Laundry: 5 loads and counting.
Skin: NOT TAN.
Jelly Belly: Well accounted for.
Books: Still reading the same one I started BEFORE I left.
My thighs: Sore as hell from horseback riding on the single-most stubborn Mexican horse EVER.
The ring finger of my right hand: Sporting a gorgeous amethyst ring!
My brain: Still along the shore, watching the sun set over the ocean.
Ok, so here it goes. Danielle is off sunning herself and no doubt drinking herself silly, building sand castles with her adorable daughter and cozying up with a good book while baking in the sun. I made the mistake, er, friendly gesture, and asked if there was anything I could do to help her out with her last minute things in preparation for her trip. She suggested I be a guest blogger. I’ll admit I was hesitant at first. Well, hesitant isn’t the right word, I’m terrified. But I figured what the heck. It’s a good outlet for venting, no? Besides, it’s the last day before Danielle returns so it’s now or never. Keep in mind, I have absolutely no life outside of my children, so I have nothing of any relevance to post here. But, I’ll try to write something blog-worthy, but I have a feeling I’ll just end up rambling aimlessly. Let’s just hope by the time I’m done you’re not asleep on your keyboard.
I mentioned above that I have no life. And it’s really true. I knew before I had kids that my life would never again be the same, but I was in no way prepared for the number of ways it would change and how this little person would affect every aspect of my life. I could sit here and list all of the ways I’ll never again be the same and how now, every decision I make, no matter how miniscule, I consider how and if, it will affect my children. But instead, I’m going to be selfish for a bit and complain about how some days I feel as though I’ve lost myself.
I lie in bed at night (or stare blankly at my computer screen at work) thinking about all the things I no longer have time for. Hobbies, friends, family, projects, my husband, MYSELF! Where did I go? I used to go to movies, try out new restaurants, buy myself new clothes and shoes, read a book. Now, well, the last movie I saw in a theater was Talladega Nights (my husband picked), I haven’t been to a new restaurant since, well, I can’t remember, last bit of clothing I bought for myself was from a maternity store (so that doesn’t count), and books?! HA! Dear, sweet, Danielle has purchased me 3, count them, THREE books recently and while she’s been able to finish an entire book, start on another (not to mention all the ones she was able to complete while on vacation) I’ve been able to read 2 whole pages of the first book she gave me. 2 pages.
I love my children. I adore them. I’d give my life for them. Well, I guess in a way I already have, but you know what I mean. I just sometimes have these depressing moments when I think that I may never be ‘me’ again. It’s hard to find that balance between the dedication it takes to raise children and having your ‘own life’. Is it useless to pine away for the life I had before? I mean I can’t get it back. My life, as I knew it, has virtually disappeared.
So, since there is no fork in the road in front of me and there is no turning back, I’ll continue through the chaos of raising 2 children (and I know I shouldn’t complain, I only have 2 kids and an incredible husband, so I know there are others out there worse off than me, but I am being selfish here), and hope that a day will come and I will be able to regain more of who I used to be and triumph over the fact that I was able to make it through it all.
Forgive me for the somber and boring subject. I swear I’m not always this down in the dumps and boring. And I don’t mean to imply that I in any way regret the choices I’ve made or having my beautiful girls. I mean, just this morning I was telling a co-worker about how this time with my kids is so fleeting and how I love being a mom and my children are gifts, blah blah blah. But sometimes I just look back and wonder how my life transformed so drastically and when it happened?! It was so gradual, I hardly noticed. But I know I’ll go home today and see the smiling faces of my girls and my ‘own life’ will once again take a back seat, but I have a feeling, I won’t mind so much.
Written by Danielle-lee at 9:05 AM
(Your lovely blogger is still on the beach, soaking up sun, and drinking LOTS of corona. See ya on the 30th!!!)
The end of my eighth grade year, my boyfriend and I were pretty serious. Pretty serious, meaning, we had kissed, we held hands on a regular basis, and we talked on the phone all hours of the night, when we could get away with it.
His parents were divorced. Back then, I had no idea what that felt like, and I tried to empathize.His father was a hard-ass. I don't even remember what he looked like, when I try to recall his face in my mind, but I remember that I had a hard time making direct eye contact with him. I definitely knew what it felt like to have a hard-ass parent, although his father was on a whole.'nother.level (anyone know what that line is from???)
One night, his father caught us on the phone past his allowed time. His father picked up the phone while we were chatting about Mario 3 (LOVE THAT GAME! It still rocks!!!), or some innocent shit like that. I don't remember what his father said, I only remember the harshness in his voice, and the silence that followed. My boyfriend waited until his father hung up, and quietly told me he would call me tomorrow. I hung up, knowing that things probably weren't going to be very jolly in that house for the rest of the night.
About 2 hours later, my phone rang. I picked it up quickly, because as most teenagers do, I just ASSUMED it was for me.
My boyfriend was crying.
In a mumble-whisper, he told me that his father had 'gotten out of control'. I had gotten that feeling before about his dad, but we hadn't ever really talked about it bluntly.
