Wednesday, January 31, 2007

There is something about a carseat

I was emailed a horrible video about a family that lost a little boy because he was in a seat belt booster seat in a car accident and was killed. The message was that a five-point harness carseat would have provided him more protection and he might still be alive today if he had been in one.

We bought Sam a new carseat. It keeps him in a five-point harness up to 65 pounds. We've come out on the losing end of the statistics gamble too many times in the last few years...so we felt a need to upgrade and lower our risk as far as possible.

Now maybe Steve and I are just incompatible as far as carseat installation goes. Or maybe, as my coworkers confirm, carseats are just pure evil. I don't know.

Every single time we have installed or reinstalled a carseat in a car, I have turned into a completely crazed EVIL person. My hands hurt from the sharp plastic, my muscles ache from pulling on those damn straps that are supposed to be E-Z to install (which, by the way, is the STUPIDEST term a manufacturer can use and after four and a half years of this crap I'm apt to walk right past ANYTHING that says E-Z on the packaging), my eyes hurt from trying to read the instructions in the inadequate light of a car, I'm freezing because it is always twenty below whenever you have to do this...it makes me (in a word) CRANKY.

And I swear...a lot. Usually just random expletives. But if Steve happens to get anywhere near the path of my rampage, I usually aim a couple directly at him as well.

And it has always been this way. From the days of the infant carrier to the convertible car seat to the booster to the new carseat...I am always a bitch during installation. I'm beginning to think that carseats should come with a warning label indicating this particular hazard.

In fact, I'm such an evil person during carseat installation, my husband has been driving the minivan for two weeks because he would rather spend more on gas than deal with me during the metamorphosis into evil mommy. But today, since we were snowed in until the snowplow showed up at 11am, we had no excuses left. The resulting experience was...well...I'm just glad Sam was occupying himself shoveling snow outside and couldn't hear my colorful phraseology.

And Steve...I'm sorry.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thank you Secret Pal!!!

After a harrowing hour-long snowy drive home from Walmart (which is ten minutes away), I was quite surprised to find these lovely gifts waiting for me.

I immediately dropped off my coat and opened them, of course.

And look! look! look! (dancing around with glee)


I am SOOOOO excited! The Crochet Stitch Bible has already been poured over quite intently and I'm sure it will remain at my side for a good long time...I've got many many many stitches to master, after all. (And it's looking like a snow day might be a possibility tomorrow if the white stuff doesn't slow down any overnight.)

Thank you Rebecca! I have to admit that you have spoiled me rotten this Secret Pal go round and I really enjoyed everything you sent.

I will keep you all posted on the shrug progress (from the first Secret Pal 9 package). I've never tried one before, so it should be an adventure. But first...lots of projects in the works...must keep stitching!

The boss is on vacation for three weeks

Guess what he forgot to do?

If you guessed that he forgot to get someone to cover his injunction hearing (for TOMORROW) to close a spa that dabbles in prostitution (more like a whorehouse that dabbles in spa stuff)...you're right!

So guess what I get to do?

Looks like I'll be cramming a bunch of law into my little brain this afternoon and tomorrow morning. They don't pay me enough for this.

And people wonder why I have such a cheery disposition...

My rules...

Dear anyone-who-converses-with-Catherine:

1. Do not try to solve my problems for me in ten sentences/seconds or less.

2. Do not expect me to ever feel "better" about my children being dead.

Learn these rules and use them...I don't want to have to repeat them.

Thank you.

Monday, January 29, 2007

And the Presidential race is relevant to MY life

Senator Sam Brownback (R - Kansas), "The last thing we need in America is to take God out of our public lives and institutions."

Jon Stewart, "I mean when I picture a zoning board that doesn't understand that Christ gave his life for our sins, I can't imagine how they can regulate land use within a mixed residential/industrial zone."

I love it!

Lady, people aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling. But I don't find them half as annoying as I find naive bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomitting sunshine.

Thank you to the Scrubs writers for creating a character as absolutely BEAUTIFUL as Dr. Perry Cox.

Oh...and you can find PARTS of the Scrubs musical episode on http://www.nbc.com/Scrubs/

Like I need help killing things


I asked my coworker with the corner office to let me set my rosemary plant in her window because I thought it could use the sunlight and my coworker has quite the green thumb...

...with HER plants.

This is what is left of my poor rosemary.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Crochet the blues away


So I'm doing what I normally do when I'm feeling crappy about my life. Crochet!

I'm working on an afghan for a friend who is pregnant, a baby afghan for another friend, and a baby sweater set for another friend. I've been hoping to get some snowflakes made for myself, but it just hasn't happened yet. I better get started if I'm going to catch up to my self-imposed goal of one per week for the entire year.

Busy, busy, busy. Keep the hands and mind distracted...that's the trick.

But right now, I have to research the legal authority for a mayor to stop and detain snowmobiles. Such a glamorous job I have...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bible ah-ha moments

I can't remember who originally posted about How to Handle Grief; Tracks of a Fellow Struggler (it was Brooke over at www.reflectionsinthemirror.blogspot.com...thanks Brooke!). But I ordered a copy immediately and read through it quickly. There were two instances of "ah-ha" for me, involving two stories in the Bible that have been reiterated for me as the basis for blind faith in God and "His plan."

First, the regarding story of Abraham, Claypool writes,
Though intellectually he realizes that the worst could very well happen, he does not try to run away but sets his face steadfastly for Moriah. Yet emotionally there is a hope within him that something will intervene even at the last moment to reverse the process. Abraham gives expression to this residual hope there at the foot of the mountain when little Isaac asks about the lamb for the sacrifice, and I know exactly how he felt. (
Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.")...

This fascinates me. Because I've studied this passage many many times and never noticed it before. But there is a distinct LACK of emotional insight into Abraham during this very important episode. I always wondered...how could Abraham do such a thing? But I see it now...he did it because he felt he HAD to. Nowhere does it say he was happy about it.

