Thursday, July 30, 2009

These pictures were taken almost exactly a year apart wearing the same dress. The bottom pic is the most recent.
One of my oldest and dearest friends visited me today. She spent the afternoon with me catching up and playing with my sweet son. She told me about a new man in her life, with that sparkle that you know means she'll most likely marry him. I am so happy for her, because she has waited so long and so faithfully for that kind of love.

While she was here we started talking about my dad. She asked me a few questions and then fell silent. She let me talk for a few minutes and then said nothing more. She is one of my favorite people to be around because she knows when there is nothing to say.

Tonight I am alone in the house, except for my sweet boy sleeping in the other room (who I finally broke of the pacifier habit!).
All I can think about tonight is Allison.
I had planned for her to be born tomorrow, July 31. Her due date was August 5, 2009 but I was going to have a scheduled c-section the Friday before.
I have been sitting here since Holden went to sleep wanting to get out the picture box full of Ally's things but I just can't. I don't think I could put it away if I got it out right now. I wish I wasn't alone and awake.

I don't need to hear any platitudes about how it was God's plan for her to be with Him. I don't need to hear anything, except my sweet newborn Allison crying. I never heard her cry, just myself crying in her absence. My soul aches.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I have an addiction. No, not to painkillers...although I have to admit they are pretty nice.
About a half hour ago I wanted a Diet Dr. Pepper so badly I was willing to attempt to drive my husbands stick shift even after having had knee surgery on my left knee on Monday! I am happy to report that I was not able to do this very stupid thing because I couldn't find the car keys.
Do you think Tony took them on purpose so I would be stuck and not attempt to drive the car? Oh, and also I'm on pain medicine so probably shouldn't be driving. But I justified it to myself because we live like a block away. Unfortunately a block is too far to walk in this condition. So the most I could do now is sit on the porch and longingly look toward the quick shop where I could get my fix. But I'm not doing that, I swear.

I went to put on my favorite capris today and they didn't fit. You know how when you want to get into a pair of pants you don't dry them in the dryer because they shrink more? (I can't be the only person who does this). Well I have been trying to dry these in the dryer because I want them to get as small as possible so that they fit again. But they still slide off my butt when I walk.

I'm happy to report that I'm down 31 lbs. since I had Ally. I'm not going on any triumphant shopping sprees yet though. I think I'll wait a little bit longer, at least as long as my jeans still fit (which they do, but they are a little big). On a side note: How is it possible to lose 31 lbs and still sort of be wearing the same size? I suppose it's a blessing when gaining weight but disheartening when losing it.

My mother-in-law took Holden for the day so this is the first day probably since Holden was born that I can just do whatever I want (well, whatever I want to do while I can't walk or drive--which pretty much consists of surfing the internet or reading a book). It is strangely quiet here.

We got some new furniture because my stepmom wanted to get rid of it since she has decided to move to be closer to family and have dad close to family while he is going through rehab. I'm thrilled with the new leather furniture but not with the reason I have the new leather furniture. The dogs are so not allowed on this nice stuff. It makes me miss talking to my dad. I hope that some day soon he will be able to have a conversation again. It's pretty one-sided at the moment. But I know he loves seeing Holden. It's the only time I've seen him laugh since his surgery.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Well, it seems I've succeeded in freaking out much of my readership. I am overwhelmed by your support and very thankful.

I think I'm becoming miserly. I used to just be cheap but I really do think I am being miserly. As you know, our air conditioning broke a couple weeks ago. We then decided to turn it off for the weekend we were gone and see if it would "unfreeze" because that's what happens to it. So we got back and the first day back it still didn't work. At this point Tony thought it was time to call the repairman to come and fix it.

I, despite loathing hot weather, decided that we should just sweat it out for a few days and see what happened. Now all of a sudden it works and has been working all week. But the real deal is that despite being able to afford the guy to come and look at it and despite being able to afford to buy a whole new heating and a/c system, I am getting so cheap that I chose to be hot instead. A little worrisome--especially since I usually keep my house at a subzero temperature.

I keep it so cold because when I was growing up my dad always refused to turn the air on so it was always like 80 in our house. Now that I'm paying the electric bill I'm willing to be comfortable for a cool $100 a month. I have no problem with that.

