Friday, December 30, 2011

Such a Glamorous Life

As soon as the game that The Boss and I are playing is over, I am going home. I am going to fling wide the doors and windows (because this weekend it is supposed to be in the mid-70's and because the house needs a good airing out).

(Insert random fart jokes that I couldn't keep out of my head - my status as a 35 year old woman is quickly being ruined by a 13 year old boy that apparently lives inside of my brain...airing out...heh...heh...)

Ah, yes. Flinging open the doors and windows, airing out our oppressed and reasonably short winter that lasted all of Tuesday and Wednesday and half of Thursday.

I have big plans that involve trash bags and a laundry mat (here is my reasoning - they have double and triple loaders meaning that I can do double and triple the amount of laundry in the same amount of time that it takes me to do one load at home). I am thinking of washing and drying everything, every-blankety-blank-thing in my house in one day and (since the Scare Bear has other plans and has abandoned me) hanging, folding, putting, away, setting a-fire to everything in one night.


I am tired of laundry. I am tired of the multitude of tiny piles that are laying everywhere. I am tired of telling people (big and small) to pick up their shit. So I am doing it. ONE.LAST.TIME.

Heaven help those that throw their clothes on the floor again.

New year, new slate, clean house.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Things She Says

I hear Z in the bathroom, laughing.




"Z, what are you doing?"

She turns away from the mirror. "Working on my evil laugh. All evil queens should have one."


"Nobody likes me, every body hates me, I eat worms..." I sing as we eat gummy worms for dessert.

"Momma, nobody doesn't like me. Everyone loves me. I am awesome. I am the greatest. You should be more like me..."

I am so glad she has the gift of humility.

When Z finds a new word she likes to experiment with it, try it out in new and different places to figure out where it belongs.

Last week's word was lame.

It is now a bad word.


On Christmas morning, upon discovering the bounty of gifts under the tree: "YES! I FINALLY MADE IT TO THE GOOD LIST!!!!"

The Goodyear blimp flew over our grocery store the other night. I pointed it out and said, "Look at that big balloon."

"I think it looks more like a pregnant plane."

"Actually, it's blimp. That's a balloon that people can fly."

Now, everything is a blimp or she is going to turn me into a blimp or the dog is just a silly blimp.

Blimp may be banned next...


I had to add some more because I can't sleep and I just remembered them...

Playing doctor, Z says, "I have to examine your testes and then I will tell you when you are having my brother and sister." (Probably not my testes that need to be examined.)


To the Scare Bear whose mother is a semi-truck driver.

"Um, Scare Bear, I hate to tell you this but...your mother lives in a truck."


We have to have a kid exchange in a parking lot every night of the workweek (the Hubs works nights). As he is kissing me good-bye the voice in the backseat screams, "Quit having sex with my mother!"

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Old and Sterile

"Is she going to be the only one?"

"Are you all planning to have more?"

"When you gonna have another?"

Lately, these questions have been coming at the Hubs and I in rapid-fire succession. I wish it were so easy to look at the Hubs, give him a wink and then 9-and-half months later give birth to a healthy baby. I can't tell you how much I wish it.

I have been a mother my entire life. I know that seems impossible, but even before Z came around, I was cooking for people, taking care of them, and when Blade and A were born I was smitten. My entire being is engulfed in the need to care for people that need me. I am a mother.

The yearning to have another baby has completely blindsided me in the last few months. The sound of a crying baby breaks my heart in two, the softness of their skin, the peacefulness when they sleep, my entire body yearning to hold and cuddle and nurse...

I had my yearly check-up and as I am waiting for the nurse to call me in - belly after pregnant belly passes in front of me. The office walls are covered in pictures of new mothers with their infants, of beautiful portraits of mothers holding their gorgeously molded bellies and inside every part of me is hurting, yearning, wanting.

My doc, the same one that delivered Z 4 years ago (yesterday and eternity) asks the routine questions. He stares at me puzzled, "It's been 4 years", he says and I nod. "Not even a thought that you might be pregnant at all in 4 years?" I shake my head as he scribbles notes on a pad.

He sends me for blood work and I know what is coming. I know because I have been down that road. I know because I have already done this before.

It doesn't make it hurt less when the phone rings. "We have the results of your blood test. You are not ovulating on your own. You will need to take fertility medicine. Even if you are not planning on getting pregnant right away, this process takes a while and it would be best if you started right away. We're very sorry. Some bodies just do this and we don't know why. You are getting older and you should start taking that into consideration as well."

I hang up the phone as my body goes numb. Back to the painful road of blood tests indicating pregnancy and bodily functions assuring you that that is most definitely not the case, back to the road of monthly tears and disappointment as month after month your body fails to do what it was made to do, back to charting temperatures and moods.

I know that it is all worth it in the end. I know because I have a beautiful and funny reminder of that every single day.

I don't know why my body cannot just work the way it's supposed to, I don't understand how it can be so easy for other people and so very very hard for others.

I have been a mother for as long as I can remember. I pray that I will be one again.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Secret Powers

I have a white streak of hair at the base of my neck. It has been there since I was 27. It does not get thicker, nor do I have any other white hairs elsewhere on my body. It was discovered many years ago by a roommate that thought I had leaned against either a very dusty wall or wet paint while wearing my hair in pigtails.

