Archive for July, 2010

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Today … Gratitude

July 29, 2010

My Writer Dude is a great husband.  I offer 3 pieces of evidence:

1)  I came home last night, slightly grouchy and headachey after a lousy commute and a newly discovered rash where my bandages had been, to the world’s most delicious meal:

  • Barbecue short ribs, so moist and yet charred.  Sweet and yet savory.  Amazing.
  • Potato Salad.  But not just potato salad:  SWEET potato (my favorite), goat cheese, scallions, and who knows what else, still warm and creamy and amazing;
  • Home made sweet pickles.  mmmmm.

I licked my fingers.  I had seconds.  I smiled big smiles.

2)  That rash that developed yesterday?  It really hurts.  I have very fair skin, and it would not be unusual, or a departure from my family’s experiences, if I was actually allergic to the adhesive on the bandages.  I loved that the bandages were so solidly adhered post-surgery, because it made them waterproof, and allowed to me shower.  But now that they’re off, my skin is raised, red & angry in the very shape of them.  And because of where I had surgery, some of that is directly INSIDE my armpit.  And it’s hot outside.  92 yesterday.  And I had to wear a suit to attend a hearing.  And I had to walk to the courthouse.  (All of three blocks … but still, it was 92 degrees.  And we had to wait at the lights before we could cross.)

And the commute was no cooler, and the stations downtown where I pick up the train … they’re actual saunas.  It was so miserable.  I thought fainting was a total option.  Between the misery of the heat itself and then the skin that was on FIRE.  Ugh.

And my very, very sweet husband kindly took care of me.  Helped to apply aloe to my sad, sad rash, and tucked me into bed with my nightly back scratch and a kiss on the cheek, and I was able to sleep soundly for more hours than I usually manage to fit into a busy schedule.

3)  In the past 6 months, I’ve had a pretty sore shoulder.  I wasn’t/am not sure why.  It could be from carrying home my work computer too often – it could be from my sleeping positions.  For some reason, in the past few years, I’ve taken to sleeping with my arms completely above my head.  Sometimes I sleep ON the arm while it’s above my head.  Sometimes, I’m on my back with my arms just … up there.  I don’t think it’s good for me, especially in light of the soreness.   The soreness got bad enough in June that it was restricting my range of motion.  (At the same time, since I took 2 weeks off in June/July, I haven’t brought my computer back & forth as much, and the pain has now subsided, and I have full range of motion.)

Of course, WD is aware of the pain, and the possibility of the sleeping position as the cause.  So last night, while half asleep and in the middle of the night, he was reaching over and oh-so-gently moving my arm down from the flailed- above-the-head position.  It was very cute.  Even if I was a less-than-appreciative at the time, because putting my arms down hurt the stupid rash.  But then he (in his sleep, I think) scratched my back again, and so everything was all better.

So, thank you, love, for your kindness & care-taking.

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Dizzy

July 26, 2010

My minor surgery continues to be relatively smooth.  I am not in pain, I have full range of motion.

But.

I’m very dizzy.

It sort of comes and goes, but when it comes, it’s pretty disorienting.  (is that the very definition of “dizzy”?)

Writer-Dude and I went out to run some errands on Saturday (2 days after the surgery), and I found myself reaching out for his arm to stabilize myself a few times.  I didn’t lift anything, carry anything, reach for anything — I just walked.  But I still felt wobbly.  So we went home.  And I fell asleep.  For 3.5 hours.

I woke up at 6:30ish, and we went to see Inception.  I felt fine – no problem getting to or sitting through the movie.  I was worried that after my 3 hour nap, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.  But that was not a concern.  I crashed, and slept soundly all night.

Then on Sunday, I woke up and felt okay.  Took it easy for most of the morning, and then we went to see another movie (since we realized that was about what I could tolerate) – we saw Salt.  I liked it.

Then we browsed in a couple of stores, and got in the car to drive to an Apple store to inquire about an iPhone.  For me.  A new one.

But in the Apple store, I was again dizzy.  WD wanted me to go grocery shopping with him, since we had that freedom with no kids at home, and us with no plans.  But I had to bail, on account of the spinning earth, and go home.