Claypool continues...
It is at this point that Abraham's experience and my own break off in different directions. He got to go down the mountain with his child by his side, and, oh, how his heart must have burst with joy at having come through so much so well. But my situation is different. Here I am, left alone on that mountain, with my child and not a ram there on the altar, and the question is: how on earth do I get down and move back to the normalcy of life? I cannot learn from Abraham, lucky man that he is. I am left to grope through the darkness by myself, and ask: "Where do I go from here? Is there a road out, and if so, which one?"

Exactly! Never mind that when this story is thrown at me it typically is done so in a way that implies that my children are dead because I did not have enough faith...but the confusion for me comes in the form of the same question this author (who was a minister) had...How do I learn a lesson of faith from someone who was spare the agony of losing their child?

And even more perplexing...why does God command Abraham kill and then later dictate the Ten Commandments to include, "Thou shalt not kill?"

Then I read the portion of Claypool's book that addresses the story of Job...
Not until Job got to that level-to having it out with the Ultimate One Himself-did healing begin to flow for him. Stage five, the climactic stage, came when Job, the one who was made, stood face to face with the One who did the making.

To me, this is a VERY important point. Yeah, God tells Job not to question...AFTER he has already questioned. There was a voice...there was an answer...telling Job that somebody was in charge...somebody was responsible. I can not learn from Job in this regard because all there is is SILENCE. There is no voice...no answer...no God reassuring me that it's all under control.

I know those who will tell me to take it on faith that what God spoke to Abraham and Job is what God would speak to me today...if... If what? Why doesn't He speak to me? Why am I left to interpret text that is thousands of years old when I so desperately just want some sign that He is there...listening, at the very least? Why is God so distinctly NOT present in my agony, when He was so distinctly present during Abraham's or Job's?

These are points I will have to revisit. For now it is enough to know that I am not alone in my confusion over the lessons I'm supposed to learn from these stories.

Testing

Playing around with new Blogger...have to change templates in order to take advantage of some of the new features....please stand by...

New Blogger

I reserve the right to pass judgment on new Blogger at any time.

(fingers crossed)

***It works...It works...It works!!!***

So if the death talk is normal...

Is it normal when...?

Sam: We're not going to have any.more.babies.

Me: Why not?

Sam: Because our babies die.

Blue NEEDS one of these sweaters



Now I just wonder if I am a good enough knitter to figure out the pattern (it says it is an intermediate skill level pattern).

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Snow day

1. Sleep late.
2. Watch Disney and eat grapes while snuggled on the couch under a blanket with my beautiful boy.
3. Do dishes.
4. Make lunch.
5. Eat lunch at the newly unearthed kitchen table.
6. Get bundled up and go outside and play in the snow.
7. Feed the horses.
8. Go back inside and make hot chocolate.
9. Drink hot chocolate while snuggled under a blanket on the couch watching Disney.
10. Paint.
11. Dig the minivan out of the snow and get it parked in the barn.
12. Paint some more.
13. Read blogs and write this post.
14. Paint some more.
15. Make dinner.
16. Eat dinner (maybe at the kitchen table again...what a concept!).
17. Watch some tv and crochet a little bit.
18. Jacuzzi bath.
19. Snuggle with my beautiful boy until he falls asleep.
20. Smile.

Many many years from now

Me: Get in bed...time to sleep.

Sam: I don't want to sleep.

Me: But you need your sleep to grow up strong and healthy.

Sam: I don't want to grow up.

Me: Why not?

Sam: Because then I'll get old and die. (crying and covers pulling up over his head)

Me: Who told you that?

Sam: I heard you saying you get old and then die.

Me: Let me tell ya something...my grandma was 89 when she died. You're four. That means she lived another 85 years after being four. You've got a long long time before you have to even think about dying. Besides, when you get older you get to do all sorts of fun things.

The conversation then shifted to all the possibilities for what Sam could do when he grows up.

Yeah...I haven't screwed this kid up AT ALL.

The worse part is that I don't remember talking about dying AT ALL. And Sam is currently at the point in his ability to tell time where everything happened "last week" or "last morning." We don't talk about dying. Sam has, on occasion, acknowledged that his brothers died and went to be angels...but that's it as far as the death talk in our house as far as I remember.

I want my old life back.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Am I the only one?

Ever want to just call bullshit when you see it? Ever bite down on your tongue so hard you make it bleed in an effort to NOT call bullshit? Ever actually have to walk away from your computer so that you don't type the word BULLSHIT in a 36 point font?

Geek fun


Become An M&M

Monday, January 22, 2007

So how are you doing now, really?

Does it get any easier, or do you just get better at hiding it?

My friend, M, asked me these very simple questions in an email the other day and I have no idea how to answer her. In fact, I have no idea what to write here either.

Giving away the baby stuff was the best thing. I KNOW that. But it has set off a downward spiral like I haven't felt in a long time. I've been crying (that cry that you would not recognize unless you have cried it yourself).

Another friend wrote, "It's just not being in the place where the pain is omnipresent." And that was true for a day. But now...now it is all I think about and all I feel.

I have started making sick jokes at the office to lighten the mood...and there is at least one person who seems more comfortable with that way of addressing my sadness. For example, yesterday at lunch while discussing husbands and their strange/annoying habits, one lady said, "I think women just like to compare and see who has it worse." I raised my hand, waved, and said, "I think I've got that category sewn up." There were a couple stone faces, a couple quiet nervous laughs, and one real outward laugh. That one...the outward laugh...has bothered me since.

Because it's not really funny AT ALL.

Yesterday after work I went home, did some chores, and sat in the darkness of my barn while I waited for the farrier. I just sat there in the darkness, listening to the girls munch on hay and silently willing the dogs to stop barking so I could feel the pain without distraction. I think that is one of the hard parts of life moving on and dragging me with it. The world rushes by, filled with so much, in such a hurry to get to a better place. Don't be sad. Be happy. Feel better. Get over it. I know I'm supposed to be "getting better." I know I should learn to keep up with the pace.

But there are times when I just want to scream, "Wait ONE MINUTE world! I've got TWO DEAD BABIES! Just SLOW DOWN for ONE MINUTE!" The horror of it all just stops me dead in my tracks and I lose my breath and become dizzy with all the activity around me.

