Saturday, January 12, 2008

How I know that the Packers are going to win the Super Bowl

That was a good game today. I always like when Brett Favre proves that he's still "got it".

As much as I have loved football growing up, I have found it painfully tough to watch the games this year. My husband was a Lions fan. Not from birth, but because, to hang out with my dad, you had to enjoy football. When we were first dating, he would come over to my house to pick me up on Sundays around noon. My dad would be watching the pregame. We would go out for a ride, bowling, whatever it was that we did when we were young and dating. We would come back around 4ish to see if maybe my parents wanted to go to dinner. My dad would be watching the beginning of the day's second game. We would go out to dinner and then maybe back to Leonard's house to watch t.v. He would drop me (and a doggy bag of leftovers for my dad) off and, upon seeing my father watching the Sunday night game, say,"Man, does your dad watch football all day long?" "Yes." and he would laugh, and poke fun. And then we got married, and spent a lot of Sundays watching the Packers with my dad. One year Leonard bought me "Sunday Ticket" from Directv for my birthday. And we would watch games all day Sunday. Leonard soon became better at calling fouls, and plays, than I. Soon he became a (grrrr) Lions fan. Soon we were fighting over which 1PM game we were going to watch, the Packers or the Lions. Football watching (I know, for some of you, lame) became our time together on Sundays. His mother knew not to "stop by for a chat". I miss that and haven't really been able to watch, or even listen to, football this year.

Just like the year we lost our first baby. Also the year the Packers went to the Super Bowl and beat the New England Patriots. Because I had just been discharged from the hospital, following the loss of our baby, my mind was somewhere else. And they won, and I don't remember one single play from that game. I sat there, looking at the screen, but not seeing the game.

Today, the Packers played great against the Seahawks... and I sat there, looking at the screen, but not seeing the game. It was then that I realized that the Packers will make it all the way to the Super Bowl...and I will watch it, without seeing it. I need Leonard for that.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Little speckles of brightness

RachD calls them sparklies, and I think I am figuring out how to spot them, even among the really sad weeks. I am attempting to make myself (force myself) into feeling better.

A wonderful couple that I know from DU sent a care package of cookies for Nicole...and they are delicious, and healthy too as they are free of gluten and refined sugar. We are not super healthy eaters but, if healthy food tastes this good, we may just become healthier.

Embla sent me a wonderful murder mystery and a bag of candy. The book is a pager turner and the candy is delicious. I may just have to get her to smuggle more in. My son was so excited to hold a box that was "actually in Iceland" that it made me smile. Thank you Embla for doing that.

JessT is having her baby today and perhaps has already had him. I love the name Nathan and am sending all the positive vibes in the world that he arrives safely, to join his adorable big sister, Sydney. Jess, I am so happy for you that the day you've waited for his finally here.

I bought a new vacuum and my sheltie fur infested rugs look brand new. It is an Oreck, to replace our old Oreck--that apparently is just clogged up and is right now having a tune up. When I found out it wasn't broken I still decided to buy a new one because...well...ummm...because retail therapy can be good for you sometimes and I got a free cordless iron (worth $80) and a free broomstick vac ($100!) and a free canister vac ($200). Now, you don't all think I really believe that the $499.95 for the Oreck upright doesn't have all of that underwritten in there somewhere I hope. But, I also get 1 annual "tune-up" for the next 10 years. I will say (and I am not being paid to) this, Oreck vacuums are delightfully wonderful, and light. And when you suffer from RA that is a very good thing. (No, I am not a Martha Stewart fan...I mean she's okay and all...)

I finally got all of the decorations down (well, except for the standing stuffed bear and the plaster Santa Claus, but those don't really count).

This one is something I have been trying to do for my daughter (and son) for a very long time and it wasn't me that accomplished it. A friend of mine, from the above mentioned website, has made it possible for Nicole to finally meet Maggs. The best I have ever done is writing a letter asking him to sign a picture she had taken of him (and he did). This wonderful woman has made it possible for her to actually be in the same room with him.

I cannot believe all that people have done for us. I am amazed by the friendships I have formed with so many because of this blog, and our participation on DU. It is the truth that this blog has pretty much kept me from falling off that edge and not being able to climb back up. You are there when we're hurting and scared. You are there to share the accomplishment of another day lived through...without the one I needed most. Thank you for talking to me, listening to me, crying with me, and loving my children. I still am utterly astounded by it all.