Z has recently discovered it. She loves to stroke it and dig through the rest of my hair to find it. She says that it is powerful. She says that it gives me strength.

Last night, while visiting the grandparents, Z was displaying how powerful she is now that she is finally 4. Her grandmother remarked how incredibly strong that she is and Z nodded. "Yep, I got my white hairs coming in." Of course there were puzzled looks around the room so Z had to put my streak on display for everyone to see.

She is right. My white streak is a symbol of strength and while it does not hold any "secret powers" it does externalize (to me) the strength that I have inside. This white streak appeared at the end of one of the hardest trials of my life. I had been through the wringer to get to that moment of comfort and companionship. I had just started to realize that my family was the family that I built around myself, not just the people with whom I share chromosones and DNA.

My white streak could have been caused by many things. Stress, exhaustion, excessive use of antibiotics when I was younger. I prefer to think that my white streak, and the white streak of so many other women, was created when God decided to make me a mother.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This Blog Can Really Cheer A Girl Up or Tear Her Way Down

I was talking to my friend, the Fairy Queen, the other evening about things that have been happening around the old homestead. The conversation was pretty funny and I was giggling pretty hard.

Below is a small transcript of how it went down:

  • Jessica Singletary Spurlock F
    airy Queen
    • I am glad that happened to you. That is so cool. You have done so much lately and had so much going on.
  • Tuesday
    Heather Bush Momma
    • I was writing a blog post the other day about that
    • and started thinking that that sounded like I was bragging
    • like "look at me - I have so much going on. I am SOOOOO cool." so I canned it
  • Tuesday
    Jessica Singletary Spurlock Fairy Queen
    • Ha! Well I don't know about that cuz I havent read it, but I doubt it.
    • You are soooo cool. Haha 
  • Tuesday
    Heather Bush Momma
    • Z just said," Do you have allergies? You have stuff coming out of your eyes." I said, "that's tears"
    • Like I am popular or something - SOOOO cool
  • Tuesday
    Jessica Singletary Spurlock Fairy Queen
    • Haha!
    • You are popular. 
  • Heather Bush
    • Haha! I don't think that is ever something I have thought
       about myself. Does that mean I have to start wearing different clothes and tanning? 'Cause I am not sure that we can afford that...

  • Tuesday
    Fairy Queen

    Absolutely NOT! Haha! 

  • Tuesday
    • And if I have to start brushing my hair before church - we will never be there on time.

  • Tuesday
    Fairy Queen
    • Heck no! I don't even shower before church half the time! Haha!

  • Tuesday
    • I have to because I don't shower on Saturdays.

So then I was feeling confused. If popularity has nothing to do with nice clothes, tanning, being clean and having well-kept hair - have I been coveting the wrong kind of popularity? Have I been jealous of the wrong types of girls? Could the homeless, drunk woman that apparently lives at my local Wal-Mart really be the most popular person I have ever met? And why didn't a news organization (or MTV) alert me to this earlier in my life when it could have saved me a lot of self-doubt, depression, self-hate, and aggravation for not fitting into that mold?

I thought about the words of the Fairy Queen, about her assertions of my popularity and coolness as I checked my stats on the bloggedy blog. A blog that has only been in existence for 10 months, but has had 14,000 unique page views. That is huge for a blog! Maybe I was popular! Maybe the Fairy Queen was right.

And then, I checked the search terms for the last week.

Oh, Google, why do you despise me so? The post that they were evidently linked to was this.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Apologies and A Funny Thing Happened at Church

First of all, I would like to apologize to you, my loyal readers, for disappearing so much this month. As I posted on Monday, I have a lot going on. Between two birthday parties for the big girl (one normal at the park party, another a slumber party that took on a new meaning of slumber), assisting with the toddlers for the annual church Christmas pageant, preparing to take on a community group that starts (eek!) in January, apprenticing with my current community group leader, working full-time, trying to keep my ever growing child in shoes and clothes at least through the winter, fretting about bills and money and homelessness - I am on overdrive and my blog has suffered for it. 

My child never sleeps. Never, that is, unless there are other kids in the house. Then it is ON!
On Sunday morning, the Hubs and I showered, dressed, and fed 3 little girls and got them out of the door and on time to church. To say that it was a miracle is to put it lightly and leaves me wondering how we can do that with 3 girls when we can never do it with our 1? Puzzling mysteries of the world, I suppose.

I love to sit in the front pew directly in front of the stage. It helps the Hubs stay awake (most of the time, which is a real issue. Apparently, if pews are involved, the Hubs is napping. Who knew that church could be so comfortable?) but it also helps me feel more plugged in, more part of the conversation, and, during worship, I need space. I really like worship.

So, anyway, our pastor, Pastor B, was talking about hearing God and the steps we needed to take to be able to truly hear God's conversations with us. It was a very powerful message and when I felt the Hubs kind of sinking down into his seat a little, I reached over to hold his hand hoping that it would help wake him up a little. His hand that I thought was laying in his lap. Imagine his shock and my embarrassment when I realized that what I was actually grabbing was his junk!

I snatched my hand away very quickly just as I saw a nod and a slight wink from our ever professional pastor who just continued on with his message.