I know I can't get the rest of the world to slow down. So there is an odd sort of comfort in removing myself from the process of "healing" for just a few minutes and just letting the pain wash over me...deliberately slowing myself down so it all catches up to me and I can just FEEL it all without having to apologize or without having to be embarassed.

In those moments, I have to wonder how I am doing now, really. Am I just hiding what I feel?

I know I feel an enormous amount of guilt that I can't just let "it" go. That I can't "move on." What is wrong with me that I don't find true comfort in those places everyone thinks I should? I have failed in so many ways. I have disappointed so many people. I should be able to take their words and just feel better. I should have faith in God. I should take comfort in what I have. I should...I should...I should... And yet I just don't.

And it feels like nobody cares. It feels like people sit in judgment and think how I would "feel better" if I would just listen to them...if I would think like they think or feel like they feel. And once they are done making decisions about how my life "should" be, they stop thinking of me altogether unless it is in a laugh at my expense. Nobody will ever really see me...The me that cries (that cry) in the darkness of the cold barn.

So yeah...I guess I'm just better at hiding it. And it makes me feel so very alone.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

my hands! my hands! somebody stop me from scratching my hands!

My hands are going to crack and fall off. They were dry and cracked and looking rather old on Saturday, so I slathered on some Night Treatment for hands Friday night before bed. Now, I know I have to be very careful what I use on my skin because I am highly allergic to all things natural...as well as titantium dioxide (which is in sunscreens). But I have never had any issues with this particular treatment before. Apparently, the rules have changed (which should not surprise me, since following each of my three pregnancies my allergies altered just a bit).

I woke up with hives all OVER my hands. AND my hands were still cracky and hurty (sometimes the vocabulary of a four-and-a-half-year-old comes in handy). So, I tried some generic brand Eucerin type cream at bedtime last night. Steve uses it for his eczema because it's supposed to be really mild and free of dyes and perfumes, etc.

By 3am, I was wide awake, clawing the skin off the back of my hands. Scratching and scratching and scratching until I couldn't take it any more. I got up and ran my hands under cold water...the colder the better. I tried to freeze my skin so I couldn't feel the itch. My hands were freezing and numb and I was able to drift back to sleep.

This morning I woke up and my hands were red, scaley, bumpy, flaky and ITCHY! Oh my God, the ITCH! Do you KNOW how hard it is to do ANYTHING when your hands are ITCHY?!?! Crocheting is like torture. Handwashing dishes hurts like hell. And sort of activity starts the itch going like crazy (typing on this keyboard is making me want to run my hands down a cheese grater).

What do I do now? I'm thinking vegetable oil might work to soften the cracks and ease the pain without angering the hives? Anyone know if they make travel size bottles for carrying to work in my purse?

Help Isabel

A while back, I donated a bracelet to a charity auction for Isabel. Her initial illness passed and it seemed she was in the clear. Then, two days before her fifth birthday, she was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. The mom is writing a blog that will rip your heart out. Though she has not outwardly asked for more help, she has mentioned that they are facing some financial hardship. If you can spare a few dollars, please visit Isabel's site and use the donate button on the left to help this family out. They have a chance (a chance that I didn't have with my boys)...but it is a hard road and it shouldn't have to be hard financially too.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Miscellaneous thoughts

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The picture was crystal clear and beautiful as I looked in the side rear view mirror. The way the light was reflecting off the snow and ice made everything seem so crisp. And I wondered...what if my best days are behind me?
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The event is being held from 2 to 4 at the community center. We will teach you everything you need to know about cancer.

In two hours? Everything I need to know about cancer? So what did you go to medical school for YEARS for?
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It finally happened this morning. I had my first real anxiety attack about nothing...my first real irrational fear that something bad could happen to Steve and Sam.

I got out of the shower and could hear the car drive away (the Elantra is suped up...or is it souped up?...anyway...). I walked into my beautiful walk-in closet and heard sirens. Immediately, I had the irrational image of Steve and Sam in a car accident just a few feet from our driveway. I stood there frozen for a couple minutes, thinking how long it would take to actually receive a phone call if something bad had happened. Then I decided to see if I could see anything...so I looked out the window. Thankfully, the Sheriff's car went speeding by our house in the opposite direction it would need to go to arrive at the scene of an accident involving my two guys. I breathed deeply for a few and continued getting dressed.

I do not want to go down this road. But given the fact that I haven't even taken a step down it in the last two years, maybe I'm due for some irrational freak-outs.
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This morning, while driving to work in the blowing snow, I had to literally stop in the middle of the road and wait for a crow. In the snow. A crow landed on the snoiwy road (in the middle of a blowing snowfall) and just stood there looking at me. To my left, another crow danced around in the air as if laughing at the whole thing. I felt ridiculous stopping, but what else could I do? I finally said, out loud, "Will you two knock it off?" And they both flew off.
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From my post yesterday:

***It's gone. All of it. And it feels like half of my soul went with it.***
(Thanks Jenne...for the perfect description)

Nope...not quite the perfect description. Standing there looking at it all piled on the front porch it was more like realizing that half my soul is gone already and hanging onto this stuff would never bring it back...it would only serve to remind me of that missing piece of me.

And actually having the baby stuff gone from the house has been good (in the whole 24 hours I've had to deal with it). I feel less of a sense of dread every time I walk past the spare bedroom. The only reminders of past sadness are safely tucked away in boxes or plastic totes in the closet...right next to the bedding we bought that is for future happiness.

My God, I am well and truly messed up in the head, aren't I?
----------------------------------
I have decided that my grandma was right...if you can't say something nice, you shouldn't say anything at all. So I'm applying this philosophy to my entire life...well...except maybe this blog (cause if I don't blog about some of this stuff, my head just might explode). So...nice things...or silence...

You know, this wouldn't be quite so hard if the people around me had an ounce of extra compassion in their tiny black little souls. If I didn't feel like constantly yelling, "But what about ME?!?!" If I could just find a little bit of additional kindness somewhere. But I suppose it's been long enough and it's time to just move on...

Maybe that's why I have to talk to the damn crows all the time.
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I learned something yesterday. When you have a crappy day (and I mean REALLY crappy), there is on thing that will make you laugh and feel better for sure...