And, Rachael, I believe you are right in thinking about and noticing sparklies in everyday life.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Charlotte's Web

How can a relatively painless day go so horribly downhill?

The day started really well. I, yes I the procrastinator, finally got the tree down and put away. Now I can clean up the living room and maybe order the new furniture that I have been putting off but need badly. I also enjoyed writing the entry about finding out about my children's impending arrivals

and then...

Sandcastles. Remember the place that I have a horrific love/hate relationship with? The place with the wonderful people who are also grieving and trying to cope? With their kids? There was a new family there. I hate it so when there is a new family because it just isn't fair that so many wonderful moms and dads and grandparents are lost before their time. The new family consists of a mother and her two children. Her husband/their father was 37 (like Leonard) and he went out to mow the lawn (like Leonard) and he died right there. And her pain is so fresh it took me right back to that day (although I never completely leave it) that I found myself crying-along with everyone else in the room. These recountings are so painful and re-emphasize how wrong it is that any child, any young parent should have to face this. So I stared at the ceiling with tears pouring down my face. The wonderful gentleman next to me kept patting my hand and saying,"It does get better. Don't give up. It will be better." And then I think stupid thoughts like, what if I don't want it to? What if getting better means I truly have to let go of him? My mind tells me that is not so (on good days) but my heart (or the place it once existed) is not in agreement.

On the way home, Nik (Yay for Nik being well enough to come along) said that her group talked about the spiritual, the paranormal, feeling as if a loved one is near. She said she feels like her dad is around all the time. And, on one level, I am so happy that she has that peace. On the other, I am jealous. How come all these people feel him around and, for me, he is just gone? Or am I afraid? Afraid of feeling his presence and yet wanting (needing) more?

When we got home, I got James ready for bed. He asked me if I wanted to watch Charlotte's Web with him. Charlotte's Web is the movie we ordered that last Saturday night to watch with James. That Saturday, watching CW was such a beautiful evening. The eve of the end of life as I knew and loved it. And it was a knife in my heart to watch James watching it. I am glad it doesn't hold those connotations for him.

Perhaps I just need to rest.

8 years, umpteendiddley pregnancy tests and two kids later...

I will tell you the story of how I found out I was pregnant with my two children. Swistle, I decided to post it over here, to avoid a long, untidy, meandering comment on your blog.

I immaculately conceived our daughter in 1989-at least that is the story now. Then, I was dating a rock star. Okay,not really, but he looked like one. As a matter of record, and to show you just how stupid I was, I had just broken up with Leonard (my husband) because of the too nice thing I had discussed with you earlier. I swear I had pregnancy induced stupidity even before I was pregnant. But, we will refer to him as Rockstar so that his name doesn't sully my blog.

It was early June that I began to suspect that something was up. I am a normal 28 dayer. It was day 35 with no PMS, nothing. Not really even pregnancy symptoms. Rockstar, idiot that he was, was deliriously excited and ran out and bought a pregnancy test. This was not the pregnancy sticks that you pee on that we are all so used to now. It was basically a chemistry set. You had to pee and then mix and then wait five minutes for the powder and the liquid to turn blue and then add the pee mix and then wait another five minutes...and if the bottom of the well turned pink, well then, game over little girl. It turned purple...really, really purple. I was,"does that mean 'dark pink'?" Who knew. Luckily (note sarcasm) I ended up with pneumonia so a visit to the doctor confirmed, in fact, that purple is indeed dark pink. And that's really all I want to say about that one. Anyway, my parents were thrilled to become grandparents and we all lived happily ever after... That's the way I like to tell it so that's how it happened.