I am pretty sure that the Hubs will not fall asleep at church anytime soon.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Glutton for the Holidays

I have a lot going on in my life, which seems funny to say like I am bragging or something. "OOOH, ooh, look at me - I have A LOT going on right now!" and doesn't really seem all that true when I actually stop to think about it. And, really, who doesn't have a lot going on right now?

Let's take a look at the list (I adore lists) and consider what I have at the moment. 
Kid + Family = Driving my kid 800 miles away to visit my mom (and brothers) for 3 or 4 days. 
  •  Washing, Drying, Folding, Packing. 
  •  Shopping for snacks and drinks that are car friendly (i.e. not too crumbly, do not contain Red No. 897, not too mushy, or juicy (no oranges or pickles in le car), will not mold or rot under a car seat a week after returning home). 
  • Cleaning out said car so that the two of us will have a place to put all of our junk and still have space left in case we acquire anything new for our return trip (one time, I got a dog on the way home - not sure how that would go over this time)
  • Planning out a route that will get us there safely and much quicker than the last trip. 
  • Shopping for the Hubs so that he will eat more than just hot dogs and baked beans while we are gone 
  • Cleaning the house so that I don't have to do it when I get back home (cause it sucks to be on the road for hours and walk into a dirty house)
  • Going to the tag office and paying 6 bucks to get a replacement sticker for my tag because somehow I managed to lose the one for my car and replace the one on the Hubs car
  • Getting the oil changed in my car because by the time that I drive 1600 miles it will be way past due for an oil change. 
Christmas - as much as I would like to think that I am TOTALLY prepared to fake the whole Santa thing with the kid, I am so not. I have lost her stocking for one (I could've sworn I packed it in the box with the the others, but it is not there). I have time to make her another one, but now it's just the damn point of it. We are a 3 person household, how are we not organised enough to find one F*ing stocking in our little house?
Don't forget the annual visit to Santa Claus!
Then there is the whole grandparents thing - do we have them over early Christmas morning to watch her open gifts and take pictures or do we trek over there once our morning revelry is done? If we have them over on Christmas morning, do I have enough time between getting off on Thursday and Sunday morning, even though I will be at church from 3:30 until 8:45 on Saturday evening to clean the house enough so that I don't get the disapproving looks from Grandma? Or will this be the year that Grandma breaks down and gets me a maid? Oh, the suspense of it all...

The kid wants to bake. Seriously bake, as we have done in years past when I have had two weeks off for the holidays and have whipped up cookies and Happy Birthday, Jesus cakes and pumpkin pies for the Hubs (it is his favorite food after all - if I could think of a way to incorporate some green veggies into his pumpkin pie we would all be happy). Unfortunately, try as I might I can not fit two weeks of baking into a solitary weekend. Looks as though there will be much baking mixed in with all of the laundry that must be done.

Face painting is a prerequisite to all holiday related activities lately. 
Then, there is all of the traditions from my childhood that I would like to share with my girl. Driving around to see the Christmas lights, opening pajamas on the night before Christmas (the pajamas better be here before Christmas - TARGET - box number 2 still has not arrived at the house and I am getting a bit panicky), getting toothbrushes to stick in our Christmas stockings (I have found that a lot of people have this as a tradition and it seems kind of odd to me), making Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve for Santa to eat with his beer (because after all that milk, Santa is feeling the need for something different), and making cinnamon rolls to put in the fridge for breakfast Christmas morning (cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate - yummmm).

I know that I am not the only person out there working full-time and then racing off to make fun holiday memories with my kid - how do you find your work/life balance? What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Fourth Birthday Letter

As I posted yesterday, I write Z a letter on her birthday each year. Today is her fourth birthday (I just can't believe it). 

Dear Z,

It has been a long, hard year since I last wrote you. Aside from the professional difficulties that I have had this year, the added pressure of you becoming a child over a baby has weighed heavily on me.

Since you turned three, your personality and demeanor have completely changed. The sweet cuddly toddler that I once snuggled with has turned into a headstrong preschooler with thoughts and opinions that often clash with my own.

You talk all of the time now and I know longer have to translate what you are saying to strangers or relatives. You run like a big kid, not at all like the semi-wobble of last year and you are so fast that I really have to work to keep up with you these days.

This is the year that you started coordinating numbers with counting. I am so proud that you can not only count to twenty but that you can do simple math.

It is also the year that you began not only identifying the letters the alphabet, but also begin recognizing their sounds. You are beginning to read 3-letter words and I cannot begin to tell you the amount of awe that I have on a daily basis at your capacity to learn.

You are highly competitive. You do not like anyone being noticed before you, or praised above you. You thrive when you are center stage, commanding all to pay attention. You insist on being first and refuse to accept that someone else may be more deserving of the limelight. (Personally, I blame myself for this. My personality is a lot like yours and you may have inherited this trait from your momma. Hopefully, you will use this trait for a healthy dose of drive and determination and not let it manifest as greed or jealousy.)

This year, you have finally stopped lashing out physically in frustration which has been a huge impact in our relationship. Rather than biting, hitting, scratching and pinching, you are now using your words to express your outrage. There are times, however, that the words that you say cut through me like a knife and I am left with a gaping hole in my heart. Your go-to phrase lately is that you wish that you were an orphan. This is one of the few wishes that you have that I pray never comes true. And that I completely blame Disney for.