I was instantly filled with this rage. I can recall it inside, even to this day.
We hung up quickly, and I spent about 2 seconds weighing my options. There was only one option.
I went in my bathroom, popped the screen out of my window, and climbed out on the roof. It was a 2 story, so I had to jump to the backyard. Lucky me, my brother had left his bike in the backyard.
I rode the 20 blocks or so to his house, on my brother's little bike. When I got there, I tapped on his window, on the side of the house. He opened it just enough for our eyes to meet.His face was swollen, one eye already turning shades of bruised plums. He had welts on his neck and shoulders.
I made him crawl through the window, out onto the grass, so I could touch each spot softly.
That rage ran through me again.
I put my lips on each bruise, cut, welt, injury.
We were only 12, for fuck's sake. TWELVE.
He assured me it wasn't that bad, that he wasn't hurting too much, but his eyes defied him.
We sat in the grass, huddled together behind the air conditioning unit, thankful for all the shadows. We didn't know what to do. What could we do?
After an unknown amount of time, we said goodbye. As he crawled back through his window, he reached for my hand. I gripped it, feeling him shudder. When he closed the window and his blinds, I saw the single tear.
I rode home that night, without seeing where I was going. My eyes were full, overflowing, with tears of anger, hate, rage, and sheer sadness. When I reached my street, I fell onto my driveway, and stared up at the stars for what seemed like hours. My mind was racing, and I again had the realization that I MUST STOP THIS KIND OF VIOLENCE.
That is the only time I ever snuck out of my house when I was growing up.
A couple of weekends ago, my mother rented a couple of movies for us to watch. We watched Juno, which I loved! ('You are the cheese to my macaroni.') That movie has so many silly lines, but at the same time, I appreciate the message.
So, of course, my mom has to rent a scary movie. Now, I'm all for scary movies, although, I have to say the one I hate the most is Jeepers Creepers. That freak of nature just flips me out!!!! He is just inherently evil to me. It really flips me out just to see his picture. Getting the goosebumps just typing this!!! Ack!
Anyway, I can handle scary movies, but they stress me out. I yell at the TV, and during the course of the movie, I feel my shoulders inching up towards my ears. By the end of the movie, I usually have a horrible headache, and my shoulders and neck are tied up in knots, from the stress. I'm a nut, huh?
So, back to the movie she rented. Get on with it already!
She rented The Mist. I had never heard of it, or read the book, which is pretty amazing, considering I am a huge Stephen King fan. I began reading his books when I was about 7. And please don't say my parents were wrong for letting me read his books. They were fascinating to me...I marveled (and still do!) at his vast imagination. I respect my parents' opinion to let me grow a taste for all types of fiction, not just the stupid romance novels (which I freakin' hate!!!).
Anyway, so back to the movie.
The premise, the bugs, the creatures, the stupidity of the small town folk--all classic Stephen King. All GREAT! The bugs creeped me out, and got me thinking about what Revelations says about the bugs and creatures that will fall from the skies. Ack-goosebumps again!!!
But! I was so damn pissed off at this movie! I don't want to ruin it for any of you who decide to go rent it based on my glowing review (pfft.), but JEEZ! The ending just really disturbed me, even for Stephen King. Not that I think it was the wrong ending, or whatever, but it JUST DISTURBED ME. It made me hurt, because seriously, it shows what we as humans will do in extreme situations, when we are cornered and think we have no way out. I'd like to think I wouldn't do what the characters did, if put in their situation, but I don't know.....(if you don't intend to see the movie, and want me to tell you what happens at the end, just let me know).
It also got me thinking again, like I did after 9/11: 1- that we (society as a whole) are not all that prepared for a big huge life-altering disaster; 2-that those of us in my generation (and more recent generations) are sooooo lucky that we did not have to worry about nuclear bombs, did not have to crawl under our desks, or hide in our basements, like my parents' generation did. Then again, we seem to be swinging back in that direction again, over the past several years. All the craziness in the world lately, makes me fear for my children's (and grandchildren's) future. I can imagine this is how my grandparents must have felt, right?
When I was about 10, my mother attended college at night. There, she met Tish, a woman who was to become one of her very close friends, and who is still a very good friend of the family.
Tish was (and still is) gorgeous. Dark curly hair, dark brown eyes, perfect skin tone, beautiful smile, great laugh.....you could say I had a bit of a crush, I guess (??). When we were out together, people would always comment that we looked alike, so we all began saying she was my older sister.
So, as older sisters often do, Tish took me to the mall and to a movie one day. Prior to the movie, we walked through some stores. (Just to give you an idea of how long ago this was, the store that we were walking through was Stripling & Cox!!!) We were being silly, walking through the women's section, when all of a sudden, we heard the hugest, loudest fart! We both stopped in our tracks, and began laughing. We walked around a corner, only to run into this little old lady, who proceeded to let another one rip, and then, upon noticing us, said 'Oh my! Excuse me!'
Tish and I looked at each other, smiled politely at the woman, and ran off, only to explode in fits of giggles about 20 feet away.