The musical episode of Scrubs on NBC.

OH.MY.GOD! Hilarious! Freaking genius! LOVED IT!

But unfortunately, I did not record it. I think we should start a petition right now to have NBC re-air it so I can keep it for all time. Seriously...I laughed so hard I was crying (of course, it does help to be a fan of musical theater in the first place...my husband did not get quite the same laugh factor out of it that I did).
----------------------------------
If you can't trust Consumer Reports anymore, then who can you trust?
----------------------------------
Bob Ney gets 30 months in prison.

Ney apologized to his family and constituents during a brief speech to the judge.

"I will continue to take full responsibility, accept the consequences and battle the demons of addiction that are within me," he said.


Everyone is a victim of something these days.
----------------------------------
As I've said before, my Grandma loved Christmas. She wasn't particularly good at buying gifts for everyone. Many times, we would end up with clothing of all different sizes. It was a long-running after Christmas tradition to laugh at what sizes we had ended up with (generally the smaller sizes received the biggest laughs, since my fat ass hasn't seen a size smaller than a Large since I was about 12 years old).

Anyway...

This Christmas, my Aunt J (who lived with and cared for my Grandma during the last few years and, surprisingly, maintained some semblance of sanity) gave my mom the cutest pajamas as a gift. After Christmas, my mom went to put them on and the top fit just fine...but she couldn't get the pants past her knees. She took the pajamas off and sure enough...the pants were a size medium...and the top was a 2x. My Dad, the source of my sarcasm and the King of the hilarious one-liners, said, "And the legend lives on..."
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I'm freezing!
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A pregnant friend had an ultrasound today and she was given a CDH diagnosis. I'm not sure she fully understands it all just yet. I am hoping for the best to her, but acknowledging the possibility of the worst here in private...given that CDH is what claimed Jana's baby, Drew. I don't mind admitting to you that I am terrified for her.
----------------------------------
This weekend Sam will immortalize his hand prints in cement. I can't wait!

He made a plaster cast of his hands a couple weeks ago at preschool. I had it set aside and all ready to put in a shadow box to hang on the wall. But when I went to measure it in order to get the right size shadow box, it had split apart into six or seven pieces. I presume it was not dried properly. So...we're going to try cement...concrete?...whatever it is in the little stepping stone kit we bought. I will post pictures if it turns out well. (And yes, Kate, I KNOW I owe Chloe more Sam pictures...I promise I will get to it soon. You can feel free to return the favor and share Chloe pictures at any time. hint hint.)
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Freecycle baby


This is what shattered dreams look like...all packaged up and ready to "move on."

(This hurts a little more than I imagined it would when I offered it to the woman on freecycle.)

***It's gone. All of it. And it feels like half of my soul went with it.***
(Thanks Jenne...for the perfect description)

Email from Kris:

Hi,

I cannot begin to thank you enough for the WONDERFUL items I received from you today. EVERYTHING can be used. It is all in really great shape and VERY usable. I am sure to get a great deal of use out of it all. It's not very often you get something as wonderful as I have and I am enjoying every minute of everyday I use these things.

Thank you so very much !!


It doesn't feel so bad now. So I guess that's something.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

If you pray

Please pray for Rachel's new baby boy, Asher. He is having some breathing difficulties and may be placed on a ventilator to give his lungs a chance to rest and heal over the next few days (dependent upon a 3am oxygen check tonight). Rachel is, understandably, upset by this turn of events. Please send them peaceful thoughts. And if you pray, please send up a prayer for Rachel and Asher and Scott and Lucy. Thanks.

**update** Asher has not been put on a ventilator! Yes! He seems to be doing well and they're hoping the normal oxygen they are giving him will be enough. (fingers crossed)

Welcome to the world Baby Delphi!!!

Delphi's baby boy is here!!!

Born January 15th, 2007 at 2:41 a.m.
8lbs, 2 oz and 21.5 inches long

Congratulations mama!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Welcome to the world Baby Asher!!!

Congratulations Rachel & Scott & Lucy!

Asher Scott was born at 9:15 this morning - screaming at the top of his lungs. He weighs 7 pounds, 3 ounces and is 19.5 inches long. He had apgar scores of 8 and 9.

Due to a c-section birth and being slightly early, he needs a little help with breathing. No birth defects, his heart and major organs look great. The hospital they are at is renovating, so it does not have the equipment to help Asher with his breathing that he needs - called CPAP, where a pressured cannula is placed in his nose. So, he will be making a visit to Lucy's Alma Mater, the children's hospital in the area. The doctor says he should be able to be out the same time Rachel does, hopefully Thursday.

Who needs law school?

Client: I guess Other Client (OC) disagrees with your opinion, so she's going to call you for some clarification.
[read: She thinks she knows more than you and is calling to argue with you because you told her "no" and she really wants to hear "yes."]

Me: I can't rewrite my opinion. I issued my opinion...what is there to clarify?

Client: I can send you a copy of Revised Code 505.60, which is what OC thinks supports us...though I'm sure you're aware of it...and I don't know...maybe the Constitution is more restrictive than the statute...but it says...and I don't have it in front of me, so I don't have the exact language...it says something like as long as there isn't an increase in actual dollars spent, then we're ok.
[read: I didn't go to law school and I haven't practiced law in this state for the last three years, but I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night]

Me: I don't think it's necessary for you to send me the statutes...I have multiple methods of accessing Ohio law.

Client: Oh, yeah, I'm sure you do...
[read: I forget you're an actual lawyer and you do things like...I don't know...READ THE LAW before issuing an opinion]

Me: I can assure you I have researched this area thoroughly and I stand by my opinion...unless there has been some change in the law since I issued the opinion last week?

Client: No...but the statute says...
[read: you're not listening...you didn't give the right answer]

Me: I'm familiar with what the statute says. My opinion remains my opinion today.

Any bets somebody calls my boss before the end of the week to discuss this?

It looked something like this...

