Sunday, May 2, 2010
So my mom died last November. Don't worry, I'm not turning this blog into a pity party. Am I dealing with a lot of "stuff" since she passed away? Sure! But this isn't the place for it.
So why did I even bring it up?
No one was really prepared for my mom's death. She got really sick in late July, and it just went downhill from there. By the time we realized how it was going to end, there was about a month left in her, and partly due to the cancer, partly due to the medications, she wasn't really in her own mind. And we were all kind of in shock, disbelief and even a little denial. So nothing really happened in terms of getting her finances/estate in order. Plus I had just had a baby, and my brother had just had his first baby (well, really his wife did), so neither of us really had any time to think about stuff like that.
So most of the winter was spent preparing to put her house on the market. Because of our schedules, I wasn't able to devote as much time to this as my brother was. I basically made the hour-long trip to visit her every day of my maternity leave (she died the day before I was scheduled to return to work), so after her death, I had to tend to the family, work and life I had put on hold for her. But the other day I was finally able to make a trip to her house, without the kids or husband, to take care of some final things before the house officially went on the market.
I lived in that house from 1990-1997, but still considered it my home until I moved in with TB in 2000. And even then, I felt totally comfortable showing up at any time of the day or night, letting myself in, and making myself at home there. I'd help myself to whatever food was around, lounge on the couch, do laundry, take paper towels and toilet paper...whatever.
But now, as I let myself in through the garage by inputting the codes on the alarm, as I'd been doing for years, things were different.
My brother did a lot of work to the house. Rooms were repainted. The kitchen was completely redecorated. Cabinets were a different color and the counter was replaced with a new darker top. Half the furniture was gone, and the millions of plants that my mom had decorating every room had vanished. Photos were no longer on walls or refrigerator doors. All the things that made this place my home were no longer there.
I wasn't comfortable anymore. In fact, I was downright scared.
I was terrified that since no one lived there anymore, homeless people had invaded the house and were living in the basement.
Every sound I heard made me jump. I came very close to just turning around and leaving.
But I knew it would be a long time before I was able to return without the kids, and I couldn't get any work done with them there. So I had to stay. But I also had to make sure there were no vagrants in the basement.
I was in the bathroom off my mom's bedroom by this point. I looked around for a weapon and found this:
But just the fact that I now had something I could stick in their eye, should I get close enough to them, made me feel a little better. Good enough to venture downstairs to the kitchen, dining room and living room area to make sure no one was hanging out on the main floor.
You know, in case I didn't notice them on my way in.
So I made the rounds, holding my weapon out in front of me, ready to attack. I was walking around the living room when I spotted something that reminded me of my mother's fondness for sharp things, and realized that there's a weapon in every room:
There were several things that my mom "collected", and scissors were one of them. There were piles like this one in every room. Knowing this, and arming myself with two of them, I found myself brave enough to venture into the basement. Once I confirmed that I was alone in the house (except for the mice- my brother named the "big black one Stinky...because he smells...bad"), I was able to get to work.
Yeah. I found it.
Only because of my mom's disturbing attachment to it, I didn't have the heart to throw it away. So I stuck it in a jelly bean jar full of hanging file folder tabs, and it now sits on the cabinet next to my desk at home.
Ugh. Moving on...
So now I have a gun.
Sure, it's just a pellet gun, or a BB gun. But it makes me feel all gangsta just the same.
Even though it's in storage now.
I'm still a thug.
And I carried it around the house for the remainder of the afternoon. Because it made me feel good.
Finally, I got hungry. If you know me, you know that was bound to happen, sooner rather than later. The cool thing about my mom's place was that there was always food there. But since this was no longer my mom's place, my options were limited to what was left in the freezer.
The only thing that was edible was an unopened container of Cool Whip.
Good enough for me!
But there were no spoons, forks or even knives to eat it with. So I did what any normal human being would do. I took the lid off and started licking. But since it was frozen, or maybe I just hadn't worked my tongue out in a while and it was weak (is it just me or did that sound dirty?), I wasn't getting very far.