Now, a good 20 years later, we still laugh about 'the breath of fresh air'!
When I was about 9, a strange thing happened.
The lady that lived across the street from me suffered from epilepsy. She was in her early 30's, tall, long legs, gorgeous red hair, sweet....and her son was evil (another story for another day!!). I am not sure how I found out she had seizures, but I know that I knew.
One day, I was on my driveway playing with another neighbor's daughter, when the lady ran out the front door of her house onto her lawn. She was yelling, and her husband came running out after her. He pretty much tackled her, and they fell to the ground. It happened so damn fast. My first thought was 'Oh my gosh! She's having a seizure!'
So I ran inside, yelling and screaming to my mom 'Call the police! She's having a seizure!'
My mother ran outside, with me trailing close behind.
How embarrassed was I to find out that she was not having a seizure, but she and her husband were just horseplaying, wrestling, chasing each other around the house, ticking one another.
(First off!: Get a f-ing room! Jeez!)
However, my mother told me I had nothing to be embarrassed about. She was proud that I was so willing to seek help.
It was then that I realized, for the first (of many) time, that my purpose is to help others.
This morning I was driving to work, and I passed through a school zone. It was just about time for the school zone to be over, and the crosswalks were deserted. As the light turned green, I noticed someone up ahead, walking across the busy street in a haphazard way. As I got closer, I saw that it was a kid. And what do you know, he dropped everything in his arms, right in the middle of the street. Papers flying, folders falling, and the case of a band instrument lying on the ground. His backpack knocked him in the head when he bent over for his things.
Up ahead, I saw a car approaching. And not really slowing down. I started to cringe. The kid was scrambling and papers were going everywhere. My heart was pounding, and I pulled over, intent on running out to help him, or call 911 if he got hit.
At the last instant, it seems the half-assed driver saw the kid, and swerved. My heart stopped. But, in that split second, things slowed down. I saw the kid barely glance up at the car, with his hair in his eyes, his backpack practically on his head, and I noticed two things: first his shoulders dropped, like he was defeated; then, I saw a brief flicker in his eyes, like 'I dare you', before the fear blew out his eyelids, and he dove for the median as the car swerved.
I sat there for a second, with my heart in my throat. I was frozen. Then, I watched as he picked up his remaining papers, shoved them in his backpack, and wandered up to the sidewalk.
I rolled my window down, and meant to ask him if he was okay. Nothing came out. I realized that if I were him, and that had just happened to me, I would not want anyone to say they saw it happen. I would not be able to keep my cool, and talk to some stupid stranger about it.
So, I said nothing, and drove on my way.
The look in his eye got me thinking about this:
Once, I was driving down 35, towards Waco, to visit a couple of kiddos on my caseload. On this portion of the highway, there isn't a thing to the left or the right of the road, other than farmland. It's pretty flat too, so I was able to see a couple of miles ahead of me.
As I drove, I began to notice a figure walking down the center line on the other side of the highway. As I got closer, I saw that cars were swerving around it. When I realized what it was, I slammed on my brakes.
A big, shaggy dog, with matted fur, was walking down the middle of the highway. Like he had a death wish. His head was hung low, meandering in and out of the lines.
There were no other cars around me, so I slowed down significantly, several options firing and mis-firing in my head at once. I could stop and call him, but what if he walks in front of a car and ets hit? I could yell at him to 'go on', and hope he walked to the shoulder.
In the end, I did nothing but watch. A big 18 wheeler came along and barely missed him. All of that matted fur was whipped around as it passed him, and he didn't even look up.
Again, I was frozen, with my heart in my throat.
I went along my way, thinking about that damn dog the entire day.
How did it get there?
Who did it belong to? There are hardly any houses along the highway; just little farmhouses set wayyyy back off the road.
What the hell was he thinking about when he decided to walk down the highway like that?
On my way back home, several hours later, I scoured the sides of the highway for him. I also looked for tufts of fur, in case he actually got hit.....
I never saw him, but I still think of him on occasion. For I too, have felt so blah that I just walk with my head hung low, watching my feet move, one in front of the other, rather than look up, and see what I'm walking towards.
Has anyone else heard this damn song??? I was so damn confused the first time I heard it. I mean, really?? What are they, like 40??? REALLY???
I haven't even listened to it all the way through, to be perfectly honest, so I can't really say whether it's any good or not. And I'm not saying it isn't good, I'm just saying OH MY GOD! WHAT ARE THEY THINKING???
Also, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that they were my first concert. My friend Steff and I wore our snazzy NKOTB shirts, with matching fluorescent shorts and big bows. We wore like 3 pairs of different colored neon socks, and I think I wore a stupid hat. I've got a picture of us somewhere, but I am not so sure I want any of you to see that! EMBARRASSING!
So, tell me: do you dig their new song? Be honest..... I promise I won't giggle (a lot).
Okay, it's past midnight, so this is officially Friday's post. For those of you who didn't read my last post, I'm on vacation until next Friday, so enjoy:
This lovely lady tagged me! (Isn't it sorta creepy that we have the same name, and her location says 'Funky Town', which is the nickname of the area I live in!?)
