something. Moving my body and feeling something beyond the synapses firing in my brain. Too much thinking. I want to work yarn into something beautiful with my hands or run myself as fast as my legs will carry me across my yard...anything beyond sitting here dealing with peoples' lame legal questions. Really...who owns the dirt in a ditch...I don't have enough life left in me to concern myself with this crap.

Maybe it's time to find a new job. Wow! I typed that and paused and REALLY considered it. No...I don't want a new job. I like this job. It is comfortable for me and I don't want to lose that right now. I don't think I could deal with the change necessary for whatever were to replace it. I just feel like there is a cog stuck somewhere in my brain and I need to shake it loose. I just don't know how.

OK...you win...inflatables aren't THAT bad

I'm ready to cry UNCLE in this holiday crazed corner of Boonieville. There are no Christmas lights to be purchased anywhere in this nutty town. SOLD OUT. I'm going to have to leave the state in order to buy some...like I'm soliciting something illegal or elicit.

Hey buddy, know where I can score any good Christmas lights? And I don't mean giant inflatable decorations...I mean lights man...honest to goodness plain old string of LIGHTS. I'm jonesin' man...come on...help a girl out.

And in other insanity...I have discovered something even more absurd than giant inflatable Christmas decorations...

Giant inflatable Christmas decorations on a TIMER.

At the designated time each morning, Santa, his reindeer, and Frosty, all deflate slowly and end up laying on the lawn like someone mowed them down with an oozie. Seriously, I giggle like a crazy person all the way into work as I drive past these houses with deflated Christmas characters littering their lawns. WHAT are these people thinking? Seriously. I want to know. Energy conservation? How about not getting giant inflatable lawn decorations IN THE FIRST PLACE then? No. Instead you put them on a timer and make me do a double take everytime I THINK I see a vagrant laying on your front lawn. Come on! Do me a favor and just keep Santa and his pals blown up 24/7 (that doesn't sound quite right, does it?).

Monday, December 11, 2006

Fake it until you make it holiday campaign guidelines

~Do away with anything annoying. If the lights don't work, don't try to figure out which bulb needs replaced. Throw them out and buy new.

~Eat as much as you want...but have antacid available.

~Drink as much as you want...but don't drive.

~Send Christmas cards to people you like first...then sending the ones to people you don't like so much will be less painful.

~If you must shop, take a list so that you can get in, get what you need, and get out, before the holiday music makes you grind your teeth down to nothing.

~Bake what YOU like...let everyone else worry about themselves.

~Do NOT sort through any belongings having to do with pregnancy or babies until after the new year...no matter how much you wish them out of your house.

~Hang up lots of Christmas decorations (any that survive guideline #1, that is).

~Smile at everyone. No matter what. If nothing else, they will wonder what it is you're plotting.

~Do NOT ask your husband to help you decorate. Either tell him to do it, or do it yourself. It will save you both the aggravation.

(More to come, I'm sure)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My dear friend...secret confessions of the heart

So Friday was the first time I spent any length of time with a pregnant friend since Travis died. And truth be told, I came up with eleven thousand excuses in my head to get out of having to confront this particular phobia at this particular point in time...what with the success of the "fake it till you make it" holiday campaign.

But I couldn't, in good conscience, turn my back on this particular friend. Maybe it is because I love this particular friend like a sister. Maybe it is because I know that this particular friend has suffered and I can justify good stuff happening to her. Maybe it's because I'm not as angry as I thought I was. Who knows. But I crammed down those potential excuses, took a deep breath, and off I went...

...and I'm glad I did.

And here is where the story takes a startling turn...

There was the standard sadness and pain and jealousy. But there was something else. I want to be pregnant.

Where the hell did that come from?!?!

Seriously, I was shocked and horrified and slightly nauseous as I drove home after the evening was over. I had been so sure I was done and now here I was JEALOUS of my friend. Not jealous in a "I hate you for being happy" kind of way...but in a "I really want what you have and I think I can have it too" kind of way.

A...HOPEFUL way.

Damn it all.

