BOULDER

In the five years I’ve been blogging, I cannot – nor do I want to – recount the number of pregnancies that began and ended too soon. Always, too soon.

I’ve been an invisible witness to separations and divorces, reading only what can be written by a broken heart.

Today the news of one of my long-time fellow blogger’s husband’s death reached me and my heart thudded in my chest in a painful ache because there’s nothing I can do. I cannot stop by her home with something to put in her freezer. I cannot be there to be a witness to what his life was. I cannot be there to wrap my arms around her and tell her I’m sorry. I cannot be there to cry with her.

I can only be here. And that cannot be enough.

Stopped Up

Remember how I said that potty training has been going relatively well except the BMs? Of course you remember. You hang on my every word, right?

Well, Aitch just spent the past two hours cuddled next to me with either tears in her eyes or squeezed out to trail down her cheeks crying in pain. Sunday afternoon was her last BM when normally she has one every day like clockwork. Sparring Partner left just a few minutes ago to take her to an urgent care.

Keep her in your thoughts.

Poor lil’ pooper. Or UN-pooper, as the case may be.

Update: I just told my son it was time to go to bed:

“Wha…?! Aitch gets to stay up!”

“Next time, you can go to the doctor and get something shoved up your backside to help you poop and THEN you can stay up late, OK?”

Fabulousness

I’m a RSVP Nazi. I think that if I send out an invite to my kid’s party with a phone number or email to RSVP to that it’s not unreasonable to expect a response either way.

Not only am I a RSVP Nazi, I’m also a Hypocrite. Nice to meet’cha.

An acquaintance (a girl I temped with a year ago) invited us to her wedding reception. On the postcard-like invite, we were asked to RSVP on their website or their phone by a certain date. A week before their wedding, she sent me a text wondering if we were going to be there so she could get a final meal count.

I can’t believe she would have contacted everyone who hadn’t RSVP’d, can you? I thought well, maybe, she hadn’t invited that many so catching those last half dozen or so….but I’m not buying that either. If she invited me, who hasn’t seen her much less talked to her in months, she probably invited tons of other people who are much closer than we are. Unless she doesn’t have friends?

Is it weird that she text me? Would you? I’m not talking about a birthday party with ten kids, either.

She must recognize my fabulousness and wanted to make sure I was going to be there.

Yeah, that’s it. Fabulousness.

For Some Reason, the Only Title I Can Come Up With for This Post is ‘Angry Birds’

I called the PA and told him while I’m getting to sleep easily enough, once 3:30 a.m. comes around, I’m tossing and turning. Literally. It’s like the bed’s on fire and I’m trying to put it out with my thighs of ham. His suggestion was to continue taking the 10mg of ambien but to go from 20mg of paxil to 12mg so the nurse was going to send a new script to the pharmacy and I was like, say what?? Couldn’t I just cut the ones I have in half? Sure, she said, you can try that. Could two and half mg make THAT much of a difference, I thought?

But this I do know: 10mg of anti-crazy is apparently NOT enough to take the razor’s edge off of everything and everyone around me. Yesterday when I left work and got inside my car which was so hot and stuffy inside I couldn’t catch my breath, I couldn’t help but think of any one of the children that probably died forgotten in a car this summer. In other words, my level of anxiety is nearly as high as it was before I started the AD.

The other night while helping my son with his writing assignment, I read back to him the sentences as he had written, which included the misspellings and missing words, in a mocking tone. He became angry and tearful, understandably so, and I realized I was being a horrible bitch. What kind of person…no, what kind of PARENT does that to their child especially knowing that with his ADHD I have to be ten times more patient and encouraging than “normal”?? Just recounting my assholi-ness makes my guts hurt.

Earlier I asked if 2mg (from being prescribed 12mg to cutting 20mg in half) could make that much of a difference in how I felt? I don’t know the answer yet to that but I can tell you the 10mg less per day is definitely NOT helping. I have to decide now whether to go back to how I felt two months ago – at to at least 80% of how I felt two months ago, which was like shit – to feeling better but not sleeping and won’t that make me feel like crap, too?

BAH! Where’s my fucking “normal”?!

Profound:

1 a. having intellectual depth and insight; b. difficult to fathom or understand

Let’s just get this out of the way right now: I am not referring to this post. Instead it was several events today that I consider profound in their individual ways.

First off, my boss gave me the task to do some research on an issue of compliance. He told me yesterday that whatever my final determination would be just that, final. The office would have to respect my decision and my “word would be law.” He was actually saying, “I’m avoiding conflict.” I slept on the issue and this morning I requested input from the corporate level via an email.