Like I've got nothing better to do! It's not like I'm leaving the country in 9 hours or anything. Sheesh. Gahhhhhh.
Each player answers the questions about themselves.At the end of the post, the player tags other people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
What was I doing 10 years ago?
Hmm...10 years ago, I was in college, and had just recently lost my grandmother to cancer. So...I was pretty much taking care of my little sister (at that time, she was just about 17 months old) and trying to help my mom through this time.
Five Snacks I Enjoy:
1. Ice cream
3. A block of cheese
Five things I Would Do If I Were a Billionaire:
1. Donate most of it
2. Continue to get my master's degree
3. Focus on getting published
5. Open a transitional living facility for teens aging out of foster care
Five Places I Have Lived:
1. New York
2. Tulsa Oklahoma
3. Saginaw, Texas
4. Fort Worth, Texas
5. Springtown, Texas (AKA the middle of f-ing nowhere!!!!)
Five People I Want to Get to Know Better(A nice way of saying “Tag. You’re it!”) (or of saying these are the other sucka's that may do it...)
1. She Likes Purple
4. Miss thing over at My Second Journal
Come on! Play along!
Actually, I've been counting down to this vacation for like a month, but whatever.
Okay, some administrative stuff here. I promise not to bore you toooooo much:
Up first: I'll be gone for a week. (I'll be here, if you want to drool). So, since I know all FIVE of you (yipeeee! FIVE FIVE FIVE) would be very disappointed not to have some mindless BS from me for SEVEN WHOLE DAYS, I figured I would go ahead and post some stories I have been sitting on for awhile. Woohoo! However, I have a great friend who may or may not post something in my absence. She's a bit gun-shy, so don't give her hell if she does post (COME ON, Jill-you can DO itttttttt!) (double points for whomever can guess what movie that line is from!).
Next: I have been turning some things over in my head the past few nights, and I know we all love free stuff, and winning stuff, so....I am totally going to do a contest! Not sure if I will do it while I'm gone, or when I get back. Who knows?? What a way to get some readers, huh? Suck them in with free stuff!!!
Guess that's a good teaser to get you to read my shit the next 7 days, huh? (Heehee! My momma taught me right!!! string 'em along!)
What will the prize be?, you ask? Well, that's for me to know, and you to find out (okay, I sound like a 6th grader now). My husband suggested 2 labs, complete with drooling and growling. Then he suggested 'a trinket' from Mexico. Gah.
Next next: I am thinking of doing some more tweaking to my banner. Is it legible to everyone? I was afraid the background was too busy. But I like the background. Let me know!
Alright, I think that's it! Have a wonderful Memorial weekend! While you are at work next week, picking your nose, reading blogs (mine included, right?), I'll be toasting my ghetto booty on the beaches of Mexico, drinking, building sandcastles, drinking, horseback riding on the beach, drinking, reading lots of books, drinking, eating, drinking, watching sunsets over the water, drinking, and my all-time favorite thing to do at the beach: lie right where the water rushes onto the sand, letting the water roll over my body, through my hair......
See a common theme here???
As my hubby would say: 'Peace out!'
(Yes, he is a dork. No, he doesn't believe me when I tell him this. Yes, he even puts his fingers up in the little peace sign. No, I did not marry him for this reason.)
About 10 days ago, my mother and I jokingly got on the scale at Petsmart. I know, I know, it's for animals, but neither of us own a scale, and we are both gluttons (for punishment) (and candy) (and cobbler).
The f-ing scale pissed me off, but not as bad as I thought. So, it was either accurate, and my doctor's office scale wasn't, or vice versa. Versa Vice. Whatever.
The next day, I decided I was going to try the Fat Smash Diet , since my friend and her brother have had good results. It's not hard. Basically, you cut out all junk food, all meat, and all dairy. Now, I love yogurt and cheese, so that sorta sucks, but other than that, I LOVE fruits and veggies, so this has been super easy! Staying away from sweet stuff has been hard, but every time I thought about chocolate cake or Carvel ice cream, I would think about how good I will look on the beach on Friday if I lose weight. And I did do some minor cheating-I had yogurt yesterday, and a slice of cheese last week, and a few random M&Ms (not sure how there are any random M&Ms around my house, but okay), but other than that, I haven't really missed meat or milk or anything.
So, because I weighed myself initially at Petsmart, I had to go back there. Jeez.
So I went today.
I was the same f-ing thing!!! WTF?
I'm so mad! I still have a muffin top, and I didn't expect huge results, but seriously, everyone else I know that did this damn diet lost at least 7 lbs. the first week. Me??? NOTHING.
Moving on, before I blow a gasket.
What do you think of my snazzy banner? You like, you like??
Alright, so I forgot to mention that we bought like 7 houseplants about a month ago. They are all beautiful, and they get along nicely with the other houseplants I already had. They love all the natural light at the back of my house. But!
Apparently they came with their very own colony of Gnats.