Now what?!?!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Be afraid...be very afraid

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So today I discovered that there are a couple of places you do not want to be just a few days before Christmas. Toys R Us is one of them. Holy smokes! Those parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles are C-R-A-Z-Y!!! I felt lucky to get out of there alive.
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The bargaining ability of a four-year-old is quite an interesting thing. We went to Toys R Us for one of those Disney Cars TV/DVD combos. Sam wanted to buy a toy. I told him no toys because he was getting the TV. He told me he didn't want the tv anymore and I could put it back! I have obviously failed somewhere in the critical thinking department with this kid.
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Sitting in a newly carpeted bedroom upstairs this morning, I said to Steve, "It's less sad to sit in this room than the old room. I mean, it's still sad, but it's LESS sad."

Steve said, "There's even some hope in this room."

The man gets it!

[I'd say the man gets me, but then I'd have to explain away this morning's coffee-buying episode...which is totally unexplainable.]
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Kmart was out of Christmas lights. OUT. GONE. ZIP. ZILCH. NADA.
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I am writing out Christmas cards.

Two years ago I wrote out Christmas cards that so cutely said, "Love, Cathy & Steve and Sam & Baby #2."

I didn't do Christmas cards last year.

Are we having fun yet?
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My kid loves his new bedroom. Now, I've just got to get him to sleep in it...
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The new electric fireplace with cherry mantel was delivered today. I have no real place to put it until they fix the ceiling in the next room. Speaking of which...

Things that still need done on the house...

~Sam's closet door falls off if you touch it. That needs fixed.
~The guest room needs outlet covers.
~The laundry room still needs baseboards.
~The master suite still needs baseboards, some finish tile work, and all outlet covers.
~The common area needs baseboards and outlet covers.
~The stairs need torn out and rebuilt.
~We need soffets built to hide the pipes that run up to the second floor...namely the pipes in the kitchen and in what is currently our bedroom.
~The back peak still needs vinyl facing.
~One word...gutters.
~The side porch needs insulation and interior walls.

Think it will all be done by Christmas? LOL!
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I just spent about $80 on three Christmas ornaments.

I.am.not.kidding.

In my defense, they are Make-a-Wish snowflakes and will be personalized with each of our three boys' names.

Yes...It's official...I have lost my mind.
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Bad humor life lesson

Christmas isn't the time to foster bad feelings.

That's what funerals are for.

Friday, December 08, 2006

1026

I just finished several months worth of work entering 1026 photographers and their contact information into a database for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.

1026 photographers who give their time and talent freely.

1026 photographers who open their hearts to parents who are saying goodbye to a child.

1026 photographers who don't ask for individual recognition but instead quietly represent the spirit of human kindness that this world complains it lacks.

1026 wonderful people.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Home again, home again...slip slide and away

They threw me out of work today. Closed the office and told me to go home. I love living in the snow belt of the Great Lakes! I only wish I would have stayed in bed and not gone in to work in the first place. But a half day off is better than nothing.

Now I'm off to put up some holiday decorations with Steve and Sam (provided I can convince Steve to help me unearth the decorations from the piles of crap in the basement). See ya on the flip side!

It's freezing and snowing

And I felt like my blog should match the frozen tundra around me. I contemplated a Christmas theme...but I'm not quite there yet. So this will have to do.

Dec. 7, 1941

Many of the dead were teenage sailors and Marines away from home for the first time. They died before they had an opportunity to get married, have children, build lives.



Associated Press Story

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Never a good sign

Steve is using a screwdriver on my vacuum cleaner.

I sense a new vacuum cleaner in my future.