Dad is still in the hospital and will be finishing radiation and then going to rehab for awhile. I'm not sure how long. It's a little frustrating because you ask the doctors "What is the prognosis?" and they waffle. You ask them, "Will chemo do any good?" and they waffle, you ask them "How long do you estimate him to be in rehab?"and they flat out say they don't know. AND I still haven't seen the oncologist. How do you tell someone and their family that they have brain cancer and then make them wait two weeks to have a conference about the treatment plan? I'm going to start calling people myself next week if I don't get that doctor in a room to grill him about all this very very soon.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just. Breathe.

Sorry about yesterday. The actual answer to how I am today is "fine".

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Witness Stage 2 of the grieving process: ANGER

So, clerk at the convenience store, you want to know how I'm doing today?

Let's briefly review the last 14 days:

Dead baby with the defunct due date looming, broken central air, car in shop, can't bear weight on left leg, dog peeing in basement daily, grandma in hospital, another brain surgery for my dad with (surprise) an abscess and a partial damn lobotomy and oh, by the way it's stage three cancer with a bad prognosis (death) and he can't really talk or move his right side.

I'm having knee surgery on Monday with no family to help me take care of my son while I can't walk. My dear husband doesn't want to ask his Mom who would be the most helpful because we've already dumped our kid on her for a couple days almost every week for the last month. And dear husband only has a couple more days off FOR THE YEAR because he took a week off when his uncle died in February and more time off when Ally died. So now he is saving the rest,

"In case, uh, something bad happens." (that's a direct quote from him) So he can't really be there for my outpatient surgery. How I'm getting home I have no idea.

Have I thought about seeing a therapist, you ask? No that hasn't ever occurred to me in the last few years after my mother killed herself, after 3 out of 4 babies died, and after my dad was diagnosed with cancer, etc. etc. I swear I called her, I did. I'm just not sure how exactly I'm going to go and see her when I haven't even gone to physical therapy or scheduled my son's 15 month checkup yet, or had my damn hair cut since January. January.

But hey, nobody died today so I guess I have to say that today has been a great fucking day, thanks for asking.

And sorry, I didn't mean to emotionally vomit on you. Let me get cleaned up and I'll talk to you again later.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My kid is becoming quite the little character. He has been a little fussy the last couple of days because we were gone so long on our trip and he is all out of his routine and extra tired. This morning I put him in his crib with a bunch of toys so I could take a shower and he cried and cried. Right before I got in the shower I went into his room and said,
"It's Mama's bath time, you have to stay in your crib until I am done taking a bath."

Then he threw his rubber duckie at me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Road Trip

We took a road trip from Thursday through Sunday. Dropped Holden off with grandma, and the dogs off with the vet, and hit the road. We only had our destination in mind, since my dear husband had made reservations at a beautiful ranch cabin in Western Nebraska.

The first leg of our journey on Thursday left us at Broken Bow for the night, where we happened upon the town's annual summer festival. We stayed at a beautiful old hotel called The Arrow Hotel, walked a little bit around the square, sat on the restaurant patio and drank wine and smoked a cigar (I took two puffs)(they had a large assortment of specialty cigars). It was a beautiful many days in July have a high of 70?!

We woke up on Friday morning and went to a REAL doughnut shop, none of those Casey's fluffy doughnuts. These were heavy and with fillings. I don't normally like doughnuts but I was able to eat about half of my long john before handing it over to my DH to finish off. I spent most of the time in the doughnut shop lamenting my choice of doughnut and being incredibly jealous of his creme filled bismark.
Also, the doughnut shop reminded me of this guy I sort of dated when I was a teenager. He used to pick me up around 11 p.m. in the summer to go drive around and he always smelled like doughnuts because he worked at a doughnut shop and he had just finished making the batch for the next day. My DH would be annoyed that I thought of that whilst in the doughnut shop with him, but I've read that a smell is one of the strongest memory triggers. Strange.

Anyway, after the wonderful doughnuts we played a leisurely round of golf at a nice little course there in Broken Bow (and by played I mean he played and I drove the cart), and then headed to highway 2 where we took the sandhills scenic trail. Nothing but rolling sand dunes and blue sky and the road. The road winds along the Union Pacific railroad tracks through the sandhills and it is gorgeous.