So I squished the sides in to force the frozen cream out and stuck my face in and started taking bites. This is what that looked like:
As I described to a friend via text, I ended up throwing the whole container away because "It's useless to me now since I can't get my face in any deeper. Can't use my hand cuz it's holding my gun."
Any other day, that might sound weird...
Thursday, February 18, 2010
There was a time in my life when I'd get off work, meet up with a friend at the mall, have some dinner, lose myself in some hobbies maybe, and still be able to relax and/or get some housework done at some point. These days? I'm lucky if I get a shower. Of course, some days are worse than others. Like yesterday.
I get home from work around 2:45pm most days. TB leaves and it's just me and the girls until bedtime. Since Pearl still doesn't have any type of pattern to her napping (when and if she chooses to nap), most of the afternoon is spent cleaning bottles, making formula and closely observing her to see if she's getting tired. I usually give up on the nap and try to run around 5pm, but rarely make it to the treadmill until 6:30. If I make it at all. Yesterday I wandered into the bedroom to change into my running clothes and saw our comforter on the floor. In a big pile. Ripped to shreds.
Immediately I glared at Koko, who was sitting at the end of the hallway. As if she could sense my anger, she raised her head to look at me, then lowered her head, ashamed. Since she was diagnosed with Lymes Disease (yeah, just a few days before Pearl was diagnosed with pneumonia after a fever of 104.5 that resulted in a 6-hour emergency room visit) I didn't have the heart to reprimand her. So I just left the comforter there. It's her bed now.
I changed into my running clothes and went to change Pearl's diaper before bringing her downstairs. And of course, she peed on me. And the carpet. And then as soon as I changed her outfit, she spit up all over it. Changed outfit again. Started to make the move down to the treadmill and SB announced she was hungry. Within the past 2 hours the girl had chicken nuggets, a yogurt, some crackers and a handful of candy from Valentine's Day. How could she possibly be hungry already? I made her a waffle with peanut butter so she could eat it downstairs while I ran.
Started to gather up Pearl to head to the treadmill, but by now she was crying her patented hungry cry. Press pause. Insert bottle. Then she fell asleep on me. I didn't dare move her because she needed the nap, and I know my child well enough to know that she would wake up as soon as her head hit the crib. So I sat there like a slave to my 6-month old as she slept on my lap. When she woke up of course, she needed to be changed, then proceeded to puke on herself yet again as I changed her.
By now it was around 6:30. Pearl needs to eat her cereal and solids around 7pm so she can start getting ready for bed immediately after. When she hits her wall at night, all Hell breaks loose as I frantically try to throw her into a sleep sack, fill her humidifier and stick a bottle in her mouth to top off the tank as she screams bloody murder. Not stressful at all. But 6:30 was still early enough that I could get a good 30 minutes in and still stick to her schedule.
But no, SB has to poop. She's four now, and can handle going potty on her own. But she lacks in the butt wiping skills. So I had to stick around and help her. 15 minutes later, she was good to go. (Did I mention she was the slowest pooper ever?) But not enough time for me to run.
So now I feel blah. I woke up early this morning to get a run in before work, but my ADD kicked into overdrive and I did pretty much everything but run. Not counting on getting a run tonight because I have to buy SB new tap shoes then bring her to dance class. Ugh.
Monday, January 11, 2010
So that's my lame excuse for not being devoted lately. Although with the hiatus I took back in the fall, I guess it's only to be expected. I have 164 photos and videos on my phone right now, many of which I'd like to share with you. So I need to get to blogging!
So what have I been up to? Mostly carting SB around to dance lessons, rehearsals and recitals. She was in the Nutcracker again last weekend. Freaking adorable, no doubt. But that's not what I want to talk about right now. A few weeks ago was parents' night at dance class, where we parents were allowed into the room to sit up front and witness first hand what we are paying for. Last year I got to see SB writhe around on the floor, make funny faces in the mirror, and perform the same dance, no matter what the lesson was. I was also lucky enough to catch Anna in the act, a dear child who made my own brat look like an angel.
