Saturday, July 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Darling...or Present Procrastination

Today was my husband's birthday. He is a mere 38 days younger than I, so I guess you could say I robbed the cradle. Only to share it of course.

The worst part is I put off shopping until this morning. And this morning arrived ( I am positive that Mother Nature took some hours back somewhere) and it wasn't the morning that I had planned (in the half hearted way that I plan things). First off, yesterday (yesterday is important to this entry) we went to the zoo. I have become a zoo addict...going to the zoo with the kids just about 1x a week. The animals and we are on a first name basis. We even know that the newest baby penguin goes by the name "Pudge"...but there I go, getting off course. We should not have gone to the zoo yesterday. It was hot. Hot makes me tired. Then we went on the "Wild Adventure" simulator. Think lots of "motion" i.e. jerking, heaving, tummy threatening and I got the first strings of blinking lights that usually indicate a migraine. We stayed too long, got to crabby and headachy (well I did. The kids had a blast) and got stuck in traffic on the way home. Did I mention the part where my son asked if his cousin (who was at the zoo with us) could spend the night?"Sure!" Said the magnanimous it's-only'10AM-and-I'm-still-feeling-pretty-awesome-Mom. Upon my arrival home, I sank into Krandall (our pet name for the magnificently over stuffed, unattractive, monolithic Lazy Boy that my husband HAD to have a few months ago...Krandall is the line name and it is kind of cute) and promptly Zzzzzzzzz'd.

And then it was 9 PM. And I didn't get my work done (for my real job...the one that pays me) done. So that got shoved forward to the morning that I was going to go shopping for the birthday present for the husband that this post was supposed to be about. I got up, and then went to bed. Yay me. I set the alarm clock for 8:45. For some reason I get up better at :45's. Welcome to another of my neuroses.

and then the clock went off, and I hit snooze. And then it went off again, and I couldn't find the snooze while half asleep so I shut it off so it would quit disturbing my rest...and ended up waking up at 10 AM (Oh my, I AM a bad mother/aunt) to my son saying "There's no cereal"... So we had pancakes, which take time. And then there was the report. At 12 I was *this close* to be ready to go shopping for that present. Enter my brother in law and his wife, the parents of the spending the night nephew. So there went that. We had a nice (5 hour, let's get dinner and bring it in) day.

So sweetie, Happy Birthday, and I *promise* I'm going shopping tomorrow. We'll just call it your birthday "weekend".

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I've been thinking a lot lately on relationships. I've also been reading a lot of blogs and there are some great ones... and some of the topics wound around in my head and got me thinking even more.

On marriage, what would be a "dealbreaker" for you? I entered into marriage (eleventy billion-no really, 11) years ago promising myself that, if I ever got really angry, I would always remember how I felt about him on our wedding day, and try to work just about anything out...

...and then I got pregnant. (Short story interruption for a "let's get to know me"...I've known my husband since we were 12, we dated at 19, broke up, and then "ran into" each other again at 22. I had a daughter. He fell in love with her...and I like to think, me and we married after 4 years of dating. Two years later, before our son was born, he adopted her. There, that should do it.)

We didn't plan on having children right away. One, we already had one. Two, we were strapped for cash. Three, we already had one. Oh, did I say that already??? But, as that second line darkened up, I was already imagining baby faces, and toes, and names, and graduation parties... All of the things that I consider to be a normal reaction. Then I fretted about telling my husband. I mean, we had talked about this. I was on the pill (and no, I never skipped a day...I even took them at the exact same time every day...go figure). My husband, while not supremely delighted, was pretty good natured about it... Into pregnancy we plunged, sort of. He was working. I was buying all of the "What to expect when you are expecting", "The Nursing Mother", "The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy" (<<<I love the Girlfriend books and think they are truly the truest, and best, and funniest pregnancy, parenting guides out there)and then, 4 and a half months later, we lost the baby. Pain unimaginable descended upon me. My husband's one response was,"Well, now we can work on buying that house!" I was shocked, then angry then trying to convince myself that he didn't mean it "that way"... Two months later, imagine my surprise to discover (again on the pill) that I was pregnant again... That was a stunner. My husband was decidedly less good natured, but we muddled. For 17 weeks. And then lost the baby. I spent my days rocking an empty snow suit and not being a very good Mama to the one we already had been blessed with, wallowing in misery and not feeling like I had anyone to talk to. There appeared to be no medical reason. It just was what it was. I wrote more, buried the pain as best I could and moved on. Sort of. It is no fun visiting the OB/Gyn (what I termed as the "pregnancy pit") when you feel like a failure. It is no fun to go to baby showers of all of your pregnant friends, and it seems like they are ALL pregnant. One has a hard time making up believable excuses after the third invitation. And it puts a crushing burden on a marriage. We were "fine" but not fine.

Luckily, I did end up with the baby that I longed for, that had become my very mission in life. Funny sounding when we hadn't planned on it, but a bit of my own selfish needs to verify self came into play. A year (and what seemed like crates of progesterone) later I got pregnant and delivered a baby boy. And all was well. And he was adored. And my husband was happy. And I was fulfilled.