We took our time and stopped at villages along the way. Sadly, many of the buildings in these tiny towns are dilapidated and the towns are desolate--proving that both the flight to the bigger cities and the economy have almost killed off these little villages in the rolling hills of Northwest Nebraska.

I had a fantastic chicken salad sandwich at a little cafe/coffee shop/scrapbooking store in one of the small towns--the name of which escapes me at the moment. And you know how much I like chicken salad. Only this one was even better because it was chicken salad, thinly sliced cucumber, and lettuce on french bread. I'm using cucumbers all the time on my chicken salad now. I can never return to the old way.

To be continued....

This is a pic from last week when Holden and I were sweating it out in our airconditioningless house in mid-July. Doesn't he look like a boy more than a baby now? He is 15 months today! It makes me a little sad, but he is so much fun the older he gets.

Just got back from a weekend getaway with the hubby. Loved it. Will post more tomorrow after my orthopedic appointment. Need to sleep.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

There are only two times in my life I have ever wanted to sleep on the floor in the bathroom. The first time was after a night of bacardi punch at a halloween party (the devil's juice!), and the second time is right now. Because it is the only cool place in the house. Thankfully, we are going to be out of the house a lot this weekend. Calling the HVAC guy in the morning!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


My boy with his favorite uncle who flew all the way from Reno to help take care of things for my dad. He is such a good brother to me, and Holden adores him.

Anticipation and Perspiration

My air conditioner broke today. I knew it was coming, I could feel it slowing down, choking along, the air getting warmer as it hummed through the vents. It has happened 2 other times in this house, something about there not being enough hot air return and making it freeze up.

So imagine me in an 85 degree house with 60% humidity and a fussy one year old all afternoon. It was delightful, let me tell you. Finally, in my desperation I went rummaging through the garage to find an old air conditioner my aunt gave me 4 years ago when she moved and had no use for it anymore. I lugged the damn thing inside and plugged it in to see if it worked because I'm pretty sure my dear husband has left it out in the rain more than once. And it worked!

So I put my screaming boy in the pack-n-play and went into the bathroom, which I believe is the only window in the house it would fit in since it is a small air conditioner. After measuring both the window and the unit I set out to try to remove the screen from the window. I try for about 5 minutes, the sweat beginning to trickle. F****** s***!!!! I can't get the stupid screen to come off.

Apologizing to my sniffling son in the other room even though he didn't hear me cussing out the window, I venture outside to inspect the window frame to see if I can get the thing off from the outside. But then I realize that I never learned how to set up our somewhat unusual ladder so I can go no further. And this happens to be one of the nights my dear husband has a baseball game.

Desperate for relief, at 5 p.m. I call him. No answer. I call him again, he answers, I manage a greeting and then,
"The air conditioner is broken and I need you to come home and help me put the window air in. I can't do it myself." I gear up for an argument since he has to be at his ball game by 6:30 and it's an hour away from our house (which means he has to take a half hour to drive home and then drive back that direction another hour).

"Ok. I'm leaving now." He replies. Whaaaaaaaaaa? No argument, no discussion, just a request (demand) and an affirmative answer. This is nearly unprecedented but I believe he can sense me at my breaking point. I don't do well in the middle of July, generally speaking. Particularly in the middle of THIS July.

So now I'm considering sitting in the (cool) bathroom to finish my blog and maybe read my Good Housekeeping magazine that came in the mail today. Just saying that I read Good Housekeeping makes me feel like an old lady. I suppose I have to balance out smutty Cosmopolitan with something, so it may as well be Good Housekeeping.

Also, I'm totally not getting anything much done today because I spent 80 minutes catching up on The Bachelorette and for some reason this episode made me reminisce about when my wonderful (and handy) hubby and I first got together and how the air seemed to crackle between us there was so much chemistry. I hope other people have that, too.

We still have it, but it is of course reserved for times when we are alone and not in crowded bars like when we were 21. Because who really wants to see married couples making out like crazy teenagers? That and we always have to have the conversation,
"Is our son really asleep? Are you sure?"