Miscellaneous thoughts

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I snorted. I handed the cashier my money and said, "I think there's seven dollars there, but you better count it because I'm having a bad morning." And then instead of laughing...I snorted. WTF?!?!
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I'm not THAT person. I have no other way to say it anymore. I think it means that I'm not the person that people expect me to be. I'm still me. I'm not going to make a scene and embarass you. I'm not going to talk incessantly about my dead kids and make you uncomfortable. I'm not going to cry and dissolve into a puddle at the sight of someone else's baby. I'm not THAT person (though I may be the person who snorts at her own jokes now...but I'm as surprised by that as anybody).
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I bought faucets and sinks first thing when demolition started at the end of August. YESTERDAY (go ahead...do the math...that's three and a half MONTHS later), the contractor tells me my faucet won't work with my sink. I'm beginning to wonder why contractors aren't murdered more often. Justifiable homicide...that's all I'm sayin'.
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I LOVE the smell of the Yankee Candle Mistletoe candle I got at a candle exchange. I want to stick my face in the middle of it and just smell and smell. This may necessitate a trip to a Yankee Candle store, much to the chagrin of my husband. Hey...maybe I can do that while I'm out buying a new freaking faucet! No...I'm not bitter at all. :o)
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I'm not about to jump in front of a bus or anything. I realize this blog makes me sound very sad and pathetic. But (or "burt" as I just typed...I have GOT to cut these fingers nails down), I use this blog as my sounding board. The place to get out all the stuff I can't or won't say elsewhere. I'm actually a pretty "normal" person in real life. Yeah, I've got a few visible emotional scars...but who doesn't? So I deal with life the best way I can. I even laugh on occasion!
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The flooring in the master suite is officially done done done! We put in the last row of wood laminate last night. It looks fabulous, if I do say so myself. I'm pretty proud of us. Now, if we can just get the contractor crap out of the common areas upstairs, we can do the flooring there too. The bedroom carpet comes Saturday morning. And then, with a little luck and a kick in the pants, the contractor will do our stairs and be DONE with the official renovation part of the project.

Of course, we're going to hire him to do some work in our downstairs now (discounted for the caved in ceiling), so we're not completely in the clear. But I see myself soaking in my jacuzzi tub sometime in the not too distant future. Maybe I will get a New Year's celebratory bath. I mean, really...a new year that starts in a Jacuzzi tub with a glass of wine has GOT to be better than the last two new years...pregnant with no wine. Ooooh...I'm getting all tingly just thinking about it.
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I may run off with the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Seriously. These cookies where you unwrap the package, pop em in the oven, bake them, take them out, ice them, and put little edible holiday stickers on them...freaking genius! I look like supermom to my kid! I love you Pillsbury! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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Speaking of food. I made yummy turkey noodle soup for my lunch today. Guess where it is? Go ahead. Guess. Yep. At home in the refrigerator. I am a dumb ass.
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Tonight...furniture is moving upstairs.
Thursday night...Browns v. Steelers football!
Friday...helping some friends move their furniture (because we're crazy like that...we just LOVE to move furniture around...here...there...everywhere! Be careful...you might be next).
Saturday...Christmas decorations are going up.
Sunday...sleeping, eating, heavy drinking and football watching.
Sounds like a plan.
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I have to send my secret pal another package. I had a ton of boxes that would have worked. But I got in a snit and had Steve throw them all away. And of course, this one time, he listened to me. Now I have no box to use. grrrrr! Like I said...I am a dumb ass.
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How much is too much to spend on wallpaper border for inside a walk-in closet?
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I think that's all that's swirling around in my brain...for now.
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Explain this

Why would you sell a bathroom faucet without the handles?

I'm going to need your help here

You know, last year's Christmas sucked. I gave up all hope of even attempting to have a good time and was pleasantly surprised when I actually enjoyed the day. The lead up to Christmas was painful and I did what little I had to do to not feel guilty for cheating Sam. I didn't do Christmas cards. I didn't attend holiday parties. I was not up for playing Secret Santa for anyone. I yelled and (quite literally) swore while we were putting up the Christmas tree. The only reason I put lights on the outside of the house was because I wanted the extra light to see myself up and down the stairs. And then, of course, we conceived Travis shortly after Christmas and I was ready to tackle this year.