Now today I’m back at work.  WD drove me in, so I didn’t have to deal with public transit and the walk to/from the stations & work.  I felt dizzy again from the outset.

Yesterday I wondered if it was a lack of protein during healing-time, and so WD made me a steak.  I felt better most of the night, so perhaps it had been the right call.

The only medication I’m on is an antibiotic, with occasional Tylenol.  No pain meds, nothing else.  So either it’s the antibiotic (internet research says it’s possible), or it’s just … post-op weirdness.  even though I otherwise feel perfectly fine.

What a pain in the butt.

And work is busy!  I have things to do!  I need all my brain cells, thank you very much!!

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Forgot

July 24, 2010

My sister-in-law IM’d me today via Facebook.  Didn’t really carry on wit hthe usual “hi, how are you”s before delving into “is this year your mother’s 60th?”

Oops. (doing the math ….)

Uh, yeah.

And her birthday is SUPER-soon.

So we’re on the phone, scrambling, trying to find time where I’m not picking kids up from airports or dropping them off at camps or working or going to the doctor for post-op appointments.

Yikes.

I think we’ve come up with an answer, and my dad approves.

Writer Dude and I drive down to Connecticut next Saturday – show up at my brother’s house (as opposed to my parents’ house, our usual destination).  Brother & Sister-in-law invite mom and dad over for early evening appetizers & drinks.  We surprise mom with my presence.  Then sister-in-law leaves her 1 and 3 year olds with her next-door-neighbor parents, and the 6 of us head out to dinner.  When we get to dinner, surprise!  Look mom, all your friends are here!

Dad’s working on the friends part.

I wish I were wealthy.  If I were, I would buy my sister a plane ticket to come from California.  But alas, I am just a poor girl from a poor family …

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Friday Recuperating & Rambling

July 23, 2010

Well, Writer Dude was so much more amenable to the kittens than I expected, and a little less picky about their boring appearance.

Day 2 after surgery is remarkable.  I stayed home in hopes of not “over doing it” and am stir crazy as all get out.

I’m ready to get my girls back home.

I have nothing else to say.

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Home.

July 22, 2010

Had the surgery this morning, and things seem to be going well.

The only other time I had surgery was the foot surgery, and am still marveling at how i can get up and walk around this time without difficulty.  Or crutches.

I am not in much pain.  There is a little.  I would say a 3 on the 1-10 scale.  But I took a pain pill anyway.  Partially out of curiosity in how it would make me feel, and partially out of fear that it will start to hurt worse.  They gave me Dilaudid, because I had complained about Percocet.  I hated it when I had it for the foot surgery.

My mother is a nurse.  I told her they gave me Dilaudid, and she was shocked.  “you don’t need that!”  she said.  WD had looked it up and said, “I don’t know if you should take this beyond the first day …”  It’s an opiate, and much like Morphine.  I have to say – it definitely feels better than the Percocet did.

I would like to complain about my husband now.  But I’m thinking that it may just be the medication talking, and I know he’s a helpful and good guy, for the most part, so I won’t air his rudeness to the internets.  (Clearly the medication is not THAT strong.)

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Update: Acceptance

July 20, 2010

As I mentioned last week, an old friend from my church-days found himself in my neck of the woods.  We got together last night.

It did feel awkward during many moments – he didn’t seem to have much to say.  When he moved away, his older daughter was 6 months old, and I was in college.  But I had no problem blathering on and on about my job, or my husband, or my kids.  And he … didn’t.

I also got the distinct impression that he had no clue that Jesus & I aren’t buddies any more.  Early in the conversation he dropped a couple of “well, of course, God had a hand in all of this,” sorts of comments, which I just ignored.  But at dinner, we had a small little smack-down moment.

We were talking about our teenage daughters, and how they’re really not as unpleasant as people would expect.  He said, “well, I am always irritated when people say ‘oh, just wait for the teenage years, they’re going to be horrible!’ because I think, you know, well, maybe I have something you don’t have?  Like God!”  To which I promptly responded, “oh come on.  We both know plenty of people who “had god” and still had a lot of issues when their kids were teenagers.”