That being said I am extremely excited for this weekend because I have been waiting since our failed Valentines Day weekend to be alone for more than one day with him (or one evening). And he has planned a surprise for me--I don't even know where we are going or what we are doing (Grandma is watching Holden). All he said was to "pack some outdoor clothes". I know it's not camping because we both hate camping and love expensive what could it be?
We leave on Thursday!


I wore the dress to the wedding last weekend. It fit great and I have to say with my conservative personality I felt the amount of cleavage I was showing was borderline scandalous. But I’m sure for normal people it looked like a reasonable amount of cleavage. I even covered up with a short sleeved cardigan but it was still more low-cut than I am accustomed to wearing.

I missed most of the wedding itself because Holden skipped his nap and was very fussy. He didn’t throw an actual fit until later that weekend at the hospital when he threw himself on the floor and started crying—so I’m just thankful that he waited as long as he did (the entire weekend) to start REALLY fussing. And by the way, he’s only 15 months—how can the tantrums be starting already?

We sat in the back of the church in the usher’s pew because Tony’s cousin and her newborn as well as Tony were all in the back (and there was no cry room!). The acoustics were so bad that I really did miss most of it.

One of the most interesting things about my afternoon was when the homeless lady in a winter coat and stocking cap wandered in from the sweltering heat to stop and chat with the statue of sweet baby Jesus in the middle of the wedding ceremony. She got all up in his face and was talking to him for about 5 minutes in the middle of Mass. Though not loudly, thank goodness. I was concerned that she might do something crazy like yell or say something to the lovely bride but she simply finished her prayer, went and sat in a pew up in the middle of the church, and quietly left when it was over.

Other highlights of my trip included hiding out at a garden level Panera Bread at The Plaza in between the wedding ceremony and the reception, eating a fabulous dessert at the reception on the top floor of the Intercontinental Hotel and dancing with the hubby (the knee held up all night!).

Also, I took up a challenge to do shots of Patron with Tony’s cousin’s 45 year old hubby (his family certainly knows how to have a good time). The evening went well considering 5 years ago I spent the night with a bottle of 1800 and haven’t been able to drink tequila since. But I’m back in the game.

This time I only did one shot—of free top-shelf tequila. So you should be impressed with my restraint.

It was a lovely wedding.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lord, help me get through this day.

I'm standing at the coffee bar waiting on 3 kids, ages about 5, 7, & 10 as the oldest wipes up what looks like the water fight they had while sitting in the hospital waiting room, probably waiting for a baby sister or cousin to be born. I've been wandering around the hospital with a look that I think says please don't talk to me, I'm deep in thought. Or maybe it says I'm rude and don't like talking to people. I like to think of it as aloof.

Nonetheless, I do give an older white haired lady with a bouffant and what looks like her son directions to the progressive care unit because they look desperately lost and worried. I swear to myself -just as I do every time I see an old lady-that when I'm 85 I won't get my hair set at the beauty parlor every week in the same hairstyle that every old lady I've ever met wears. I'm thinking I'll get a bob instead--that way even if it is gray or white and dry and difficult to manage a bob is pretty universally easy.

I sip my tea slowly, drinking it in the way I always do at the hospital--extremely strong, bitter like weak coffee. After the kids at the coffee bar left I realized that the coffee maker was totally dry and I couldn't get hot water. I had to settle for warm tap water, which is as unappetizing as it sounds. The tea covers the flavor of the water though.

My dad is in the intensive care unit, and every time I go in I feel comfortable because I've been in enough hospitals to know what is going on, the machines and tubes don't faze me. He drifts in and out of sleep, with his head wrapped--and it looks like he is wearing a stocking cap made of gauze--the stocking caps like you see in picture books of The Night Before Christmas.

His right side is still, unmoving, but his left side is restless, playing with the remote/call light and his eyes still have that wonderful look of intelligence even when he is doped up on codeine and can't speak. I long to hear him talk, to have him give me advice in the way he always does when I am having a hard time. The other night when I left the hospital I needed to talk to someone and he is the one I wanted to call but couldn't. Sometimes thinking about these small things when I walk into his room makes that dull ache in my chest rise up to my throat. He doesn't notice me biting back tears because his eyes are closed and he is softly snoring.