Despite the stunning disaster that that conception and the entire year of 2006 turned out to be, I have decided that I will participate fully in Christmas this year. I signed us up for a ride on the Polar Express. I plan put up a tree and smile while I do it. I will decorate the exterior of our newly renovated house (and take picture, of course). I even plan to send out Christmas cards and participate in Secret Santas and other gift exchanges. I will bake yummy holiday goodies. I will attend holiday parties that I am invited to. I will be the personification of the Christmas spirit.

All I'm asking for is a little help. It is taking EVERYTHING I have to plaster a smile on my face without the aid of an alcoholic beverage. It is painful and I really just want to cry. But I am trying.

So when I hang a freaking Christmas decoration up, do not tell me how you, "don't like that sort of thing." Do NOT answer my questions about baking or decorating with an answer that even hints at how much of a chore you think it is. Don't give me a look like you disapprove of my happy attitude (even if we both know it's fake). Don't tell me how tired or sad or stressed you are, because quite frankly, I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR IT!

Let me find a smile in a goofy decoration or a big ugly Christmas tree. Join me while I enjoy the newly fallen snow. Ask to share my holiday cookies instead of talking about calories. Let me have the illusion that it means something to send out a Christmas card to friends to let them know they are loved. Just play your part, ok?

I am going to find joy in this holiday season if it kills me, damn it.

I don't want to have to kill you to do it.

Customer service for crappy products...or...How to get screwed

Dear...

We purchased your Etched Rod Set 28"-48" in Rustic Copper and followed the instructions for installation. We drilled 1/8" pilot holes, as directed, and the screw heads were stripped before the screws were completely installed. We had to use pliers to get the stripped-head screws out of the wood and are now short two screws for installation. We therefore respectfully request replacement screws so that we can install the rod system properly. Thank you.

For future reference, if you instruct 1/8" pilot holes then you should provide stronger screws. If you are going to provide the same screws, you should instruct 9/64" pilot holes.

Please send the replacement screws to:


Thank you for your time and consideration.

-----------------------------------------

Dear Catherine:

We apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced with your Decorative Rod System. Our goal is to provide our customers with the highest quality products and service.

Springs Window Fashions is aware of the issue concerning our screws and instructions and we are currently in the process of having these issues changed.

We have entered an order for the replacement screws you requested. Your order shipped via US Postal Service today and you may expect your order within 3 to 5 business days.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience.

Sincerely,

Stephanie
Sr. Consumer Hotline Specialist

Monday, December 04, 2006

Two days left to buy tickets!!!

Sammy Hagar and Arlen Ness Create Motorcycle Masterpiece
National Drawing Will Benefit First Candle - Helping to Prevent SIDS and Stillbirth

Red Rocker Sammy Hagar and famed motorcycle icon Arlen Ness are teaming up to raise awareness and funds among motorcycle enthusiasts in support of First Candle, one of the nation’s leading charities dedicated to infant health and survival. A one-of-a-kind motorcycle has been customized by Arlen Ness with original artwork by Sammy Hagar, and will be awarded to the winning ticket holder in a national drawing to benefit First Candle.

“As a father of four children,” says Sammy Hagar, “I would do anything to help prevent the tragedy of SIDS and stillbirth in the United States. It is an honor to help spread awareness about these tragedies in order to save as many babies’ lives as possible.”

‘The Red Rocker Chopper,’ named after ‘Red Rocker’ Sammy Hagar, is valued at $70,000 and will embark on a promotional tour throughout California, Nevada and South Dakota to generate donations and offer tickets for the drawing to motorcycle fans nationwide. The rare bike will make appearances at the Moto Grand Prix (Monterey, CA - July), the Shoreline Sammy Hagar concert (Mountain View, CA – August), Sturgis Bike Rally (South Dakota - August) and other events and locations.

“We are so excited to be working with Sammy Hagar and Arlen Ness on the Red Rocker Chopper event,” says Dr. Marian Sokol, president of First Candle. “The generosity of their support is overwhelming, and we look forward to providing their fans and supporters with an opportunity to win this amazing chopper, while at the same time helping First Candle with our efforts to help babies survive and thrive."