I almost slid into the path of a very large snow plow this morning. It looked something like this...with one arm in front of my face and the other turning the steering wheel to attempt to ditch the minivan (luckily I missed the stop sign and stopped just short of the ditch).

Now I understand why there have been fatal accidents at that corner...as evidenced by the crosses planted next to the road...

And I am thankful.

But I'm going to need a lot more coffee if my week is going to start like this.

And really...is it too much to ask the universe to lay off for a while? Because if it keeps picking at me like this I just may be forced to have a complete mental breakdown.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

What are we going to have for dinner?

Sam: Ice Cream

Steve: Mommy, are we having ice cream for dinner?

Me: Sounds good to me.

(and please never mind the creepiness of having Steve call me Mommy...it was in context...you had to be there...it's not weird...NO IT'S NOT!)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

THE conversation

So we talked about it.

There were tears.

We don't want to adopt right now. And I don't want to be pregnant right now.

Sam will probably go to school in August and we'll save some of that daycare money for a bit...and save up some vacation time (without doctor appointments or funerals to attend).

So I guess that's that. For right now anyway.

I feel relieved. So I think this is the right decision for now.

I wish we lived closer

My uncle showed up at my house late yesterday afternoon. He drove a pickup truck full of Grandma's old furniture across two states to deliver it to my empty oversized house. Oh...and he brought guns...quite a few guns. Grandpa (and Grandma) doesn't need them anymore, so they're going to my brother, as well as the old gun cabinet. He brought me a corner cabinet with glass door, an extendable buffet table that will be used as a sewing table, and a concrete statue of a young woman on a concrete pedestal (painted gold, of course). It was a strange strange delivery.

But what is stranger is the sad feeling I had when my uncle drove away (He dropped off the furniture and then drove back home across two states in order to beat some bad weather that is headed our direction).

I have always felt something was missing from my life because we didn't live close to our family. We had holidays and a couple visits here and there during the summer months...but that was about it. I remember always holding back the tears as we drove away from our Christmas visits. I remember wishing for so much more. And I apparently still wish.

Sam is NEVER leaving home. That's all there is to it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Going looney

I have now had TWO requests for tea cozies. You people are not going to be happy until you create a new crafting obsession for me, are you?

Cynthia (I owe you and email) and Jill (what color would you like?)...I will get to work on these weird things for you as soon as possible. I guess I need to start drinking real tea so I can understand the use...but the pattern seems easy and my fingers love to work with yarn for people who appreciate what I make for them...so it's a win-win situation.

Miscellaneous thoughts

There are places I can not go. People I can not talk to. Things I can not see. Thoughts I can not think.

All because of this thing that I am now. I am ugly because this thing is ugly. This thing that I carry around with me every single step that I take.

Some people are better than others at dealing with it...with me. Some ignore it well. Some acknowledge it and move on. Some openly stare, whether with their eyes or within their minds...examining me...examining this thing...wondering who I am now.

Yes it is a part of me now. Like the happiness of Samuel's birth, the terror of Alex's and Travis' is part of my story. And who are we but our stories?

There is no way to shake it off, no way to cut it from my soul. It just is.

So there will always be places I can not go. People I can not talk to. Things I can not see. Thoughts I can not think.
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Yes, I have an obsession with religion and all things supernatural. I choose to think of myself as being on a spiritual journey of sorts. Other people may just think I'm annoying. C'est la vie.
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A pre-Oscar interview show that sounds worth watching. And not just because Russell is being interviewed.
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Beginning, middle, and end...that's how it goes. But maybe not. Thoughts for another, deeper, day.
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Does it bother anyone else that BEAUTIFUL women keep showing up on the show Ugly Betty?
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I'm tired. And I have so much to do this weekend. I have to pay bills, clean the kitchen, and do laundry. I still have to clean out the sitting area/hallway upstairs so I can paint...and then lay flooring. It must be substantially completed this weekend so the contractors can finish the trim before disappearing forever. Also on the home renovation front, the new steel support beam is up in the living room and the ceiling has been fully constructed, taped and mudded. Pictures will be uploaded to flickr eventually. I think I am going to go home and take a nap, regardless of the work that needs done. Tah tah!
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And finally...I have been invited to Beta! Is this a good or a bad thing?
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Thursday, January 11, 2007

If I ever crochet something like this...


...please have me committed. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


You are The Star

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Do me a favor

Go over and offer Anna some love and support.

Anna...I'm very sorry...I wish there were magic words. But know that you are NOT to blame...no matter what you might think in your crazier moments. And know that you are not alone. Much love, my friend.

What do you think?



The cheeks need to be a little fatter, but they don't seem to have any that are...well...flattering. So I'm making the editorial decision to leave them alone.

You can make your own portrait here.

Finding faith...and other things

On my quest to understand (my) faith, I often run across articles and/or books that make me shake my head...yes, yes, yes.

Here is one of them.

My favorite passage...
Can he intervene in a crowded shopping lot, but not in Darfur? Will he get me a space right next to handicapped parking, but not cure my father's cancer? Who wants to believe in such a God?

And then there is politics.

If the term "Christian America" derives merely from demographics then we are also a female nation and a nation of brunettes.


Sounds good to me. :o)

How much do you really know about the beliefs of the Founding Fathers?

I am loving Beliefnet.com for it's wide variety of viewpoints and explanations.

And can I just say that I love Barack Obama?

(yes, I should be working)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Interesting

In March of last year, I took one of those online quizzes to find out what religion I am/should be.

I recently found a more in depth one and here are the results.

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (98%)
3. Liberal Quakers (98%)
4. Neo-Pagan (93%)
5. Mahayana Buddhism (92%)
6. New Age (85%)
7. Bah�'� Faith (78%)
8. Theravada Buddhism (77%)
9. New Thought (72%)
10. Hinduism (71%)
11. Orthodox Quaker (71%)
12. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (68%)
13. Secular Humanism (67%)
14. Jainism (65%)
15. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (62%)
16. Reform Judaism (61%)
17. Scientology (61%)
18. Sikhism (59%)
19. Taoism (57%)
20. Jehovah's Witness (54%)
21. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (53%)
22. Orthodox Judaism (51%)
23. Islam (43%)
24. Nontheist (43%)
25. Seventh Day Adventist (35%)
26. Eastern Orthodox (29%)
27. Roman Catholic (29%)

The interesting thing to me is that this new quiz allows you to click on each religion and read basic FAQs about them. I now know why I am confused as to religion...