I’m not very good with emails. I tend to be brusque. Even – what was the word one of my blogging friends described me as? Oh, yes: CAUSTIC in my correspondences. I don’t bullshit. This morning I typed out my email knowing that I had to be succinct but detailed enough for him to understand the concern without a lot of back and forth. I started to include more details of the issue including names of employees and I realized the email would be recognized as getting personal, so I eliminated much of it. Coco Chanel supposedly said that before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory. I applied that concept to my email. Before I hit Send, I removed one (or two) sentences.

A couple of hours later I had my response. Happily the one I was hoping for. I wasn’t expecting for the email to be copied to the office, but it had been and I was figuratively wiping my brow in relief that I had remained professional and unbiased in my original email so the office wouldn’t say I was deliberately swaying the response my way. It was a profound moment.

Unfortunately, all was undone later when I heard that a staff member had been talking smack behind my back. The details are boring, but I did confront the coworker and we had words. Lots of words. Looking back on it the exchange on both our parts was sophomoric. We eventually came to blows an agreement and since we both are straight-shooting personalities, we’ll go directly to each other in the future. And in a strange turn, we realized not only are we both strong-willed but our family-building paths were tragically familiar. She went through four years of infertility treatments, two twin pregnancies (losing both sets as well as a tube when one of the twins was a hidden tubal), a term pregnancy (healthy baby girl who is studying to be a doctor), cancer, and a hysterectomy.

Yes, that all came out in a single conversation. It was, say it with me, PROFOUND.

And finally on a much lighter note that involves the adventures of potty training, Aitch announced as we turned down our lane that she had gone potty in the carseat. *groan!* When we got home, she had a couple more accidents including a piddle on the living room carpet, which I have emblazoned into my memory for total recall when I start thinking how great it’d be to have a PUPPY! (nevernevernevernevernever….) She had been doing so well these past couple weeks except for the whole BM thing. She’d request a diaper for that, which I didn’t have a problem with. I’d rather that than her get constipated.

After supper, and the two prior accidents, she announced she has to go potty and ran to the bathroom. Sparring Partner was on duty, but within moments I heard, “Uh, mommy? Mommy?!” In his way, SP was beckoning me to join him in the bathroom (now there’s a sentence I thought I’d never have to write). I found Aitch sitting on the potty with tears in her eyes. “I’m scared of the poop! I don’t want to poop in a diaper! I’m scared! Noooo!!” and big, fat tears plopped off her red cheeks and onto her lap.

I rubbed her back and stroked her arms letting her know it was OK, and she eventually stood up and turned to look at what was her first BM at home. Gross, I know, but we made a big deal of her accomplishment and she quickly calmed down. She expelled a big breath and said, “I feel better now!”

I am so proud of her. She was proud of herself. Oddly enough, her fear/excitement and our need to assure her of her bodily functions were...profound.

The Pliers

My dad would tell us stories about how he would ice skate to school every day in the winter as the creek that runs through the farm would take him straight to it. “Straight” being relative for a meandering creek with a minimum width of little more than a skate’s breadth. My brother and oldest sister would ride their horses to that same school, which certainly had to be an improvement over ice-skating since you could do that year ‘round, right? They weren’t very old when the one-room school house closed and they bused us all to the school in town.

Don’t you love quaint stories from days of antiquity?

Here’s another for you, but I don’t know if I’d call it quaint.

My dad was/is a cheap SOB. Growing up a child of the Depression will do that even though his dad (grandpa) did quite well farming. As a frugal farmer, you don’t just learn how to be an agriculturist and a meteorologist; you learn to be a veterinarian, too, if there were any livestock. As my dad, his skills as a vet were impressive when you’re six year old, but in reality he wasn’t very good at it.

A farmer doesn’t need many tools to provide medical care to animals: pliers, pocketknife, chains and maybe a handful of magnets.

…don’t ask…

Eventually, I’ll tell all, but for now I’m going to tell you about the pliers.

My dad was never without his pliers. I mean NEVER. The leather pliers-holder he wore on his belt kept them with him always. They gouged a groove in his chair at the supper table. It created scuffs on the toilet seat. If the pliers weren’t in its holder, they were in his grease-blackened hands, turning, tapping, prying, and pulling something.

Pulling.

Dad would pull our loose teeth with pliers. Not just any pliers, but the same pliers that were covered in grease, grit and most likely the blood from a tick he pulled from the dog’s ear and squished that morning. If mom was taking pity on us, she would wipe them down with a paper towel. If the tooth was particularly slippery, she would wrap the paper towel around the tooth which provided dad the leverage he needed to get a good hold with the pliers and then I would pray to god that he had the right tooth when he yanked. That is, I would have in the right frame of mind as I was usually whimpering and crying and promising through snot and tears to wriggle the tooth out myself even though I might have said it this way, “I pwomith to wiggle ith outh mythelf!”

Mom would also provide the nursing care. Pffffft. That meant while I was lying on the couch, and dad was sitting on my chest to pin me down, mom would hold my head still and provide a wet washcloth to stuff in my mouth to staunch the bleeding post-extraction.