8 years, a marriage to an incredible man, an adoption, two positive pregnancy tests that resulted in much sadness (I will talk about those another time because this is meant to be my attempt at a happy post) later, I actually felt pregnant. The funny part was is that, by then, we knew something was going on with my immune system and the two late losses were evidence enough for my doctor to suggest we, in laymen's terms,"Give it up." We were content (sort of) with being lucky to have one child and just went on with our lives as if I could no longer produce children. So content were we that I didn't even notice I was late and I didn't even have one pregnancy test in the cupboard that used to contain at least 10 because I was a test taking fool. (Admission: Once, I took a pregnancy test on the first day of my period because, you never know, it could be implantation bleeding. Yes, I was that baby crazed) But, this time, my boobs actually hurt, I was crampy in the period crampy without the period kind of way, and I could smell iron in the water when I took a shower. That last one is basically a positive pregnancy test for me. But, I had no pregnancy test. So I left the house, trying to hold it so I could take the test right away, ran to Meijer and picked up a test. Then, because I could not wait, I took the test right there in the women's restroom...Two Lines!!! Two Lines!!! Oh crap, Leonard is going to freak!!! But, Two Lines!!!! I've got to best friend, my second best friend, the neighbor, the neighbor's best friend, anyone who was home to listen to me freak about how I would tell my husband. Yes, that is right, I believe my husband was among the last 10 people to find out that we were expecting. And, best of all, this one took.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Two down

and I hope that's it. Nicole does not need to be getting sick on top of recovery. Heaving with an incision is not an option.

She was not ready to go back to school today, but I am hoping that, with a good night's rest, in a freshly made bed, she will feel up to it in the morning. Her teachers miss her, as do her friends. I am going to be really sad to see her go. I have always loved having the kids home (I know I've mentioned that before) and the quietness of a house without them in it (even when they argue and drive me *this close* to insanity) makes me very sad. The house is foreign without my family. The adjustment of just us three has been horrible at times and I sometimes reflect, and then can not believe some of the things that are "normal" these days.

Within seconds of James stopping the vomitting part of his flu bug (I am not making this up) my tummy started rumbling, and aching. I haven't had the flu since the Christmas that James was an infant. Why is it the flu likes Christmas so much anyway? I spent the night in Krandall (see previous chair posts that I am too lazy to link to at the moment). I am better now, except for general body aches which could be related to that bug or the flareup that started last week. Or it could be just the missing.

We know that James is well due to the temper. My son has a horrific temper. One that burns bright and hot and scorches the souls of those around him. I am not kidding. It is really incredible how upset he can get. This is not an offshoot or acting out due to his loss. He has been this way since infancy and it runs in his family. A positive aspect is that he usually feels awful within minutes and apologizes. The negative aspect is I don't want him to deal with a lifetime of regrets. So, we deal. And talk. And try. And he has gotten least a fraction better. He is the boy with the curl, right in the middle of his forehead. And when he is good, the whole world shines in the light of his smile, his mama and family bask in the glow of his love and hugs. And when he is bad, well, we won't talk about that.

Guess what?? Nicole made it back to school today! and so did James. And my head isn't hurting nearly as bad as it was yesterday, and my tummy finally gave it up, and the only bad thing is the empty house.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

On Speaking Too Soon...

Tuesday, 4 AM: "Mom, I have really bad gas..." "Try laying on your left side..."

4:15 AM: "It hurts Mommmeeeeee!!!!" "'s okay, baby, I'm right here" It is fun trying to sleep with a rolling bowling ball of a sick 9 year old.

4:20 AM: "I think I'll get up and walk around" sigh..forget about sleep.

So we got up and went into the living room. I installed him on the couch with the new (white) down comforter, and turned on the television.

5:15: (this is my owned damned fault because I should have listened to myself when myself said go get a bucket...just in case... ) Major tummy upset, all over the carpet, the comforter (why can they never make it to the bathroom even when you are asking them eleventy billion times if they feel like they have to throw up?)

5;30: Comforter in wash, carpet scrubbed and I now have clean spots that make the rest look worse, child ensconced once again on couch.

6:30: Repeat. Except, this time, there is a bucket.

I think the whole country has the flu.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Exactly what did I do today?

Pretty much, not much. Nicole had a doctor's appt. today and will still be here at home. Until she drinks more and eats more. She lost another 3 pounds from last Wednesday to today, and we are not talking about a kid with room to lose.

Degrassi-The Next Generation has been on all day. I love the original Degrassi (it is a Canadian show that depicts the lives of teenagers. Aaron Spelling actually wanted to purchase this program, because it had huge ratings in Canada and along the northern border of the states. The show wasn't up for sale and lo, 90210 was modeled after it. At least the part about the teens. Degrassi is not populated with uber rich, spoiled children of ex television stars, doctors or accountants. They are just normal kids. I was happy to see the Next Generation come out because I had liked the earlier show so much. It addresses important teenage issues. Eating disorders, cutting, teen pregnancy, drugs, school violence, friendship and compassion without being over the top. Do I need to watch a marathon of it though? Not really.