I believe in the deity from one...
the incarnations from another...
the origin of life and the universe from another...
the after death philosophy from another...
the undeserved suffering philosophy from another...
and salvation beliefs from yet another.

The mind boggles at my options. And with so many voices all screaming that they are right, it's no wonder this world is so screwed up...let alone what it does to my sanity.

Go Bucks!


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Never a dull moment

We made it to the birthday party today...the correct day. It was pleasantly boring and there is therefore nothing to write about. So my little Blue dog decided she would spice things up for me by having a seizure on the kitchen floor.

This is my baby girl. I am freaked.

There's really not much else to say about it. She seems ok now, so we're just going to watch her and see how she does (and I think I will baby her with some home cooked burger and rice tonight/tomorrow...shhh...don't tell Steve). She has no history of this and she's two years old...so I have no idea what's up. Here's to hoping it's a virus or low blood sugar or something that will correct itself. Cause I don't think I can watch that again.

I'm off to have a nervous breakdown now...And then it's time for a good long bath in the jacuzzi tub...and maybe an adult beverage.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Blog etiquette?

So...if a blogger removes your comments from their comment space, without saying anything to you, should you just assume that you are no longer welcome to read/comment?

Right place, wrong time

In what is apparently a perfect representation of my life to date, I spent this morning taking my son to a friend's birthday party...that isn't scheduled to actually happen until tomorrow. And of course, upon entering Playground World, the kid was not exactly anxious to leave. See why I don't like to do birthday parties? Plus...I'm an idiot. (Though it was some comfort to me that the worker at Playground World told me that there was another mother in there just a few minutes ago who had gotten the wrong day too...so at least I am not alone in my idiocy.)

Even more entertaining was the actual trip TO the non-party. Sam was munching on his McDonalds hash brown and I was thinking about how good this life is. I mean, yeah, there are things I would definitely like to have seen turn out differently (ya think?)...but overall, it is a pretty fulfilling life I've got. And really, if Sam were my only living child, I think I could be happy with that. But then again, I got to thinking about what he would tell people as he grew older. "I'm an only child. My mom had two stillborn sons after me and then was too chicken-shit to try again."

I know, I know, I know...he wouldn't be that harsh...but that would be the general gist of it, wouldn't it? But I then started thinking about getting pregnant again and a couple of blog posts I've read lately about how much time the author has spent pregnant in each of the past five or six years. For me, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006. Parts of FIVE YEARS were spent pregnant. 2001, 2002, 2004, and part of 2005 were actually spent HAPPY about it. But the horror of the rest of 2005 and 2006...well...those eclipse the happy bits. So really...I don't WANT to be pregnant this year. 2007...a whole year. Do I want to wait? Should I wait? Hell...what's the difference? It's not like being under age 35 has helped me come out on the winning end of the stats and been a "normal" pregnancy. So why NOT wait? A whole year...

And then...then you will NOT believe what happened. We ended up, at the very moment I am thinking these thoughts, being stopped at a traffic light by...

...A funeral procession!

I am not kidding you. A freaking LONG funeral procession. We ended up following the last car of the procession for about three miles until they turned off into the cemetery.

I think I FINALLY got the message. It took being beat over the head with it...but I think I get it. And surprisingly, I'm ok with it. I just need to put the dream to rest for now...maybe even forever. This life is good just as it is. And I CAN be happy with what I have. This place...this time.

**************

Keep in mind that this sentiment was this morning and is subject to change on my whim.

Oh yeah...and we went to our favorite Fazoli's for lunch...and it's not there anymore. So what's that? Wrong place, right time? Right place, wrong time? Or maybe it's just a damn coincidence and I shouldn't think so much?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Miscellaneous thoughts

Good thing I'm not allergic to raspberries. I bought a piece of cherry pie with my lunch today...only it ain't cherry.
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I figure that I have not been on skis since before Sam. Or maybe I went once after he was born? But it's looking like I'm not going to get any snow to go this winter. *sigh*
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I admit that I saw these on another blog. But they're too hilarious not to share.
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There should be a system where lawyers can give and take bonus points away from other lawyers. That way I would be less likely to have to face as many STUPID lawyers as I have faced recently.
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Yeah...that.
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Are Steve and I the only people that a televised casting call for Grease is a bad idea? A bad idea we will watch, of course...but still a bad idea?
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Have you ever been uncomfortable with someone else's religion? Not necessarily the religion itself, but the way they incorporate it into their dealings with you? If so...what do you do about it?

Sam has a dermatologist for his eczema. We met him initially when Sam was just a baby. He was very kind and reassuring and not at all off-putting...casual and...normal. So when Sam's prescription ran out and he suffered a flair-up of his eczema recently, we called the dermatologist who said we would have to make an actual appointment (presumably because it had been so long since we last saw him). No problem. But Steve took him to his appointment earlier this week and he said that the doctor is now a little...well...odd. Like concluding his visit with Sam and Steve by telling them to "have a blessed day." Like having all sorts of religious art on the walls of the office.

Now, I'm not religious (as I'm sure you can tell), so maybe it's my own personal bias. But this is not a religious practice...dermatology. The practice t's not affiliated with a religious healthcare institution (religious hospital). I'm not paritcularly offended (and I don't think Steve was offended). But the fact that there was such a marked difference in the doctor's attitude and demeanor...the fact that Steve was a little weirded out by it...the fact that it makes me raise an eyebrow...what do I do with that? Is that enough to change Sam's doctor? I mean, I really can't complain about the standard of care. It's dermatology...not much worry as long as he helps with the skin issues. But it's strange. I just don't know what to say/think/do about it.
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Any Catholics out there? Can you explain to me how Saints are used in your religious practices? I'm confused about the praying thing. I thought you were only supposed to pray to God...but there are prayers to Saints. How does that work? And please don't tell me to read up on Catholic Catechism...I'm not quite "there" yet (and Steve...the good old Catholic boy...is clueless about such things). Thanks in advance.
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I don't say it enough...