And they multiply like f-ing rabbits.
And I have 3 different houseplant bug killer sprays, and I am dousing each plant, about 4 days a week.
they still buzz around my head when I'm reading, or cooking, or eating, or showering.....
It's so gross!
So now I sound like a shitty housekeeper (and more on that later, because my head is about to explode on that subject). But really, I am in a small subdivision that is still being built in, and there is construction all around me. So it makes sense that the bugs are running for cover. Too bad they chose the wrong house!
So, the bugs are taking over my house.
And I guess word got around that I kill crickets and daddy long legs, because Sunday morning, my daughter woke up with a bite on her knee, the size of a quarter. And her entire leg was swollen, red, hot to the touch, and so damn tight.
She is allergic to mosquito bites, but none of them have ever looked quite this bad. So, I did the usual: Benadryl cream and medicine, cold washcloth, etc.
Throughout the day, it stayed the same, and at one point she fell on it while running, and just cried and cried. A few hours later, it got really weird. Her leg started to look bruised, all around the bite. And the bite itself?: it was pulsing. It was the oddest thing I've ever seen.
So, on the advice of my husband (blah blah blah), we took her to an after-hours clinic. Luckily, we were the only ones there, so we got in and out quickly. She had a slight fever by then, and really did not want to go to the doctor. Can you blame her? I mean, she constantly gets ear infections, and the whole broken ankle debacle....I'd run if I heard the word 'doctor' too!
So, they decided they were going to take a culture. They were nice enough to numb the area up first. I was expecting screaming and crying, but she just watched with a slight look of annoyance on her face.
We will know in a few days if it is something off the wall. They said possibly a spider..maybe a scorpion? Ack!!! So, another round of antibiotics for my girl, and now another bug is on my shit list.
What they don't know is that I am going to bomb the hell out of my house while we are on vacation. NO MORE SPIDERS, NO MORE SQWEET-ING CRICKETS, NO MORE GNATS, NO MORE NADA!!!!
I'm a couple of days behind on posting this, but I have good reason-A toddler with an ear infection (AGAIN), who likes to attempt to sleep on my freakin head.
So, Wednesday night, the beautiful Jen Lancaster was at a Barnes & Noble nowhere near me. And I had plans to go with my great friend Jill. But about 45 minutes before we were to leave, something came up, and she wasn't able to go. I was so disappointed, not just for me, but for her too, because she loves reading Jen's blog, so I figured she would love to meet her.
I called my wonderful friend Kristy, who loves to escape from her 3 boys, and asked her if she would like to go. Way to wait until the last minute right? And I promise she isn't my 2nd fiddle, or my go-to person, or whatever. She just hasn't read any of Jen's books or her blog, so I didn't invite her in the first place, figuring she wouldn't be interested. Okay, I'm done explaining myself here. Kristy said yes, and somehow, we arrived in the packed parking lot of the bookstore with 8 or so minutes to spare (which I proceeded to waste by trying to park my dumb-ass car into the available 'compact car' spaces, which apparently, only Smart Cars and VW Bugs fit into).
Well, it was great! Jen is funny and charming and just gorgeous!
And I had to post this picture (below), because she totally looks like an Italian woman saying "MANGA, MANGA!" ('eat' in Italian):
So, since we were a bit late actually getting in the store, we were like the last damn people to get little tickets to have our books signed. Which, at the time, I didn't think was a big deal. We enjoyed the Q and A, and wandered around the store. We ordered Starbucks (MMMMM!). Then we figured we would kill time in the kids section, where we tried to get our asses into the little kids' green chairs (we could get IN, but getting out was a bit of an issue). I read the silly books about 'getting your period' and 'talking to your parents about sex', and drooled all over this book because it has such cute little pictures, and the sentiment gives me the goosebumps.
At about 9:45, we realize that the group is dwindling, and our numbers still haven't been called. Luckily, we went back to the group at the perfect time, and sat in the perfect spot, because they called 'all remaining numbers' and we jumped up to get in line. Where we met the beautiful Jen Lancaster. She even signed a book for my friend Jill, who couldn't make it. And now Kristy has a new book to read!
And then it started pouring as we were driving back to Kristy's house. I mean, POURING. I decided to check the weather when we got to her house, and got absolutely soaked. It was great, really. Then I got back out in it to drive home, because the weatherman just didn't seem to have anything to say about when this huge storm was going to pass. I got soaked some more.
But it was so worth it!
Okay, I think one of my 4 loyal readers (I'm up to 4! Holy Hell!! I'm calling my mom about this one!) wanted to know why I leave comments on blogs with the name Danielle-Lee.
Here's the deal-
My middle name is Lee. And when I was little, my mother, as most mothers do, would call me by my first and middle name when she was getting serious. When she was getting really serious, she would throw my last name out there, and it all ran together: DanielleLeeGiattini
Well, I am a smart, educated woman, but I seriously did not realize until like 6 or 7 years ago, that she was calling me by my first and middle name. I had always thought she was saying 'Danielley' (you know, like clam-y, or dumb-y, or sweet-y). Jeez, I'm a swift one, huh?