Lord, I am stressed out. Please help me get through this day.

I try to pray, I can't. This is all I can think. My thoughts feel muddy--like I'm the one who had surgery. I stumble when I talk, losing my train of thought, feeling restless and flipping channels aimlessly at the hotel room. I have the air cranked down as low as it will go and the curtains drawn. I wonder how long I have to do this. I hope I keep having to do this because the alternative is even worse. I'm worried, although I know it does no good for anyone.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Early bird

Rule #1

Don't call me at 7 a.m. unless someone died.

This is a good rule of thumb for everyone. Don't call early in the morning unless I missed an appointment or someone died. Because I'm one of those people who can't get back to sleep after I've been awakened by the ringing of a phone and the worried rush of adrenaline. I'm not one of those chipper, chirpy morning people, I prefer to sleep in a room as dark as a cave until about 10 a.m. on my days "off". In fact, I believe this is a good rule of thumb for most people. Do not call early in the morning.

Except I do have one friend you could probably call. She was one of my college roommates and probably gets more done between 6 and 10 a.m. than I get done all day. But she happens to be one of the most perfect people I have ever met (seriously, I lived with her--the woman has no real vices or flaws that I can tell). You'd think to yourself, how can you be friends with someone that nice/perfect? She is so perfect in fact that even her perfection isn't annoying like you would think it would be. She makes you feel totally at ease talking about your messy life.
She is a great friend (and I'm sure great wife and mother and daughter and sister) and all the nice things about her make her that much better to be around. But she lives far away too so I don't talk to her as much as I used to. Anyway, if you're reading this and you see yourself don't take the word "perfection" as a bad thing. It means I've always been impressed with how you have it all together, even when things aren't going smoothly.
She's just a great person. I've never met anyone else like her.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I was driving to the hospital to see my dad yesterday by myself. And out of the blue I thought of a question I haven't thought of since I was a kid. When a bug is sucked out of a car window, does it die?

Strange that the question has never been answered after all these years. I considered emailing mythbusters, but I don't know if that is the sort of thing they would research. It might be too boring of a question.

My dad is in surgery as I type this. But I am not currently connected to the hospital WIFI because I am still at home in my pajamas. I drove home last night because I always sleep better at home and they are only an hour or so away. Plus, I hate sitting in hospital waiting rooms. Although in an act of what seems to be fate I did decide to buy a great fluffy beach reading book on Sunday before all this went down.

He is having surgery because they *think* it's possible he could have an abscess on his brain. There is more information but I don't feel comfortable giving it out on my blog because it's his personal medical information and I don't have his permission.

Taking a hot, hot shower yesterday I was praying and said audibly to God, "I'm scared". And immediately thereafter with what can only be described as an impression upon my soul, I felt this verse:

"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10

Monday, July 6, 2009

Need some prayers of encouragement today and also for my dad. He is in the hospital again because of several seizures today.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Happy 4th of July! I've already been to the 4th of July city and we stopped by the carnival because my young cousin (10 year old) is staying with us for the weekend. It was a small carnival, but there is something about carnivals that makes me sad. I think it's the carnies. I just wonder--how do you get to that point? At what point do you say, "well, maybe I'll just become a carnie." ? Maybe some of them enjoy it, but I haven't met very many that seem to act like it's their calling.
We halfheartedly walked around the craft show as well but I'm not in need of anything crafty at my house so it was kind of pointless. Right now Tony and my cousin are shooting off fireworks in our empty lot and Holden is napping so I have some time to myself :)

So the bad news is that I had an MRI on my knee and it turns out I have a full thickness fissure in my cartilage in my knee. Which is not good. To give you an idea, there are 4 levels of severity of this type of injury/arthritis (4 being the worst--bone on bone rubbing together), and mine is at level 3. Ouch.
I will have an appointment with an orthopedist next week sometime to see what my options are for surgery. I don't think this is something that can be easily "repaired". I will know more when I talk to him. I'm having a little bit of a hard time with that news because it means I can't really ever run again. My dad has the same sort of thing wrong with his knee and he is pretty much disabled in his knee. If he does any sort of exercise it is extremely painful.
I'm ONLY 27!!