You have increased your vocabulary by so much this year and a great deal of what you say surprises your Daddy and I. Words like "acceptable", "humbling", "demonstrating", and "interject" roll of your tongue with the ease of someone that has always possessed them. The fact that you use them at your age is impressive, the fact that you understand what they mean and use them correctly is awesomely scary. There are words that you have learned this year that have been banned from our household. Words like "fat" and "poop" and "hate" are no longer tolerated and will always be bad words in our home. I know that right now this confuses you, but someday, you will have a 3 year old and you will understand.

This is the first year that we have had expectations of you, which is what has led to a lot of the conflicts that we have had. We know what you are capable of, we see it on a daily basis. When you refuse to do what is asked of you, when you do not listen, or purposely disregard the rules, this was the first year that we have truly been disappointed in your behavior, rather than having excuses. This was the first year that you have received real punishments (confiscation of a toy, limitations on activities, etc) and that there have been real consequences to your actions.

You are more conscientious of your surroundings now than you ever have been and fully think out things before following through with your impulses. It is good to see you thinking through your decision rather than running straight to them. It also helps me know when you may be up to no good.

What breaks me the most is how much you have grown in the last year. You have real wrists and ankles now. The day that I noticed that, I died inside a little. You have gone from wearing a 4T at last year's party to a 6T! It kills me to see you growing up so fast and makes me yearn for that baby that I carried so long ago.

4 years. It has been a crazy, wild, and fun ride little girl and we are only getting started. I can't wait to see what this year has in store for the both of us. If you don't mind though, I am gonna buckle us both up - I think it might get a little bumpy along the way.

I love you.


Friday, December 16, 2011

A Letter

Every year for Z's birthday, I write her a letter so that I can remember events from the previous year and so that she will be able to look back one day when she is a parent and know that her children are not abnormal or psychotic or hell-bent on killing their mother. It's a favor for her really. 

Tomorrow is her birthday, so I thought I would share last year's letter with you first...

It’s been 3 years since you came into my life. Three years since we sat alone in the hospital getting to know each other and learning about the other's personality. Three years since I praised God that you were healthy and so much more than I ever prayed for. Three years since “me” became “we”.

It’s been two years since I nursed you, holding you tight against my skin. Two years since the faint smell of my milk on your lips lulled me into sleep. It seems like yesterday. I can’t believe how much you’ve grown.

It’s been one year since I changed your diapers and played peek –a- boo. Now you run to the potty all on your own. I never dreamed that I would miss changing the diapers, but I do. It was our time, when everything else stopped and we could focus just on each other.

I weep with joy over the person that you have grown into and the person that you are becoming. I weep with sadness over the little baby that you were, the baby that you will never be again.

Now we begin a new chapter of you sleeping in a separate bed, your own bed. Away from me, where I can hear you breathe and watch you slowly drift to sleep, my thoughts are bittersweet. I am so proud of who you are becoming, but I miss the baby that you used to be.

We have lots of fun together now, fun that we could not have had when you were a baby or a toddler. We bake, paint, create and play in ways that we have never been able to before. You love to make up dances and songs and incorporate me into your “shows”. I adore you and love when you tell me that I am your best friend, I am holding tight to these moments, little girl, because I don’t know how long this phase with you will last. And while I miss the little moments that we had together that are gone, those moments are exactly what has turned you into the confident, independent and smart little rock star that you have become.  

Every day, you remind of something I have forgotten, some small miracle that I would have missed because I am so focused on the road ahead instead of the here and now. Each day, I see a new wonder through your eyes and it reminds me to have patience and understanding, As much as you are learning from me, you are teaching me all of the things that I had forgotten. You a wonder and a miracle and I pray that you will always know that.
I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us and I am excited to see what will happen in the years to come. I know that there will be highs and lows, but I will be with you for every stumble and fall and every triumphant success that you have.

I love you, Z, and every day my love for you multiplies. Happy 3rd Birthday, baby girl.

Changing from 2 to 3, Z had had a pretty good track record. She rarely had temper tantrums, hardly ever talked back, ate everything that was placed in front of her. This year's letter will be a bit...well... different. 

Scary Babies

"Momma, I'm a mother now," the almost 4 year old standing in front of me declares.

"Really? When did that happen," I ask, curious.

"Well, I have these babies...," she trails off as she heads into her room and returns with an armful of bald baby dolls.

"This," she exclaims as she hands me a Princess Aurora Sleeping Beauty baby, "is the most evil of all of my babies. Her name is Azula. She ate her father 4 minutes after she was born. It was horrible."

"Oh. Oh, my. How did you handle that?"

"Well, I was sad that I lost my husband, but happy to have my baby. I love her," she clutches the doll tightly to her chest.

The face of true evil.
"This is my only son," she holds up a slightly larger doll that I know as Maggie. "His name is Pooh Bear."


"He is a good boy. He does not hurt anyone. Not even Azula."

"I'm glad, he looks powerful."

"Yes, he is very strong," she pauses to stare at the baby before slamming him into the carpet NFL touchdown style. "He said a bad word. He needs to think about his choices."