Ahhhh, the good ole’days, amiright?!!

Now my son already firmly believes I grew up living in a cave because no, I didn’t have Pokémon cards, a DVD player, or Nickelodeon. And I wore pork rinds on my feet for shoes and I LIKED it!! *shaking raised fist*

My dad still wears the pliers on his belt. Doodicus still has baby teeth. I need to coincide a trip to the farm with a loose tooth. Just for fun. Just so HE can have a quaint story to share with HIS kids.

The 2011 Family Vacation

A drive with two younger children will make you appreciate the smaller things in life. Like handheld gaming devices, smart phones, and DVD players with wireless headphones. I’ll admit that this past weekend’s trip to Denver and back is making me seriously rethink our Disney World trip in February. Sparring Partner and I have been to Colorado a handful of times and we find it both inspiring and rejuvenating. The scenery is never boring, even in the very eastern part of Colorado where the only thing to break up the horizon might be a small oil rig or a farm of wind generators. We thought that Doodicus might enjoy the adventure. We imagined him awestruck by seeing the mountains for the first time. We did not foresee what seemed to be his endless whining and complaining, including the statement, “This is lame!” Ah, the age of 9… We pressed on making the most of the trip. Our hotel in downtown Denver was perfect in both accommodations and view.

We were a five minute walk from the 16th Street Mall where the four of us enjoyed a handsome cab ride at dusk.

Sparring Partner and Doodicus attended what was our son’s first professional baseball game at Coors Stadium. While they were at the park, I met up with an amazing blogger from the area, Lori Lavender Luz. Many topics were brought up while none were finished thanks to one pee break, one poop break (false alarm) and a teary breakdown after taking a thunk to the forehead. I’m referring to Aitch on all three interruptions, by the way. I was further honored when she said that after mentioning to Melissa Ford she was meeting with me that Mel told her to tell me “Hi!” I forgot (or maybe that was the first potty break request) to return the greeting, so “Hellooo!!” to Mel if she’s still reading.

During our trip if we weren’t driving or eating, we were checking out the pool of whatever hotel we were staying in. The pools (I accidentally typed “poos”, which is ironic) were sub par at best. One had the free-weight equipment right next to the pool, including the exercise balls, which was made into an improved beach ball by a group of drunk youth. Another pool was totally grody to the point you couldn’t see the bottom and the chlorine levels were so high, we choked on the fumes. And for some reason, I can’t remember the third…whatever. It sucked, too.

One of the best parts of the trip was Garden of the Gods. It was the only site the kids asked to see again, so we actually went back the next day when everyone was wearing shoes instead of flip-flops and I wasn’t wearing white pants.

On our last full day, we took the cog wheel railway up Pike’s Peak. When I researched ticket prices, I thought they were a tad high, but after all was said and done, they were worth the $40 per adult (children’s are lower). I was surprised when Aitch fell asleep literally in my arms on the way up. The gentle swaying of the train, the ceaseless noise and the fresh air did her in.

(Still 2,000 more feet to go until we reached the top)

The day couldn’t have been better for a trip up the mountain. It was above 80 when we left the station and 50 at the peak (windchill around 40-something), but clear and relatively calm. The next morning as we were leaving Colorado Springs, you couldn’t even see the mountain range.

Doodicus enjoyed a couple donuts at the top and some photo opportunities with his dad as I was inside the gift shop (tourist trap) trying to make Aitch happy after she woke up cold and in unfamiliar surroundings. She was easily appeased with a stuffed fox that she dressed up in her bracelets all the way back down the mountain, which is when she also discovered a hole in one of its seams (cheap touristy crap!).

Aitch did really well on the entire vacation, only asking to go home the day before we actually did. At the last hotel we stayed at, I slept with her. I was already awake when the next morning I got to watch her come out of her slumber. She opened her eyes, saw me and smiled. Then she reached out her little arms and pulled me in for a kiss. Seriously, that girl heals me in so many ways. Potty training started almost suddenly the weekend before and even though we traveled long distances with her in a diaper, she wore underwear most of the time (with the exception of bedtime) without incident.

Doodicus liked the rock scrambling and the arcade at the travel center in Grand Island. What can I say? He’s nine-teen going on four. I was thankful for the meds which kept me from clubbing him with a rock when he made the “this is lame” statement.

We found most everyone to be friendly and warm, and not just staff. Something those here in Nebraska who spew the most about “Midwestern Values” should take note of. It’s beautiful out there. I strongly recommend you make a trip to the Colorado Springs area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hypothetically

If you are progressive enough to not your significant other’s porn collection “cheating”, what do you consider porn via live webcam ala’ Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives?

Or why is sexting considered cheating but reading adult magazines’ forums is not?

Discuss.