Because, uh, yeah!  Like (a) me (the whole church knew when my mother found my birth control pills when I was a Junior in high school.   I mean, she had to “make a prayer request” that Jesus would show me the error of my ways); (b) the girl who got pregnant when she was 16 and ran away to give birth and give the baby up for adoption, just to turn back around and stop the adoption and then to get addicted to drugs while her mother raised the baby; (c) the boy who ran away and never spoke to his parents again because he got sick of the way that they used “God” as a reason to abuse him horrendously in the name of “discipline”; (d) The other girl who ran away at 17 to Florida and hooked up with a 45 year old man with whom she had a baby and who has since left her …

Clearly, me and my birth control pills were not the end of the world.

He seemed a little wounded by my response – or at least taken aback.  And that was the closest we came to any conversation about differences in our belief systems.  Perhaps his quietness was because he saw that difference, and didn’t know how to respond.   And he was sad, because I am “lost.”

The last thing I could ever do is pretend that I still identify as a “Christian.”  I suppose I could have just ignored his comment, or made some non-committal comment, but I didn’t.  [Actually, my response was very genuine, and scaled back as it was.]  Yet I didn’t offer up any additional information about my beliefs.  If he had asked, I would have answered him honestly.  But he didn’t.  I suspect he was contemplating it, in all those moments of silence.

I may have had some avoidance, but I did manage to spend the evening without a moment of defensiveness.  Which for me is a triumph.

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Snippets

July 20, 2010

The girls are still away.

So far, I haven’t had tons of contact.  Nothing compared to years past.

When they were there for their school vacation weeks this year there was a huge reduction in phone calls and text messages (oh, the text messages!).  I see this is a good thing.  It’s good for them to be where they are.  Checking in now and again is fine.

A couple of years ago, when S~ was texting me incessantly, it was not good.  I can’t imagine that the Ex was happy about it.  Yet, things weren’t going well, and I didn’t feel like I could cut her off.

I am comfortable with them needing me less.  There are moments where I get a pang of nostalgia, maybe even [inappropriate] twinges of jealousy.  Come on – can he really not have 3 weeks without me pouting?  3 weeks?

But then last night … Facebook stuck its meddling little fingers into my comfort level.

First, S~ did a little meme thing, and one of the questions was “when is the last time you cried really hard?” and her answer was “Friday or Saturday.”  Why?  Why was she crying?  What happened?  Are they fighting?  Are things not going well again?  WD called last night, and I told him that I was concerned.  He tried to get me to chill.  S~ works herself up at times.  If she and I get in an argument, she’ll cry, and she’ll have a fit, and the next thing you know, she’s crying “really hard.”  (Usually complaining that it’s because I’m mad at her.  Duh.  She was just a jerk!)  And I’m telling her to knock it off and stop being so dramatic, and to have a conversation with me.  And two minutes later everything is fine.

But that’s in my MY house.

Deep breaths.

Then, the Ex’s mother posted on S~’s wall, asking about camp.  S~ announced that L~ decided not to do her [kayaking and canoeing] camp this week, but that S~ is at her drama camp.

So what is L~ doing?  Why isn’t she doing the camp?  The last time S~ did a camp and L~ did not, L~ spent the entire days playing the Wii and watching television.  She was unhappy and bored, and calling me saying she wanted to come home.

What is going on!  Why didn’t I know that S~ was crying and that L~ isn’t doing camp. [Because they are at their father’s house right now … ]

I’m sure everything is fine.  Like WD said, if things were BAD, they’d call.

And in the meantime, L~ is emailing me almost every day, and S~ is texting occasionally (usually with “did my schedule come yet?” or some other demanding Q without any pretense of “hi mom, how are you?” attached whatsoever.)  So it’s not completely radio silence.

but still ….

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Skittish About Surgery

July 19, 2010

I’m starting to get nervous about surgery on Thursday.  I guess more accurately stated:  I’m starting to get nervous about my post-op recovery after surgery on Thursday.

This week is quiet at work, and my absence won’t be a problem.   But next week, it will not be quiet.  And so I need to heal up super-fast.  Which I think is what my body tends to do.  I don’t experience the same pain that most do for similar injuries/procedures, and I heal very quickly.  There’s really no reason to think this won’t go well.