"And this," she presents the next doll with a flourish. "This is Flower. She has problems."

I look at the doll that I know as just Baby. Someone has taken a black crayon to her head and drawn a line all the way around. There are large, colored-in, black circles all over the top of her head. There is red crayon smeared on one of her hands.

"I should say so. What's wrong with her head?"

"This is from her head surgery, they had to cut it open. And these," she explains, touching the large circle on the top of her head, "are boo-boos. She falls down a lot." And with that she drops the baby onto it's already sore head.

"What about the red marks on her hand?" I ask, not fully wanting to know the answer.

"Oh, that's blood. She ate her father's eyeballs right before Azula got to him..."

I am not sure what is going on in my home. I am not sure why cannibalism (Is it cannibalism? They are dolls and I would assume that the father is a human, although she is very vague on the details.) seems to be an acceptable activity for babies, or why so many of her children are so very accident prone (although I suspect that there may be some doll abuse going on), and I am not sure, but Pooh Bear seems to have some real problems with his bowels as I was asked to change his diaper no less than 20 twenty times in an hour.

I am still praying for a normal child...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fitting In

It's been a while since I have worked in a big, professional atmosphere. hadn't realized how long it's been until I wrote that sentence.

It has been 10 years.

That's not to say that I haven't worked. I have been working. It's just that my last few jobs were business casual. Smaller companies that were a little more laid back in their day-to-day dealings. And the people in those companies, although small, were very much like family. Some of them still are part of our family, actually. Our landbaron (he hates being called a landlord) actually began as a fellow co-worker.

I got so used to those intimate relationships that I had at those companies that I forgot what it was like to work somewhere that was more of a grown up job, more professional, more corporate America.

And that's where I find myself today.

Many of the people that I work with have been here since graduating college, some even started as interns during college, and I am the new girl. There are cliques, as well as mean girls (dressed as 50-something year old women) that attempt to "put me in my place" on a fairly consistent basis.

None of this really bothered me until the holiday season really took full effect. There have been at least 5-6 interoffice social gatherings that I have attended in the last two weeks. It is painfully obvious that I am not fitting in. I sit by myself, sequestered in a corner, smiling at those that dare to glance in my direction. I try to share amusing stories about friends, past jobs, the kid - but I don't matter to them, I am just the new girl.

It does not help that it is common knowledge how many applicants I beat out for this position. Or that I, as an outsider, was brought in over some of my counterparts that currently work in other departments. But it is lonely.

I am hoping that things will get better. I know that I am being humbled for some big purpose and that it is not my job to figure all of that out right now. My job is the one that I have been given to do, no matter how lonely I may get and in this holiday/birthday season, I am happy to have it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Have Lost My Doggone Mind

I am a cat person. I love the gentle way that they crawl up in your lap on cool nights. I love the soft purr vibrating through their bodies. Cats are my homies, early risers that like to take short naps. When I am up in the middle of the night, the cat is my only companion. He has his ferocious side too, as evidenced by his recent "gifts", but for the most part he and I have a quiet understanding. I will feed him and pet him, he will agree to not chew on my hair or scratch me when I clean his toenails.

But I have always had a dog in my home. Always, that is, save for the last year since my beloved Doberman died. She was old and the first dog that was really just mine. I adopted her from a foster home for abused and neglected animals. She was timid and shy, so scared of men that when I brought her home to live with my dad and brother, she sat in the corner shaking and peeing on herself for two days. My father won her over with peanut butter crackers, a treat that to her final days was the only thing that would perk her up and make her jump around like a puppy.

Her name was Andromeda. Andie, for short, and she was the perfect dog for me. At 5 years old when I got her, she did not jump on people when you came through the door. She rarely barked, saved for when she thought that I was in some sort of danger. She never went too far from my side and the few times that she would run, if she should notice that I was not giving chase, she would come back quickly nudging me with her nose.

She was afraid of balloons, of shoes and of the cats. She would enforce the house rules though. should a cat decide to go all maverick and scratch on a wall or carpet, her would come Andie pouncing her large paws in their direction, never getting close enough to be scratched but close enough to make the cat run in the opposite direction.

She was large enough to scare away anyone that would think to bother me when I was home alone, but small enough to fit in my lap, except when I was pregnant. Then she would settle for laying on the floor next to my feet, carefully watching me for any signs that something was changing.

After Z was born, I sent the Hubs home with a blanket that she had been swaddled in so that Andie could know her smell when we came home. Oh, she loved that little girl. She changed her demeanor towards me, now focusing to protect our newest addition. Should I change a diaper while the baby was crying, Andie would nudge me thinking that I was in some way hurting our girl. Z learned to stand by pulling herself up on the dog's back. She learned to walk because she was trying to follow her.

Constant companions. Where Z was, Andie was sure to follow. 
As Andie got older, she slept more and more. When she would get up, it would be a slow process for her to finally get into a standing position. It broke my heart to see her this way and I worried daily that Z and I would come home to find her dead. After two days of her almost sleeping continuously, not even waking up when she would relieve herself, I kissed her goodbye and helped the Hubs carry her to the car to take her to the vet. That was the last time I saw my girl.