This year, SB was great. Her body went through the right motions, but her face was a screwed up ball of grinning cheese that shouted "Look at me, Ma!" and had all the parents and the teacher cracking up. I had forgotten my camera, but luckily had my phone, and was able to catch this priceless moment of Emma (far right, if you couldn't tell) picking her nose. Then eating it. At least it wasn't my kid!!
Monday, December 14, 2009
We always got a real Christmas to decorate when I was younger, even
though with 2 cats and a dog, it was kind of dangerous. My cat, Chewy,
who was appropriately named by accident (Chewy was short for Chouette,
which meant cute in French) would constantly chew on the wires of the
lights. My brother's cat Tiger would bat at the ornaments until they
fell and usually broke. And the dog would invariably chase one of the
cats right into the tree at least a few times per season. It's a
miracle they all made it through each holiday season!
So it was no suprise when my mother decided against buying a Christmas
tree shortly after my brother and I had left for college. But since we
still came home for Christmas, mom didn't want to lose the feeling of
Christmas. An avid gardner, she had many plants strewn about her
house. Sheu found the next best thing to a dangerous traditional tree,
and thus began her holiday tradition of decorating the tropical banana
tree with ornaments and lights and putting the presents under it, just
beside its pot.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
A few months ago I turned 31. By most people's standards, that's not too incredibly old. But it seems like in the past few months, my body's age has increased by at least a decade. I wake up every morning in pain with a stiff back. I've been nursing all kinds of minor injuries, like low back pain, muscle cramps, and now I have knee pain.
Knee pain? I'm not active enough yet to have knee pain. I only really started working out seriously about a month ago. I'm still running 3 miles at a pop, at best, a few days per week, and the exercise classes I teach/take aren't brutal enough to justify knee pain. I think I might have twisted something on Tuesday night in ballet...since I'm so hard core in class. But I can't think of what I could have done. Turnout occurs at the hip, and my hips are fine.
My feet even hurt, like I've been running on the treadmill at top speed barefoot. I've never had achy feet before. And I even got new shoes last month!!
I used to make fun of my coworker because he would hobble in every morning, complaining of back pain and sore legs, pop a few Pain Aids, and get on with his day, but this morning I found myself at the medicine cabinet at work, looking for the Pain Aid just to get through the morning!!
I took a quiz on Facebook a while back that was supposed to estimate your "real" age. Since Facebook quizzes are widely known for their accuracy, I was surprised to see that my "real" age was 0. Might explain me, mentally, but physically? Add a one and another zero in front.
I've really got it in my head that I'm a runner. Or I should be. So I'm having a hard time accepting that it might not be the best thing for my pathetic crumbling body. I'm trying a different path these days. This weekend I'm attending a workshop to become certified as a Yogafit instructor. Then in February I will attend a similar workshop to become certified to teach Pilates. Since I have zero time at home to practice these things, I thought teaching would not only make me more marketable, but allow me to get in some good workouts on the clock.
On a completely unrelated note, I brought Pearl in for her 4-month checkup this week. Apparently this beast of a child is 16 lbs 5 oz already, which puts her in the 90th percentile for both height and weight. I'm not sure where the Amazon woman gene comes from, but the doctor couldn't have been happier.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
One of my splurges was to enroll my ungraceful self in ballet lessons.
Are you finished laughing yet? No? It's ok, I'll wait.
Now? Good. I took ballet for many years as a youth. We moved around a lot, but I pretty much took lessons on and off between moves from the time I was 3 until I was 16. At that point, I begged my mother to let me continue jazz and tap but drop ballet. I likened myself to the dancing hippos from Fantasia's Dance of the Hours.