I wish I could say it ended there. It didn't. Because the fertility gods apparently like to really mess with you, I became pregnant for the last (decidedly unplanned) time in 2001. And both of us were crazy excited for some odd, yet happy reason. And then, quite early, I lost the pregnancy. Even though we had decided to be happy with our two children, I again had planned and dreamed and fell in love with this baby the minute I washed my hands after reading the results in the bathroom. And then, what I thought was, the unthinkable happened. My husband went out and got a vasectomy a week after the D and C. He told me he was going to. I begged him not to. I begged him for time to just let me get "it" back together...emotionally, hormonally, mentally. And he did it anyway. Sure, he told others it was because he couldn't stand to see me go through the pain of loss again...when in reality I know it was more financially driven...more, dare I say, selfish. He didn't want anymore. I wasn't sure if I did...but I didn't want to lose the option. Even though I admit that I drove everyone around me mad with my (shall we say) disposition at the time. As he left for his appointment I told him I was packing up and leaving. I still can't believe I threatened him like that, for I am basically a mouse when it comes to confrontations. I am ashamed to say that I fell to my knees and clutched at his pantleg begging him not to one last time. And he went. And I didn't leave. But I hated him. God I hated him with my very being. I actually thought about "accidentally" rolling over and kicking him in his selfishly wounded nether region in the middle of the night. Of course this is not the "real" me. The one I just know you are going to come to see the sweet, light, wonderful side of. This was the robbed and angry me. This was the me that was looking up lawyers and apartments and all the things you do when you are crazy sad... and think you have reached a "dealbreaker" moment. Only, over time, you realize that maybe you haven't. That maybe, even though you still think he is a selfish bastard for doing that, he is still your best friend. And don't best friends sometimes act in manners that steam you? And isn't he just great at changing diapers...rocking babies, teaching daughters how to ride a bike, rubbing your back when you need it? And maybe you can work through this enough to see what it was that you saw in each other the day you met, or how he stood on the porch and whispered "I love you" that first time, even though he was trying not to so he wouldn't get hurt again...How you felt on your wedding day? Which is what you told yourself you would do during the tough times? Never realizing how tough those times were going to be??? And you realize the answer to most of those questions is yes, and then you ( I should be saying I) can move on for reals this time. So you do.

And I am grateful I did. And we have two wonderful kids who fight too much, and hang on me too much, and smell delicious, and are polite in public and sometimes even finish their vegetables. And sometimes I still feel like I am reaching a "dealbreaker" moment and yet somehow it never gets to that point. Because I do try to remember. And I tell myself that he probably feels the same way too at times. And we keep moving on.

If you've made it this far, I am sorry I barfed all of this up. Have you ever reached what you thought could be a "dealbreaker" moment? Have you ever forgiven something that you didn't think you would be able to?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

No sir, I am not a calculator.

I am a real estate appraiser working out of my home. This sounds/sounded like a great idea when one isn't really thinking too hard about it. Seven years ago, my next door neighbor asked if I would like to type for her. The appraising business was booming under the weight of 5 3/4% refi's and new construction loans. It was great. I loaded the program on my computer, and for $10/hour typed from home while my son slept, played, cried, messed things up. It soon shifted into typing and setting appointments. $10/hour-not as much fun. It is not fun to try and pin people down to a time and date that isn't a Sunday evening at 9 PM because they're "just to busy" to look after their finances until then. City offices close at 5PM people. A year or so later, my next door neighbor hooked me up with another person to type for. For $25/ appraisal I copied his reports word for word onto my computer program because he did not want (at 68) to go through the buying a computer and joining the information superhighway with the rest of us. Banks no longer accepted hard copies and so a partnership was born. He became my mentor. Appraisers start out by obtaining the necessary education and then partnering up with a licensed appraiser for 2,000 hours in order to receive their own license. It's tedious, stressful and yet still worth it. I was lucky. It sort of fell right in my lap.

And so I embarked upon my own appraisal career. I still type for my mentor, but not my neighbor. It gets busy trying to juggle my own reports with his...and then there's the kids (and sometimes the husband) who forget that I ACTUALLY HAVE A JOB THAT NEEDS TO BE WORKED ON...That is one of the downsides. Another downside is that people tend to ask me (after I've sketched their house, measured it, taken pictures, made small talk, petted their dog, talked about the current situation in Iraq, admired their landscaping) "Sooooo...what's she worth??" Because I should know right then,right? After all that training and typing and testing I should be able to just click off numbers in my head. I should know what the taxable value is without looking, I should know what land is going for without researching...Dammit! I should KNOW THIS! After all, they're paying me money through the lender/title company who will have to be rebilled 1,231 1/2 times before they actually PAY ME...even though they take that money from the homeowner on closing day.

Why am I telling you this? I'll let you know when I figure that out, but it felt good anyway.

It is now 8 PM and my family still is waiting to eat. Better go...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Decision made.

I threw this blog out, at first, because it's really stupid (not to mention difficult, and a little neurotic) to keep two blogs just because your mother in law reads one and you are worried about offending her. I found myself not posting on either very much. That wasn't what I intended to have happen. Then I decided I would stay on Xanga... but I am tired of Xanga. Then I decided to stay here. You will find this a recurrent theme in my life. Decision making that gets put off (If I were Christian it would be termed "putting it in God's hands") due to my lack of being able to make the said decision. So be it. I am here. It sucks to "lose" 2+ years of blogging archives, but no one was reading them much anymore anyways.

Speaking of said mother in law. She had to have some tests done at the hospital yesterday...of the scoping kind. So I took her. Did I mention it was really freaking hot? I brought my son James with us and it was so steaming hot we couldn't even go for a walk. So we sat, and watched the ABC Good Morning America "Family" (does that word used to describe one's coworkers when really all they are is coworkers bother anyone else like it does me?) mourn the loss of Joel Siegel. This made me all weepy sort of. I did not know this man (besides being a movie critic I seldom agree with) and, in the space of an hour (hurry it up, scoping doctor!) found out he had a young son and wife and had battled colon cancer (thank you mother in law for taking care of yourself) for 10 (TEN!) years. How very sad. So I leaned over and hugged my own small boy, grateful for my health... and he turned to look at me with those beautifully lashed (why is it boys... oh you've heard this a million times before) big brown eyes and said,"Stop it Mom, you're embarassing me..."