I am reading on so many other blogs of horrendous flu-ish, sinus-y type illnesses...and am very grateful *knock wood* that we have, so far managed to avoid this. I feel like I am just slogging through somedays...and slogging up to so many brick walls. I am still suspended in disbelief so many times. I hate it that his face is always right there, in my mind...and yet I love it that his face is right there, in my mind. I don't want him to be forgotten, and yet I can barely think about him. That is if I want to accomplish anything. I am tired of people asking "what is wrong" when I get teary eyed. I sometimes want to shout,"What the heck is wrong with you!" but they are my family and I cannot do that. I start thinking that maybe it's me. I know that this will take time, a lifetime plus 12 to get over. I know that I will never get over it. I know that, if I ever do find true peace, there will still be moments of crushing hurt. I know that I will, at some point in the day, relive those days over again. And I wonder if a person can live through that. I have a son that still needs me, a daughter who, in some ways, needs me more and still I wonder if it is possible to die of a broken heart. I fear that. And then sometimes I beg for that.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I Miss You

I miss you so much tonight that it is almost making me sick. I posted your pictures with me on a board we used to read together and it just doesn't,still won't, never will feel real.

"I miss you," I said to the empty spot in the kitchen where you used to stand and poke fun of me on Sunday nights, while I was blogging and you were rumaging for a snack. I miss everything about you...even your faults. I can't bear it. Me without you. I sometimes wonder if it would hurt this badly if we had fullfilled all of our dreams, seen our grandchildren grow, shared all of these decades ahead together. I sometimes wonder if I just dreamed you up. And you were never really here.

Tagged for my Weirdness

Angie tagged me for this meme and it's a rather neat one, in my opinion. Although I fear that many of you will walk away saying, "Holy Crap, the girl is nuts. But I'm going to do it anyway.

The rules are for me to link to the person who tagged me, list 7 weird (I prefer to think charmingly quirky) things about myself and then tag 7 others to play along. And also, most importantly, let them know they have been tagged. In advance, thank you Angie, this is a wonderful idea which will keep my mind off of things for awhile.

Here goes:

1. I must, absolutely must, check my alarm clock 3 times each night or I just know it won't go off in the morning. Seriously...I've tested it. You call it neurotic, I call it cute. But it drove my husband nuts...

2. I am a massive pyrophobiac. When Nik was 3, we lived in a mobile home. The heat tape caught the insulation ( butt) on fire and if I hadn't left work early and woke my husband up when I came in the door, I shudder to think what would happen. Since then, I check the stove, the coffee pot, the furnace (because, stupidly, the laundry chute is right next to it), and anything else that might be fire causing, before leaving the house and/or going to bed.

3. I still read (and re-read and read yet again) Beverly Cleary books. I love them. And they are also a wonderful memory of my childhood which tends to calm me when I am stressed out and sick of playing at being an adult.

4. I have double jointed thumbs and can hook them back behind my hands, which I do to freak my son the heck out.

5. I have no problem leaving the house in my pajamas. I think back to my younger years when I couldn't leave the house without being in full fashionable mode (makeup, hair and outfit) and this blows my mind.

6. I don't know if this qualifies for weird but my mother and I don't like each other very much. We tolerate each other but we are truly from different worlds.


7. When my daughter was born I was only 19. I was ambivalent about it at first and actually told my father that, if I still felt this way when she was born that I would give her up for adoption because I didn't feel it would be fair to a child to raise them just because I gave birth to them. Of course, she rocked my world when she was born, we literally grew up together and I couldn't imagine having ever given her away...troubles and all.

Those are my 7. What are yours, Rebecca, Woli, Jeanette, Heather, Sharpie, Jess T, and Courtney?

This was harder to do than I thought. I guess I am more normal than I thought. /sarcasm.

We did end up going to Windsor last night for dinner. We went to The Tunnel BBQ and, oddly, four of Nik's old classmates (boys that have graduated) were seated right next to us. Odd until you realize the drinking age in Canada is 19 and these boys were celebrating the 19th birthday of one of them.