Tickets are available for a suggested donation of $10 per ticket or three for $25. The winning ticket will be drawn on December 9, 2006 at an open-house party to be held at the Arlen Ness World Headquarters in Dublin, California. Winner need not be present to win.

Get your tickets now.

I'm lucky to call you friend

(My entry for the Support a Mom Contest.)

One of the things about losing a baby that is so difficult is that you feel so very alone...as if the world has suddenly turned its back on you and you no longer "fit." Your old life isn't quite right and the new life you're left with is something you really don't want. And then, by some miracle (or the internet), a special kind of person reaches out to you and lets you know that you are not alone...that someone understands. And that someone for me is my friend, Catherine.

Catherine's son, Nicolas, was stillborn in March of 2003. My son, Alex, was stillborn in May of 2005. That sadness that normally relegates grieving mothers to solitude and silent grief is what brought us together. Instead of mourning in private, she showed me the healing to be found in shared tears. And amazingly enough, when I thought I couldn't survive another day of sadness, she helped me find things to smile and laugh about.

Catherine's thoughtfulness knows no limits and her love fills some of that empty space you sometimes worry might remain empty forever. She is the first to offer the comfort of a kind word (or a bag of caramels) when it is needed. She reminds you that life marches on and it's going to drag you along with it (and hell...it's better than the alternative, right?).

Catherine is the kind of person who will send you an envelope of seeds because you tell her you admire her daisies. She sends you pictures of her baby daughter because she knows you need the hope you see reflected in her innocent little face (even if it is covered with chocolate).

She tells you that you're normal...even when you know you're not. She understands...when nobody else can.

Catherine will probably be embarrassed to know that I think of her as an inspiration. But she has turned her story into something beautiful, despite the ugliness of losing Nicolas. She honors her son's memory by making 'comfort' baskets filled with things that will create a lifetime of memories for mothers cheated out of a lifetime with their babies. She knows the pain and sadness, and she is the first to offer a hand to hold along the path of grief...the path toward healing.

She won't tell you to move on, even though she recognizes that you will...eventually. She will be there to help you move on at your own pace...no matter how long it takes. Never judging. Never telling you what you "should" do. Just quietly and gracefully showing you how to smile again.

Catherine was blessed with another child after losing Nicolas. Her name is Chloe and she is...in a word...adorable. She also has an amazing son named Alexander who just turned 14 years old. And now Catherine finds herself pregnant...with twins. While pregnancy is, in and of itself, a difficult thing to deal with, Catherine has the added stress of managing her pregnancy with the knowledge of the worst that can happen and the increased risks that go along with her personal history. But despite her fear, she still manages a smile as she showcases her mid-renovation home on a Victorian Christmas tour, teaches crazy fainting college students, prepares her tulips for the spring, volunteers at a pregnancy center, and illegally photoshops her daughter's picture.

She will never forget Nicolas. But she has made her life about so much more than just her sadness. She shares what she knows so that other women, like me, will know that we're not alone...that she walks this path just a little bit ahead and is willing to look back and offer whatever love and support is necessary so that we can get to where she is.

I know she is tired. Not just from the first trimester flood of hormones, but also from the emotional weight she is carrying with her. Fear is her companion along her pregnancy journey. But she doesn't rail against it...she makes it a cup of tea, makes sure it is comfortable for the long haul, and lets it know she plans to win this battle of wills. Every now and then she has a conversation with fear, but she never lets it get the last word. Not now...and hopefully not ever. According to her ticker, she gets to permanently kick fear to the curb in 217 days. In the meantime, anything that will lighten her load would be truly appreciated.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What happened to my weekend?

I remember when weekends were spent lazing around in pajamas watching television and eating too much junk food. Now? Now weekends are spent rearranging construction crap and laying flooring. Carpet in the hall and walk-in closet...laminate in the bedroom. Or shopping for paint, closet organizers, and rods for hanging clothing. Or carrying heavy closet organizers and dressers up stairs that still need rebuilt.

My hands, legs, and ass hurt.

And I haven't even had a decent cup of coffee!

You can imagine what a treat I am to be around.