This morning, watching the news, I saw the most gorgeous red hound mix on the news report for the shelter. Gorgeous to me anyway, she is skinny with the same sad doe eyes of my Andie. On Thursday, she will be on sale for 4 dollars. I want her to live with me, to be my dog (if you have read A Dog's Purpose, you will understand this next part). I think she is my dog, my beautiful Andie's soul wrapped in this new young body. While the Hubs and I have discussed getting another dog, we both recognize that this is just not the right time for us. And my heart yearns for this girl to be part of our family.

Please someone adopt her so that I can't. The Hubs will kill me if I bring home another pet. 
I think I may have lost my doggone mind.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Poison

Did you know that one 20 ounce bottle of Mountain Dew contains 19 teaspoons of sugar?
There are 48 teaspoons in a cup.

For the last few years, while I was happily drinking my six 20 ounce bottles of Mountain Dew a day, I was drinking close to 2 and half cups of sugar a day! Or just over a pound of sugar a day! Or almost 9 pounds of sugar in a week!


When I started the Plexus Slim Little Pink Drink last Saturday, I was hesitant to say the least. I didn't know how it was going to taste (I don't like chalky or anything with an aftertaste). I was afraid that I would have both caffeine and sugar withdrawals. I was worried that I would be tired all day and not be able to function. I couldn't have been more wrong. I have had none of the withdrawals from caffeine - no headaches, no shakiness, nothing. I have felt great, have had plenty of energy and have felt good enough when I got home from work that I could play with my kid instead of praying for bedtime. I have not felt cranky or deprived.

I have also not been starving when I get home. Normally, I would graze the entire time I was cooking dinner because it had been hours since my last meal. I have noticed this week that, while I am interested in eating dinner, I am not so famished that I have to munch on chips or snacks to get me through making dinner.

I have had chronic pancreatitis for the last 4 years. A drunk old man's disease, but I am neither a drunk, old, or a man and they had chalked me up to being one of those rare mystery cases. I have been to digestive disease specialists at the Mayo Clinic, Shands Hospital as well as two different gastroenterologists here at home. None of them could figure out why I had this disease. I have never had high cholesterol (a risk factor) and am not diabetic (another risk factor).

This week, I went to a appointment with the nurse practitioner at my pain management doctor's office. I told her about the change from soda to water and about how good I was feeling. I told her that I had none of the normal abdominal tenderness, bloating or pain that I have come to know in the last few years.

She looked me square in the eye and back at my giant folder that documents this awful journey. "None of these men told you to stop drinking soda?"

I shook my head no.

She explained that our bodies are not meant to take in this much sugar at one time. Our tiny little pancreas is the only organ in our entire body that regulates our blood sugar. When you load in this much sugar all at once, it shifts into hyper drive trying to keep up. The problem with sodas is they cause a double whammy on your pancreas because at the same time it is revving into hyper drive to control the blood sugar the caffeine is counteracting it by constricting blood flow and robbing the blood of water molecules that it needs to be able to carry out the job. Explains the sugary rush that sodas give you. In addition, new studies show that increased soda consumption carries an increased risk of not only pancreatitis (which is devastating and extremely painful) but also pancreatic cancer (which is almost always terminal).

She also pointed out a few things about myself that I hadn't noticed or didn't think were related.

I have Tinea Versicolor on my chest, shoulders and back. It's especially bad in the summer because it gets crazy itchy when it is humid and hot. It developed in my mid-20's (around the time I started drinking soda more than anything else) and I have been prescribed expensive creams, anti-fungals, the gammet all to have them fail.

Tinea Versicolor is caused by a yeast that lives in every one's body. When the yeast becomes so predominate within the body, the body attempts to expel it in any way possible. For people with Tinea Versicolor that way is through the skin. Yeast feeds and duplicates itself with sugar. By dumping enormous amounts of sugar into my body, I have been inadvertently feeding this skin disorder that has plagued me for the last 15 years.

She also told me about probiotics and some other home remedies I can do to help get rid of the excess yeast. I am researching Candida Overgrowth as well and will let you know what I learn about that next week.

That craving for Mountain Dew that I woke up with this morning? It's not so strong anymore.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Am THAT Parent

I made a video for Z this week from Santa.

I don't like to lie. I especially don't like to lie to authority figures and, unfortunately, I view Santa as an authority on all things naughty and nice. I did not lie to Santa when I input that she had been naughty and had not followed through with the few tasks that have been assigned to her.

She got the naughty video.

She watched with delighted expectation Santa as he talked about her year and the kind of toys that are on her wish list. Her mouth hung open as he opened her "special file" that contained pictures from Halloween and our Christmas vacation. And when Santa asked the elves to see if she was on the nice list or the naughty list, her face fell 400 feet to the floor when she realized that Santa knew that her behavior hasn't really been up to snuff.

He encouraged her to try harder, to do better, to listen and do as she has been told.

I think it may have fallen on deaf ears. It's either that or she is testing Santa.

This is the first year that she truly understands repercussions and consequences for her actions. The way that she has gone on and on about how "Santa is gonna get me" or "I need Santa to buy me this" has sent this momma spiraling. This mass accumulation of STUFF at the very end of a very hard year is enough to make me scream.