So there's one random explanation.
This! is why I will never do pilates in a gym:
I had a post all ready for yesterday, but then I didn't feel up to getting on the computer. I went to a funeral yesterday. A funeral for a young woman that I have known since she was a toddler. It was an unexpected death, and it was so very sad. I have known her parents since I was a kid, and nothing makes me feel old like seeing other people age right before my eyes, ya know?
Besides her parents and her grandparents, she left behind a younger brother with special needs. I remember babysitting them both when he was about 3 or 4, and she was about 9. He would not talk to me when I babysat him, so she had to interpret his wants and needs for me. He hardly talked at all. What has stayed strong in my mind all these years, besides her incredible beauty, was her patience with her brother. At such an early age, she knew she would have to care for him, protect him, around others. And she was fine with it. She took that role with no problems, and was so much wiser than her years.
Throughout the years, she took care of him, comforted him, and was his best friend.
Due to his special needs, the funeral was closed-casket. He wasn't quite 'getting' it.
At the burial, he was getting it. As each well-wisher walked up to the family, his distress became more evident. He started crying slowly, and gradually increased to full-out sobbing, complete with red face and runny nose. It just broke my heart. At one point, he said he was embarrassed that he was crying because he is 'a man' (he's 18 or 19 now). I just wanted to die right there.
I have been to my fair share of funerals over the past couple of years, and I always leave them with the same feeling: wretched pain due to the pain of those left behind. I am such an empathizer.
When it was my turn to talk with the family, I didn't know what to say. What can you say? I mean, really. I said the normal hallmark things 'I am so sorry', 'She was beautiful', 'Please let me know if you need anything', but they never do justice. They never make the ache go away for those who have lost someone they love. And they don't make me feel any better either.
After the burial, I left. I didn't want to see the ache on all of those faces anymore. Family members were passing out bright pink balloons on strings. I drove by the grave of my uncle; I have not been back since his funeral about 2 years ago. I couldn't stop. I had nothing to say; my heart was thick and silent.
As I pulled out onto the main road, I looked up and saw dozens of bright pink balloons rising higher and higher. It was beautiful. The wind was blowing to the north, and I pulled over, watching those balloons head towards home until they were dots, until they were no longer dots, but part of the unending sky.
After a day filled with food I wasn't in the mood to eat (although it was yummy), I was worn the hell out by 9pm. My girl went to sleep easy as pie, and I didn't even have the energy to think that it was tooo easy. I was already dreaming of curling in a ball in my bed, with the ceiling fan on high.
So off to Dreamland I went, fairly quickly, after watching an hour or so of Deadliest Catch (love that show!!). I slept that kind of deep, dark sleep that is just black and silent and full of NOTHING. Then, about 3 hours later, I woke up with my heart pounding in my chest, and my nerves on edge. I held my breath, listened for odd noises (other than all the damn snorers in my house!), and got up to get a drink. The dogs were still asleep, so I figured what my body was reacting to was not a sound, or they would have been barking their heads off. Or maybe not, because they are both getting a bit deaf in their old age.
I finally convinced myself I was nuts, and drifted back to sleep.
At 5am, I am having a sweet dream about someone I used to know, and in the middle of this dream is this unwelcome sound:
It is loud, annoying, never ending, and holy hell-did I mention LOUD????
I wake up and try to assess where this damn sound is coming from.
I go to the living room, to make sure one of the dogs isn't chomping down on their squeak toy. Nope. Just snoring and farting in that room.
I realize it is coming out of my bathroom. My bathroom, that is all travertine, beauty products, plants, and more travertine. To say the least, everything (and I do mean everything) echoes in there.
SQWEET, SQWEET, SQWEET, SQWEET.
By this time, I am utterly annoyed that I'm up at 5am hunting for some fucking thing that apparently doesn't realize that the sun has set, not rose, and it is SLEEP-TIME in my house, NOT SQWEET TIME.
I track the sound to my walk-in shower. I briefly think about my girl saying Sunday morning, "There's a cricket in the dr-ain", but she has the memory of an elephant, and I figured she was talking about the time there really was a cricket in the drain.
But then I think, "Maybe there's another cricket in the drain". So my first idea was to fill a glass up with water and dump it down the drain, hoping to drown the fucker.
'Frickity frick, you stupid cricket.'
SQWEET, SQWEET, SQWEET.
What the hell? Why isn't he gargling, or drowning?
Next, I bang on the wall, which only makes him stop for a second or so. But then:
SQWEET, SQWEET, SQWEETSQWEETSQWEETSQWEETSQWEETSQWEET
OH HOLY FUCK! make it stop!
At this point, I balance the pros and cons of waking my husband up for something so damn dumb. I decide that silence and sleep is more important than my reputation (which, if I must say, is already shot with my husband-he thinks I'm a dork already).
So I wake him. He has this wild, non-focused look in his eye, and he frowns at me as I say: 'Do you f-ing hear that???'
Him: 'Yeah, what the hell is it?'