We made a trip out to the cemetery to see a wreath laid by Ella's mom and dad. The kindness of people still warms my heart.

Sam spent some time yesterday at a Funtime birthday party. Funtime is apparently a warehouse in which there are huge inflatable slides and bounce houses. He had a great time. And I didn't have to go despite my promise. Steve actually volunteered...so he could have a break from the house. It's really sad if you think about it. The man is so tired of this house that he'd rather spend time watching sugar-fed four-year-olds literally bounce around a room.

I think I'm going to go take some more Advill and curl up in bed. I should do some laundry for work tomorrow, but I think I'll just make do with whatever I can find. Carrying laundry is not real high on my list of things I want to do right now.

Work tomorrow brings with it some rest and some coffee. Bring it on!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

More pictures for home reno geeks like me

The golden peach colored painted (unfinished) stairwell, the new hanging light (which I think I actually like), and the cutest boy in the world...

The tub surround is almost finished. It matches the shower tile with a little extra flair in some decorative tile (that Steve won't mind telling you was $3 for each six inch piece...lol).


An attempt at some Christmas decoration on the only surface that didn't have crap piled on it already...



Off to clean so I can get my stairs done and my living room ceiling repaired this coming week!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Give it a day

You know the great thing about grief? It doesn't hang on in a hard unyielding way. It cycles.

And I can officially declare the latest cycle over.

I notice that my cycles tend to flow with the announcements of pregnancy related matters in other women I know. Not their fault...not my fault...just a fact of life. I feel bad for myself for a day or two and then I find a way to move out of it. It is an incredible effort. I won't lie and say it's easy because it's not. Sometimes it doesn't even work and I have to try something else. I hate those days. When fighting my way up out of the darkness is an all-consuming effort. But I do it because I know that there is happiness still to be felt...smiles to smile (I think I'm beginning to sound like a greeting card writer so I will stop).

This time, I deliberately took out a box of cheesey Christmas decorations for the office and set about bringing some holiday cheer to this otherwise dreary place. I didn't hang any of them last year because I just didn't have it in me. This year I'm adopting that "fake it until you make it" philosophy. I might hate every single second of Christmas...then again I might not. But at least I will have the opportunity to escape the grip of grief and sadness for a few minutes here and there. And who knows...maybe grief/sadness/death will grow tired of fighting for my attention and finally leave me alone for good.

Tributes

I have a bitch. What's new, right?

I have a bitch about people who use my sons' MemoryOf websites to pay tribute to their own.

The interactive feature on those sites is nice because it allows my friends and family to leave kind words whenever the mood strikes. It's heartwarming to know that they think of us (sometimes at very odd times of the day and night).

But there is a hidden drawback to the interactive feature of an online tribute page. OTHER people who look specifically for pages of dead children so that they can leave comments about their own dead children.

Now, I understand the need to connect...that's why my email is available on those pages. But why must these people light candles or leave tributes that are more about their own loved ones than the person for whom the page is dedicated. I personally think it's tacky. And rude. Would they go to someone's funeral and only talk about themselves? Ha! I should know better than to ask that...because maybe they would. But really, there must be some sort of online etiquette about this.

[Maybe this is just an extension of my number one pet peeve...talking about yourself too much. If it's your space...your time...you are the focus of attention...fine (like on your own blog...in your own home...at a party for you). If it's someone else's space or time...or someone else should be the focus of attention...then shut the hell up and stop talking about yourself. (I think there was an episode of Friends where they accurately used the phrase, "Stealing someone's thunder.") Seriously. Don't twist every single thing into a story about yourself. Don't talk incessantly about yourself. Don't boast, don't brag, and for the love of Pete, don't tell me how your life is so much worse because this or that happened. It drives me nuts!]

I guess what I wish I could say to those unidentified strangers is this...Don't go onto Travis' website and light a candle about your "little angel so-and-so." While I feel your pain, and I will gladly talk with you via email, this is a place to focus on my little half-baked boy. If you can't do that, then please keep your fingers from typing here.