This is not what I want for my child, this selfish spirit, this idea that things will bring her happiness. I have heard her singing, "Gimmee lots o' presents, cause it's Christmas time!!!!". That is not a Christmas song that I want to know the words to and as she gets older, it will only be that much harder to tame this type of greed.

We have never gone really big at Christmas. A few thoughtfully chosen gifts, a quiet morning at home, cinnamon buns baking as we open the gifts. The more that I fight against having the blow out Christmas fare, TV commercials, a trip to the mall, and conversations with friends have blown this holiday into something laden with expectation and "I WANT".

There will be a let down on Christmas morning.

I just hope and pray that she makes it there, because, given the attitude so far this year, I am not sure how she will make it to Santa's nice list in time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Getting Slim

For the last five days I have been drinking my little pink drink and a whole lotta water. At times I wonder if I could float away on all of the water that I have been drinking.

I have tried to stay away from the scale, but curiosity got the best of me this morning and I just had to know. I have lost 5 pounds in 5 days! Wooo! I know that it's water weight and blah, blah, blah, but this is 5 pounds less than I weighed on Saturday.

I feel better as well. It's strange how one change to your routine (quitting Mountain Dew or adding a diet supplement) will help you notice the things that you are putting into your body. I have not had any fast food for lunch this week, opting instead to pick up a pack of cold cuts, some cups of yogurt and a bag of onion rolls from the grocery store earlier this week.

I know that there is no such thing as easy weight loss. I have heard what people say about as soon as I stop taking the supplement that I will gain it right back, but this has enabled me to quit Mountain Dew, has encouraged me to drink more water and eat healthier. It was the catalyst I needed to really focus on my health and I feel like that's what I really needed.

Also, the taste is not that bad. The first day it seemed almost overly sweet, but now it tastes like raspberry lemonade. It doesn't smell bad and it seems pretty fancy to have a glass of something pink in the morning.

I don't get the mid afternoon munchies the way that I did before (which is awesome!) and I have more energy and focus throughout the day. In fact, I have energy to play with my kid when  I get home from work (before I was just counting down the minutes to bedtime).

I encourage you to try this! I know that it seems pricey (but it's less than the almost $300 a month I was spending on the Dew). If you are unsure, take the 7 day challenge and see for yourself. If you have a lot to lose, or just need to make some extra part-time cash, you can become an ambassador and get your product for free!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oliver and Company (Or Lessons Learned From The Animal Kingdom)

A while back I told you about Oliver, our cat. I complained about how it seemed like forever for the Hubs to go and get him fixed.

He's been fixed and recovered and is wilder now than ever (I really thought it was supposed to settle him down).

We made a decision to let him be an indoor/outdoor cat now that he is fixed and has had his rabies shots. The first morning that I put him outside, he looked bewildered and a bit dejected. When he finally decided to leave the porch, the bell on his collar and his rabies tag jingling with each step, I thought, Wow, I have really hindered his ability to hunt with his tags and bell, he will never be able to catch anything.

Oh, how wrong I am about so many things. Since he has been outside for the last week, he has brought home two birds, a mouse, a squirrel, a mole and a snake.

The snake scared me the most as he left it on the bottom step of the deck. Stepping down with an arm full of things trying to get myself out of the door to go to work, I caught a glimpse of it from the corner of my eye. I leaped then, from the second step to my car door, scurried to get the door shut and the car turned on before I realized that it was very much dead. I snapped a picture from the safety of my car, just in case.

You may be feeling sorry for the myriad of animals that I have pretended that I did not see so that my husband would have to dispose of them. Do not feel sorry for them, besides the fact that they are so blatantly stupid. If a bird (or mouse, mole or squirrel) can not hear that tinkling bell and the clanging of his rabies tag and know that they need to get out of the way, then they kind of deserved whatever they got.

I mean, a bird has an incredible advantage over a cat. It can fly to higher ground, it can move very rapidly. And yet, it chooses to ignore the alarm system being emitted from the hunter in the interest of finding another bug or grub.
The takeaway? Ignoring your problems will not make them go away, it will only get yourself killed and mutilated on my doorstep.

The mouse and mole are much smaller than the cat and could get into spaces much smaller than he can.
The takeaway? Unfortunately for them, hiding from your problems will not make them go away, they will only get you killed and mutilated on my doorstep.

A squirrel can run up a tree! I have never seen a cat run up a tree like a squirrel.
The takeaway? Running from your problems, while it may seem like a good idea, will only insure that you will get killed and mutilated on my doorstep.

As for the snake, well snakes just deserve to die.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Am Cancelling Christmas After Last Night

Last night, the Hubs met me at work so that Z and I could go to dinner with some friends from church. The evening started off innocently enough, the girls were hyper and cute, excited to see each other in a different element, and my friend and I were actually able to get some real conversation done.

Z and I left there and arrived home just in time to see "Here Comes Santa Claus" on TV. With this Christmas classic playing in the background, I felt festive enough to haul out all of the Christmas paraphenalia, untangle the strands of lights, go through ornaments and make sure that all hooks were intact and that nothing was broken, unravel all of the garland and untie any knots left from last year's hasty cleanup.