Me: 'A f-ing cricket, I think, but I can't find it!! Frick! Please help!!'
Him: 'Are you kidding? Jeez, just shut the bathroom door.'
So, I figure I'll give it a go, but now it is just a muffled SQWEET SQWEET and that does not help me any.
Me: 'I will go NUTS if that doesn't stop!'
Him: 'Just go back to sleep!'
Me: 'What? It woke me up!!! Are you kidding?'
So he begrudgedly gets out of bed and stumbles into the bathroom. Usually, I would be up his ass, telling him to just catch it and throw it outside, but at 5:20am, I just do NOT give a damn! So I hop in bed, and listen to:
'Where are you, you bastard?'
'Oh, he's behind the shower spray cleaner. You didn't see him??'
At this point I hear shower spray cleaner being sprayed, and I hear this:
SQWEET SQWEET SQWEEEEEEEeeeeet, sqweeeegggrrrgggllllllll.........
Ah, sweet silence.
'Squeak on that, mother-fucker.'
For the mom that is still adjusting to now having two children, who is worn out, stretched thin, and guiltily wondering what the hell she was thinking to want a second child.
For the mom who juggles graduate school, three children, and handling the household, with very little support.
For the mom who has to live with the fact that her boys want to live with their father, not her, because she has a new baby with her current husband; who still loves them to pieces, and smiles when they talk about the fun they are having with their father.
For the mom who had her children about 13 months apart, who struggles with the constant inner turmoil that she will not be like her mother.
For the mom who protects and defends her child from her husband.
For the mom who works two jobs, sleeps very little, and does all she can to keep food on the table.
For the mom who just lost her adult daughter a few days ago, to complications of a surgery she was willing to die for.
For the mom who still regrets leaving behind her son when she left her marriage.....13 years ago; who regrets this, even though her son is now an adult, and is healthy and happy.
For the mom who endlessly cares for her sick parents, her terminally-ill brother, and her drug-ridden son, all on her own.
For the mom whose first child was diagnosed Autistic more than 3 years ago...who yearns for another child, but just had a miscarriage; who has never had the support from her husband about their son; who has never had a chance to openly cry about her baby boy's disorder.
For the mom who fell in love, and had a baby with her love; who is now single again, caring for two children, on her own, with a broken heart.
For the mom who struggled with motherhood from day one, and for many reasons, failed; who had the courage to admit to herself, and others, that she wasn't cut out to care for her children, and relinquished her parental rights, and freed them from serious neglect and danger.
For the mom who couldn't have a child naturally, who made the brave decision to adopt, who waited more than 15 months to finally be told that she is actually getting a child, who still doesn't know when she will lay hands on her baby girl.
For the mom who was able to have children naturally, and did, but lost one, and yearned for another; who practically begged her husband for the chance to adopt; who attempted to adopt a little boy who didn't want to be with her.....who doesn't have much hope that she will be able to convince her husband to try again.
For the mom who worried herself sick during her first pregnancy, only to give birth to a healthy baby girl; who has since had 3 miscarriages in the last 12 months; who is now coming to terms with the fact that she may never conceive another child.
For the mom who lost her children due to her drug addiction; who decided that her children were more important; who has been clean for over 3 years.
For the mom who struggles with her depression every day, and still manages to smile and care for her infant.
For the mom who doesn't notice the signs of her depression.
For the mom who worries she isn't doing enough, isn't doing good enough.
Your courage is remarkable. Your exhaustion is understandable. Your faults are minuscule.
Thank you for being the mommies you are.
Thank you for being my mother. Thank you for your sense of humor, your silliness, your support, your stories. Thank you for sticking around when things got so tough for you. Thank you for making it through all your illnesses. Thank you for my brother and sister. Thank you for always listening to me, and for telling me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. Thank you for teaching me patience and loyalty. Thank you for helping me become a good mother. Thank you for showing me the amazing amount of satisfaction I can get from helping others. Thank you for helping others. Thank you for helping me, and not judging me. Thank you for wearing your underwear inside out and for tripping over your own feet-you taught me how to laugh at my mistakes. Thank you for being you-it has taught me to be comfortable with me.
I love you.
About 5 months ago, I met Kacy. She began her job a week after my start date, and we were clueless in a little cubicle together. And we liked it that way. We both figured out pretty quickly that chaos rules the roost there (neither of us work there any longer), and it annoyed the shit out of us. So, nothing made us happier than being crammed into the corner cubicle, giggling at the crap we heard through the flimsy walls. Well, the only thing that made us happier was food. And lots of it.
Somehow, I have failed to mention anything about my fur-babies thus far. So, without any further delay (bad mom, bad mom, bad MOM!)....
Here is my yellow lab, Daisy. She will be 8 in October. She is a papered lab, to be exact, so her full name is Driving Miss Daisy Mae...and although you aren't allowed to use cuss words for papered pets, her last name, in my book, will always be: Bitchface. She may be papered, but she is anything but distinguished pedigree.