Thank you all for your comments. You are an incredible group of human beings and I am so grateful to have your words to help me through each day.
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My friend is suffering from a strange illness that is now suspected to be Parvovirus B19...Fifths Disease...an adult form. She obviously did not have immunity before now.

Parvovirus B19 is the suspected cause of Travis' death. If you do not have immunity from it, get pregnant, and are exposed to it prior to 20 weeks gestation, you have a 10% chance of stillbirth (yeah, I know, we just got in under the wire to qualify for that one...I should play the lottery).

My friend just had a beautiful healthy baby girl in July.

Another something to be grateful for.
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It's a wonder I don't get drug tested at work. I walk around all day with red eyes. I've cried FOUR times today, for Christs sakes! (Don't worry...two of them were good cries...for happy reasons)
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Thursday, January 04, 2007

You never thought you'd hear this...

Everytime I get on the bed is not an invitation to get a horsey ride.

(Now get your minds out of the gutter!)

What do I do?

It comes at you from all sides. The pressure to cope...to handle it...to move on...to grieve.

There is this misconception that you can DO something to get past it all...that you can follow ten easy steps and you'll be all better. There is also a misconception that you will follow your own individual steps and you'll be all better. You'll handle it however works for you. I have, in fact, even said those words to other people. You deal with it how you need to deal with it.

The problem I'm finding is that there is no "dealing with it." There is nothing to be done. No steps. Yes, there are ways to COPE. But that's not the same thing. You can function every day and you can live your life...but the grief is still there. It is a part of me that just lingers as a part of my very being. It is threaded through my body as much as my muscles or my blood vessels or my nerves. In asking me to get over it or move on, you are asking me to dissect a part of myself.

And there is the problem of what is the "right" way to cope. Delve into the pain. Pretend the pain isn't there. It all depends on your style...your belief system. But I cannot follow your path and be true to myself at the same time. Is it ok to feel? Or am I somehow betraying some higher power by feeling those emotions that are so human to us all? Pretending I am not feeling is dishonest...a lie...and it rejects the gift of those emotions.

I remember when Alex died and the pastor was sitting in my kitchen grasping for something to say to me as I sobbed and asked questions. He said...This is a long journey that many people will not understand. If you had broken your arm, there would be a visible cast and nobody would expect you not to feel the pain. But there is nothing visible about this. This hurt is on the inside and so people don't understand that you feel it. He was so right. Because I bear no visible outward reminder of the pain I'm feeling, people think it is easily handled. Just smile your way to a happy heart. Just look forward. Just have another baby. Just believe in God. Just move on...

And for those that tell me to find my own way of coping...I want to scream, "What if you have no idea what that is?!?!?" What if you are as lost today as the day you saw them point to the ultrasound screen and overheard them say, "See there...Lack of fetal cardiac activity?"

I have always been a woman of action. Someone to DO something anytime I am confronted with a challenge...a puzzle...a problem. But there is nothing to do about this. It just is.

I cope. I cope by simply existing. I know I joke about Faking It Till You Make It...or Just Showing Up... But there is something to it. I am here and I am doing "well." But there is THING that is a part of me now. There is no other way to describe it. No matter what I do, it is always there. I carry it with me everywhere. When people tell me to move on, feel better, etc, I get the feeling they are expecting me excise that thing from myself...to cut it out and replace it with the something of their choice.

If only it were that simple...

(and again)

I don't want to be the poster child for how to survive stillbirth.
I don't want to be kind and caring and compassionate...offering words of comfort as the person who has "been there (twice)."
I don't want people to avoid me anymore for fear I'm going to say something too serious...too depressing...too real.
I don't want people to choose their words because they don't want me to cry.
I don't want people to laugh too hard at my jokes because they think I'm all better and they are so relieved they won't have to face "it."
I don't want to understand this.
I don't want to be fed one more serving of "you need to move on and just be happy with what you have."
I don't want to be the one who has to explain it all to people who don't seem to understand.
I don't want to have a platform...a campaign...a position.
I don't want to be the expert in this nightmare by virtue of my experience.
I don't want to hate God.
I don't want people to tell me that I'm going to hell for hating God.
I don't want to think about God.

I just want to grieve.

pet peeves

I put my dark chocolate m&m's in the kitchenette so that everyone could have some and I wouldn't eat them all. One colleague has taken that as her cue to eat them all herself. She takes huge handfuls everytime she walks by (several times a day). Nobody else has touched them. It has bothered me since yesterday when I realized that there is maybe two handfuls left of an almost full bag (and this colleague is thin and chic). I'm taking them back to my office. No, I don't have control issues...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Another giggle

Same friend sends me this message...in response to my message telling her that her emails make me giggle because I am alternately (1) annoyed and want to tell her to shut up and (2) amused to the point that my face hurts from laughing.

Yes, completely annoying but in a funny way... that is what I'm aiming for. Seriously, what can I possibly tell you that will make a big difference? You've had a completely crappy two years. Not a whole lot of conversations to include that... "Hey, Catherine, still feeling bad about your two dead sons? Still trying to figure out how to raise your living child without completely smothering him and/or ignoring him so as not to get too involved? Great! I had chicken for lunch!"

So I hope you understand that I'm trying to be 1)truly caring and 2)a little light-hearted in the hopes that somehow it might make you feel a bit better for a moment. A little laughter helps me out. If it gets too much on the annoying side, just let me know and I'll leave you alone.


Yes, she's suffered a loss...So it's funnier coming from her. But I guess she's got a point. Exactly what can I expect from people by way of conversation? If I talk about "IT" then I am scary sad. If I don't talk about "IT" then I am they creepy lady who isn't sad over her two dead sons. I must terrify the shit out of "normal" people.

And we have a new slogan!

An online friend sent me this message today...

Instead of "fake it 'til you make it" -- how about "just show up." Make 2007 the year of showing up and who cares what your mood is while you're there? You have every right to be grumpy, angry, sad, mad, upset whenever you want. But I'm still going for the "it's gonna be a better year."