But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t freak out.

I’ll have to drown my nerves with episode upon episode of Friday Night Lights tonight.

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Like a Bat in a Cave

July 17, 2010

That is me.  Hiding in my air conditioned living room.  One of the only air conditioned rooms in the house.  Freakin’ 94 degree day.

But at least I have True Blood episodes to watch.

Not sure how I’m going to procure food.  I was going to cook for myself, but now I’ve turned all anti-sun, and so I’m not sure how I can get to the grocery store (stupid car is with stupid husband in a stupid other state, so I would have to WALK … in 94 degree heat).

___________________________________

S~ texted me from the middle of the country to say that a friend’s cat had babies.  Two of them.  She wants them.  She sent me a photo, and I was underwhelmed.  They weren’t that … special looking.

We already have a cat.  My cat.  Well, at least he was mine first.  WD sort of co-opted our exclusive relationship and became a co-caretaker of the cat.

He is white & orange, and is really breath-takingly beautiful.  For reals.

For a little while, we had another cat.  She was pure black, and uhhh … special.  Only not like my cat is.  This one was a little slow.  A little spazzy (a lot spazzy).  She actually got so spazzy one day, that her brain went … POP!  True story.  (It was likely an aneurism.  She was 5.)

Since we lost the baby-cat just over a year ago, we keep every now and again talking about getting another cat.  We talked about abyssinians.  And then we saw some other cute little kittens that a friend had.  But nothing’s ever “perfect.”  We never take the plunge.

I think I want two kittens, because our cat is old.  Ish.  I mean, he’s as healthy as he was when he was 3.  He’s still a stellar hunter, and a picture of health.  But he’s still 11 years old.

And … well, he didn’t necessarily like the baby-cat.  I think he likes being the solo cat.  She bugged him.  Whenever she tried to get playful, he hissed and gave her very dirty looks.  He wouldn’t even cuddle with her.  Sometimes, she just wanted to be near him – on the same windowsill, on the oppsite end of the couch, and you could see him sneer at her as he walked away.

Maybe it was just because the BabyCat was a little slow.  He didn’t like her.  But maybe he just wanted to be alone.  If we get a kitten, it could potentially be a lonely kitten.  Because the Boy might be mean.

So we need 2.

Rational solution, right?

But the ones S~ found are all boring-looking.  They’re that simple tabby brown/black stripy kind of cat.  S~ keeps going on and on with “they’re only one week old!  We don’t know what they are going to look like yet!”

Biggest problem being that they are at her friend’s summer house.  The same summer house that S~ will be at for an extended visit in the beginning of August.

With the kittens.

She’s gonna fall in love, and she’s gonna whine, and she’s gonna beg, and she’s gonna plead, and because WD and I are suckers for kittens, we might – just might – break down.

Just a wee sampling of how it looks so far [text convo bt me and S~]:

Her:  Here’s a picture of them nursing, with their mom.

Me:    The mom is pretty, but the kittens are boring-looking.

Her:   They’re a week old!  They could grow up looking different!”

Me:    Then prepare to take multiple photos while you’re there to convince me.

Her:   OK.  But it wud [note to say grrrr to the spelling] really be perfect if we got them 🙂

Me:     We’ll see.

Her:    I vote we seriously consider them as an option

Me:     Yr vote is noted

Her:   Is it seconded?

Her:   ?

Me:   Not yet.

Her:  They can be seriously considered before we say we want them.  I mean, not all cats are [the Boy].

Me:    But I want cute cats.

Me:    We’ll have them for a v long time

Her:  Mom!  they r cute! It wud b great!

Her:   And it wud b good for them if they continued to c [her friend]

Me:    That wouldn’t actually matter

Me:    I want v pretty cats

Her:    Ur so superficial

Me:      Oh whatever

Her:     Superficial ppl get cute unsocial cats

Me:       [the Boy] is v social

Her:      Trust me if ur too picky they wont be social

I guess we’ll see how it all goes.  I will keep you posted.

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What I want, What I don’t want

July 17, 2010

I want … to miraculously have college tuition for both girls in my bank account.

What I don’t want … for the girls to end up adults with laundry lists of all the things their mother did wrong.