Notice the buda belly, and the golf ball in the mouth. And the 'What the fuck do you want?' look in those green eyes. My Daisy is a mess. She is lazy. She loves golf balls, and will lie for hours like that. When no one is looking, she will tear the ball to shreds. And then try to eat it. And then I find pieces of it all over the yard for the next week, as she tries to shit it.
Daisy is not the sharpest crayon in the box. Nor the brightest. But she has 9 lives, apparently. She has eaten rat poison and lived. She has attacked the crap out of my other Lab, and lived. She has been hit by a car, and lived. She has chased cattle (and a bull), and lived. I promise you, I have Daisy stories galore. Do you have any idea how much money we have invested in this damn dog???
Daisy was the cutest puppy in the world. She was fuzzy, furry, soft, puppy breath sweet. She snuggled. She also puked in my husband's lap as he was bringing her home to me. First clue, right there.
Second clue: She pissed on my head and pillow a couple of weeks after we got her.
My Daisy really is a mess. She has very stiff hips, and needs exercise. But due to the broken leg, she has a 12 inch metal plate in her front leg, so she can't really bend the elbow, and the foot sorta flops when she walks. So walking her at a high rate of speed is out of the question, as is jogging with her. So, she is thick and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.
She hasn't liked me from Day One, although she is allegedly mine. She ignores me. She runs into me. She steps on my feet, on purpose, I swear. She runs away from me. Oh, I have soooo many stories about this girl.
But, she has a fairly good redeeming quality about her: She loves my girl. She is so sweet and gentle with my girl. I do not worry about my girl with Daisy. And, she loves my other Lab.
Which leads me to, Kooter Brown:
Kooter Brown is a black lab. He is papered as well. My husband traded a deer rifle scope for him. He was the last boy of the litter, and I will never forget when I met him...his tail whacking me at a high rate of speed. He was supposed to be a Chocolate Lab, hence, the name. His name was picked out prior to ever seeing him.
Kooter turned 10 in February. He is an old man dog. I have taken to calling him Old Man
River, and he answers to it. He has a gray face, and other random gray spots on his belly, and on his who-ha. He is supposedly my husband's dog, but he is soooooo mine.
Kooter came from two 100 lb. parents. He was a big boy too, for awhile. I got him to lose weight, but my mother has fattened him up lately. However, regardless of what he weighs, he still likes to sit on my lap. He loves to spoon with me. He loves to lie next to me on the couch. When I am standing up, he will literally sit on my feet, and look up at me with those big brown eyes. Sometimes, he makes all sorts of noises: grunts, growls, whining....like he is trying to communicate with me. He totally should have been born a little lap dog.
However, Kooter has an odd side to him, that has made me very weary the past several years: Kooter has snapped at and bit several people. It's always been very odd-he's fine one minute, and they next he just snaps at them, and usually in the face. And after he has done it, he is so very sweet to that person. For instance, he bit my brother once. My brother was throwing a tennis ball for him, and Kooter apparently thought my brother faked him out. He ran out in the yard for the ball, didn't see it, and ran back to my brother. My brother pointed to the ball, and Kooter jumped up and bit my brother in the lip. And my brother tried to block his face, so his hand got bit too. There was no previous aggression, no growling or baring of the teeth, nothing. And afterwards, he was sitting on my brother's feet, being very docile, like he knew he had done wrong. And since that time, he loves my brother when he is around. He follows him, and sleeps with him.
Understandably, now that I have a child, this worries me. So, when my girl was at the crawling stage, my dogs got the boot. They were outside when she was awake. When she went to sleep, I let them in. And that was a big adjustment for them. And for me.
Then, we moved into a rent house with my mom last year, while our current house was being built. And my little sis has a little dog. And the fear that Kooter would eat her little dog was real, for all of us, so my dogs were booted outside, for about 3 months straight. It killed me. I felt so very bad. And in that time, I found a tumor on Kooter. One that was open and bleeding. And can I tell you how guilty I felt? I mean, if they weren't stuck outside all the time, maybe I would have seen it sooner????
And then, we moved into our new home. And my fat ass Daisy broke the fence. And they started running away. They didn't terrorize anyone; they just wandered the neighborhood. See, they had 23 acres to roam on, for about 3 years, when we lived in Springtown. Now, they have like 1/32 of an acre, seriously. So, it's not a surprise that they want to wander. So, I moved them to my mom's backyard, temporarily, while they put up our new fence, and fixed the drainage issue in our backyard.
That was 5 months ago.
I want my dogs back. I miss them. I love the companionship.
But, my husband is not thrilled. He stopped loving them the instant our daughter was born; I have no idea why. He doesn't pay attention to them, nor does he even look at them. I know he wants them to be gone for good, but I can't do that. They are mine and just as important: we are theirs.
My dilemma at this point is this: Kooter listens, he is calm, he is an old man dog who just wants to sleep and cuddle. Daisy doesn't listen, destroys plants, digs, drools nonstop, and randomly moves shit around the house. If it were just Kooter, I think things would be less complicated. But I cannot bring myself to separate them, to give Daisy away. How could I do that??