I LOVE it! The fact that I even show up anywhere is a major accomplishment. I'm washed, I'm dressed, I'm out of the house...So people are going to have to give me well-deserved kudos for my effort and just deal with whatever mood I'm in when I get wherever it is!

The 2007 Just Show Up campaign!

I think we need t-shirts.

Predicting antepartum stillbirth

Smith GC.
Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Dec;18(6):625-30.

Global analyses of stillbirth risk demonstrate that 98% occur in the developing world and that many are due to potentially preventable causes.

Summary: Relatively simple interventions may be successful in reducing the
global burden of stillbirth. Further biological understanding of the causes of
stillbirth is required to reduce the burden of the disease in the developed world.


Now tell me to be quiet and not to talk about stillbirth. Tell me not to scare anyone who wishes to remain blissfully unaware during their pregnancy. POTENTIALLY PREVENTABLE. It should scare you.

In response to Kellie's comment:
I don't think they are blaming the mother so much as saying that it's not "just something that happens." It's not something that is acceptable anymore. Instead, FINALLY, they are saying that there IS a reason to be aware of the possibility. For too long we have been indoctrinated to believe that we shouldn't talk about the possibility of stillbirth because there is just nothing that can be done about it. This study shows that is just NOT TRUE. There is a possibility that stillbirth CAN BE PREVENTED. Instead of sticking our heads in the sand like society has, we can research the living crap out of it, get to the root causes, and save some babies.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Did I mention?

Did I mention that I almost hit a cow on my way to work this morning?

No?

Yeah...well...I almost hit a cow on my way to work this morning. I was toodling along, jamming to some Garth Brooks, came up over a hill, and there it was...a big.black.cow...standing in my lane of the road (yes, mom, I was ON the road). Luckily there was room to pass on the other side of the road while the dumb thing just stood there looking at me.

As I went up over the opposite hill, I flashed my lights at the oncoming cars. Just a friendly little warning. I bet they thought there was a policeman waiting and I would have loved to have seen their faces when they saw that stupid cow. I hope they laughed like I did.

I love living in the country. :o)

***Wednesday update: The fence has been repaired and the cow is now safely back where she belongs...off the road.

Of course I have an opinion

"More than 3,500 girls applied for 152 spots—that's a 4 percent acceptance rate. (Harvard accepts about 9 percent.) Oprah interviewed all of the 500 finalists herself, though the students weren't told they'd be meeting her."

"I wanted to take girls with that 'It' quality, and give them an opportunity to make a difference in the world."


I understand her heart and her desire to make a difference. Really. I do.

But I wonder why she doesn't seem to understand what it means to those she deems as not having "it?" 3348 girls are left to feel the harsh sting of poverty and poor education while 152 of their sisters enjoy yoga and theater performances?

"The country is very obviously poor, and so few children have a chance at education," says one South African school official who asked not to be identified because he didn't want to offend Oprah. "It is hard not to see that many feel that what Ms. Winfrey is doing is too much."

I disagree. She is not doing enough, in my opinion. More opportunities should have been offered, instead of "oversize rooms done in tasteful beiges and browns with splashes of color, 200-thread-count sheets, a yoga studio, a beauty salon, indoor and outdoor theaters, hundreds of pieces of original tribal art and sidewalks speckled with colorful tiles."

I'm not saying the quality of the education should suffer. I'm saying that I doubt those other 3348 girls would turn down the chance to attend school because the sheets were only 100-thread count and there were no facials offered.

(Insert your own snarky comment about elitism here.)

MSNBC story

Moving furniture

My parents went to visit my Grandpa this past weekend. We sent them in our minivan so that they could bring home furniture. That sounds so weird. But the side of the house that used to be Grandma and Grandpa's is slated to be turned into a garage and work area...so everything must go and we're picking through the stuff like strangers at a garage sale. We each have decided to take certain pieces and we're all coordinating the big move across states to get each one where it needs to go.

So my parents took the minivan and loaded up three pieces for me. Grandma's hutch is now in my bedroom. It will eventually sit in the common area in our new second floor addition...as soon as we get it painted and get the flooring installed (we were supposed to do that this past weekend but I wasn't feeling up to par, so we're delaying plans for a week or so).

Years of growing up have a strange effect on the size of furniture. The three pieces were sitting in the minivan...with loads of room to spare. Funny. I remember them as bigger than that...the wall cabinet, the dresser, and the hutch...actually small enough that two of the three could be carried by one person without assistance.

And then there was the color...

My memory remembered it as green, so I was slightly surprised to find the hutch is painted gold. But the discovery of its true color...and the matching gold of the dresser and the table...made me giggle a little bit too. Now that I think of it, Grandma painted a lot of things gold. Grandma thought some gold paint made things fancier, I suppose. Grandma loved fancy things. Even if she never used most of her fancy things, but rather "“saved them for good."

Almost two states away, you can still see the dusty outlines where each egg of Grandma's egg collection sat on each shelf of the gold painted hutch. Grandma was a fan of Faberge eggs and that somehow translated into her very own little collection of pretty glassporcelain/porcelin eggs. And I, being completely disoriented by this entire episode of my life, can't bring myself to dust the gold painted hutch. I want to run back to my aunt and ask for all the pretty little eggs so that I can put them all back in their places. As if righting the egg collection will somehow make this whole scene right. But I don't need, nor do I really want, a dusty collection of pretty little eggs. What I want is gone forever. So I will dust off the outlines of the egg collection and move forward.

Do I refinish it? The gold paint is well worn off the right front corner of the dresser base for the hutch. Grandma or Grandpa would sit in the chair at the head of the dining room table and use that corner to hoist themselves up. Years of pushing themselves to a standing position are etched right there...worn into the wood like a recording of the lives that happened in that dining room. How do I sand that away? I suppose I could live with gold paint...

...but no. The little hutch will be refinished...and I will most likely cry while I do the work. No gold paint for me. No egg collection. Life moves forward.

I miss you Grandma.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Welcome 2007

Please don't kick my ass like 2005 and 2006 did...ok?
Happy New Year!!!