But I chose to enroll in this class for several reasons:
- As a working mother of 2 young-uns, I need some alone time
- I could use some flexibility
- I could use some gracw and poise
- I'm in love with SB's dance teacher and she teaches the adult ballet class on the one evening that I could actually take it!
- Dancers are hot.
So I've gone twice so far. I'm doing pretty well in the class, but holy moly, let me tell you that those mirrors are HELLACIOUS. Now, I'm no hot mama quite yet, but I thought I was doing pretty well in the get back to a normal human female non-whale shape department. That confidence was completely shattered when I glanced in the mirrors in class. The person I saw staring back at me was a short, squat, butternut squash with a ponytail and legs. Short, stubby legs. That jiggled a lot.
The good thing is that I didn't have to look in the mirror long, because my barre was at the opposite end of the room and we do a lot of stuff facing the barre so my back was to the mirror. But then one of the last things we do are sautes (jumps) right in front of the mirror.
I almost cried. The butternut squash was made of Jell-o!! OMG. I have never seen anything so disgusting in my entire life. Well, maybe this. Actually, that's kind of what I looked like, only less scantily clad. Well actually, not really since I was in dance class. OK that's really video from my dance class.
So yeah. Now I'm really motivated to buckle down and lose the rest of my Pearl whale weight. I started the plan by consuming only half a panini at lunch today instead of a whole one! Not that it was by choice...but it's a start!
Here's hoping that by the time I go to the Grammies, I'm back to the normal flounder of a person I was before.
You know who you are.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
There was this guy standing there, kind of back from the line, but kind of in line at the same time. Rather than stand behind someone who was just waiting for a bus or cut in front of someone waiting in line, I asked if he was in line- he was not. As I was asking him, a woman came up and took her place in line in front of us. Since there were 2 cashiers working, I didn't care, I just took my place in the other line. No big deal.
My cashier finished first, and without even glancing in my direction, motioned for the lady in the line next to me to approach her. The other lady refused, saying she was in her own line and we had gotten there at the same time so I should go up. (How polite!!) During this entire exchange, I was just observing. No expression on my face whatsoever, except mild interest in what was going on. I hadn't made any movement towards the counter, I wasn't getting angry or even confused, though I should have been.
After hearing the other lady, my cashier looked at me and put her hands up in the air and said "I'm not trying to start anything, I just wanted whoever was next...it doesn't make any difference at all to me...don't get upset at me."
Like I was about to tell her off. Honestly? Technically that lady was there before me. Sure, she was in another line and it was a little weird for the cashier to try to get her to go first- I mean in my opinion, you choose the wrong line and you're just screwed. It's one of those things you just accept. I ALWAYS choose the wrong line. But I wouldn't have made a peep if the lady had in fact gone ahead of me in my own line.
So why the heck was this cashier acting like I had just read her the riot act? To make matters worse- and I don't know if she did this because she was trying to butter me up, or because she's just socially inept, but she made a point of commenting on every. single. item I was purchasing. "Oh, these look good...and these are sooooooo delicious" (about the cookies and Reese trees), "Someone was in here earlier and got the same thing but in Spiderman" (about the toothbrush holder), "Someone has a daughter who likes Barbie" (about the book- and how does she know it's my daughter? I could totally be a Barbie fan...who reads picture books that come with paper dolls), "Wow, this is a heavy bag! What do you need all this salt for? I'm not putting anything else in the bag with this"...and on and on.
Keep in mind this was RITE AID. Thank goodness I wasn't buying condoms or tampons or hemorrhoid cream! What would she have said then?!?!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
So lots of news that I'm sure I'll get into as I go but I really don't feel like recapping the last few months. Obviously Pearl made her apearance into this world. I realized earlier this week that she looks kind of like Emeril. BAM! No seriously...see the resemblance?
Clearly Pearl is a heck of a lot cuter. And it's a strange coincidence that we were in NOLA (which I think is where he lives) just before I got pregnant.....
It's good to be back!