I was patient with the "oohing" and "aahing" from the almost 4 year old beside me that had to touch and discuss every last centimeter of "prize" in the Christmas box. I was patient with the not quite 1 year old cat that has never seen a Christmas scene before. I happily smiled as I assembled the tree, sang along with the songs from the movie as we hung the ornaments with care, lifted my 50 pound child unto my shoulders so that she could be the one to place the star atop the tree.

The night was so perfect that I was really starting to believe that I have got this mothering thing under control (finally).

I could not have been more wrong.

At 9:30, I dressed Z in her favorite nightgown. I was told that I was the "bestest mommy ever" because it was washed, dried and hung in her closet (apparently, we all have low expectations). I read two story books and left her room.

At 10:00, the screaming started. Loud, infantile, obtrusive screaming. I was so quietly patient the f-ing Super Nanny would have thrown me a banquet. Every time she would cross the threshold of her door, I would quietly, without eye contact, scoop her up and place her back in her bed. Over and over. For an hour and a half.

She screamed, "I will die in here, all alone" (we have a penchant for the dramatic), "WAH, I want my mommy", "WAAAAAAH, I want my cat", "WAAAAAAAAAAAH, NO ONE LOVES ME". I crocheted and watched the news, waiting for the sound of silence. I stifled my smiles and giggles. I did not yell or even speak. I crocheted and waited.

At 11:15, she moved to just inside of her bedroom door on the floor. As long she stays within her room, I do not fight her because she is in her room. Still screaming, she sat looking out into the hallway.

11:30. Silence. Sudden silence. I smile.

11:31. Blood curdling, earth shattering screams. "I PEED MY BED. I PEED MY BED".

My blood rises. My face goes hot. Anger is dripping off of me.

She is sitting on her bed, fully clothed, saturated with urine. She has peed her bed on purpose, because she thinks that I will not make her sleep there. She got off the floor, walked to her bed, sat on it and purposely peed her bed. WTF? The toilet is less than 4 feet from where she was sitting on the floor.

I walk out of her room and into the bathroom. I place a towel over the wet spot, strip off her clothes and storm out of the room.

She went to bed, naked, on a towel.

Santa will be banned from our house this year. I am taking down the tree tonight.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thinking Pink

I have been complaining for some time now that I want to lose weight, but seem to lack the motivation or energy to do so.

I have also been complaining about how broke we have been in the last few months.

Last night, I decided to do something about these problems. A friend of mine has been selling the Plexus Slim "Little Pink Drink" for about a month now as well as taking it herself and has had amazing results in both areas. I have thought about it and have decided to do it as well.

I am not expecting to lose all of the weight in one day, week or month. I know that that will not happen. I do expect to have more energy and drive to achieve the goals that I have set in place. I think that this will help me. It has taken me a LONG time to get to the weight that I am now and I expect it to take a long time to come off.

I also know that there are some pretty lofty psychological issues surrounding my weight and how I got here, I know that I am going to have to deal with those things as the weight comes off and I think I am finally ready to deal with them. For a long time I have used my weight to guard against people hurting me, abusing me. I am finally content with who I am, the person that I have been created to be and that's why I know that I can make this work.

I am not expecting to get rich quick. We just need a few extra bucks a month to help us get ahead of the bills so that we can start to pay down some of our debt. I think that this can help us.

I am not expecting to lie to you and tell you that something works great or tastes great if it doesn't. I am not going to sell to you every single day. That's not why I started this blog, it's not what this blog is for. I will be honest with you every step of the way - even if it hurts my sales, even if it drives readers away.

I am going to post once a week to let you know where I am with this and show you before and after pictures. I know that I have to make the lifestyle changes to lose the weight along with this or it will never work. I accept that and am willing to give it my 100%.

If you would like to join me, you can visit my Plexus Slim website and check out the products. They cost about $4 a day (if you look at the monthly price I know that it seems expensive - but I think everyone knows where they dump $4 a day, I spend mine on Mountain Dew which I am not going to be able to drink anyway).

In January, I am planning on doing a giveaway of a 1 week trial pack to one of my lucky readers, so please stay posted on that.

I am excited about this opportunity and where I hope it will take me - I hope that you all join me for the ride!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Cobbled Path

I love the Scare Bear.

I have told you before how she is such a great friend and kind of a goofball. And I have eluded to her problem with a recent illness.

Today, she has an appointment to finally be cured of the evil that has been dwelling inside of her. What is it? An alien? Another child? A parasitic worm?


It is a stone. A stone that she made in her kidney and I think she should get to keep since she has spent the last three weeks trying to labor and will and puke and pee that sucker out. But alas, it had to be removed by a doctor because it would not come out on it's own.

And so they keep it, because they are the ones that got it out. Phooey.

She made it, she labored it. It's not going to provide the cure for cancer or breathe or be a medical breakthrough. It is a stone. A kidney stone.

I personally think she should get it made into jewelry, a nice bracelet or necklace. Something pretty out of all of this mess.

Today, when she mentioned the need for a pep talk, I gave her jokes. I am not sure how to give a pep talk and should probably never be involved with the sick and ailing people of the world again. She said I was killing her. So much for my career in comedy to invalids...

I have named her stone George. Because everyone in her family is named George.

Goodbye, George. You will not be missed.

But, hey, friend? I do miss you...

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