Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pondering....

Ok, so here's what I ponder...

I keep all my art accoutrements (SAT word!!) and I work on my book, but ONLY when I feel I have earned that down time, when I feel tired and look back at my day to see that I've been frantically busy. I have long wanted to get a set of drawing instructions on DVD that is only $45, but I haven't ordered it yet...why the eff not?!

Why do I do this to myself?!

No offense to the love of my life, but he certainly has no qualms about buying things for himself (ok, except maybe clothes, which he does desperately need; the man wears things til they have holes in inappropriate places, but I digress...). He plays his RPG computer game whenever he feels like, no problem. There is no scheduling in of personal time. There is certainly no guilt that I can see, associated with darting out the door for an errand or popping in a movie...how do men do that?! Why are women made to feel like their priority is cleaning, cooking, errands, etc and regularly encouraged to put herself last?! I have gotten to the point where I no longer ask Charming, "So, is it alright to leave the kids here while I run out to do such and such? You can handle that, right?" I firmly and purposely changed that about myself. I am an adult. This is my life. I can come and go as I please. I am not more of a parent than he is, this is a 50/50 agreement. He sure as hell doesn't ask me before he goes anywhere, he tells me! So I started trying that: Hon, I made a hair appointment for 2pm, I'll be back later. His response: Ok babe. have fun. I was dumbstruck!! He didn't care!! Holy crap, all this time I could've been doing my own thing!! Damn!!

So I decided I was going to schedule writing time for myself every day. Charming agreed to it. Guess how that worked out? Yeah. Never did it. Sometimes I feel like there is a big jellyfish in my head, a big ol' spineless, no-self-discipline, whimpy ol' jellyfish---but only when it comes to doing things for myself! It just sucks out the will to set to aside time for me and instead injects my life with pressure, guilt and to-do lists. Why Why Why?? I feel like I am trying to open a puzzle that has no damned solution, and that is sooooo frustrating!! My mindset is stuck in there like glue and I have yet to figure out how to get it to give, to change or even how to fake the damn thing out!! For all of Eckhart Tolle's wisdom, it's like, if I don't read The Power of Now on a daily basis, it does NOT stay with me! I guess, sadly, he would say, my Ego has a very firm hold.

The Ego, according to Tolle, is made up of all your fears, your cultural influences, what you think you should be doing, your desire for feeling special and different ( and therefore, isolated from everyone else) among other things. I can definitely see that about myself. My analytical side kinda screws me all up!

I need to do more, think about it less.

I need to literally tell myself, "No, that is NOT absolutely necessary to get done, that can go at the bottom of the list and I'm going to go do this now!"

I need to follow my own advice: I am not going to wish I had cleaned more or run more errands on my death bed. I am going to wish I had completed that book, had an art gallery showing, worked harder at showing my children the path to following their dreams, spent more time looking at my children's smiling faces, snuggled more, slept in on rainy days, read more, watched more sunsets, spent more time at the beach, held my husband's hand every waking moment....

You know, it's taken my whole life to figure out what my purpose is and I guess I'm pretty lucky, because I know that there are many people who, in old age, have no idea why they are here. I was wondering one day what being an artist and a writer and a mom all had in common---I was trying to pick one, to pigeon hole myself and really whittle down what I was. Who was I? And then I realized I had an all-encompassing tag that covered it all: I was a Storyteller. I love to take people away from what was bothering them. I love to make people laugh or think hard or discuss. As my good friend Tracey told me her husband said to her once: "I am here to stretch people's boundaries" and that seemed to strike a chord with me like someone whacked a tuning fork and I hummed in harmony!! I don't have to be boxed in. I don't even have to write only one genre or paint in one style. I can literally do whatever I want. The only limiting factor here is ME! I don't have to let other people's ideas of wanting to have some firm label for me get in my way; frankly, that is their problem! But being an artist, writer and mom, I am constantly telling stories with all of those creative forms, teaching with the various mediums, making people (including my children) think, and challenging myself all at the same time. Storyteller. It is the perfect fit. It is like my secret name. It's what I am on the inside. I am just struggling for a way to let it out and am feeling some cultural and social restrictions. I keep feeling like I need some sort of professional assistance to be a writer, I need to have these classes under my belt in order to be an artist. But I don't....do I? lol Yes I can use pointers and new techniques, but generally, I am a pretty motivated learner and if I don't know, I will find out somehow. I don't have the money for college classes. I just have to convince myself I can do it on my own!!

You know what I need? I need visual reminders. I think I'm going to post some on my fridge.
This is what they'll say (so no laughing at me when you visit):

You are a Storyteller. Live it!!

Think Dream House (we want to pay down our credit cards and build our own house in the next few years, one that I want to have a large part in designing including a flower and vegetable garden.)

Clean less. Create More.

Meditate.

It's not important unless you give it that value.

Sometimes things don't work out so something better can come along!

It will all work itself out. It always does. Have faith, let go, and move on.

Walk every day. The fresh air and open sky make a world of difference.

Slow down!!! Be in the moment. Be in the NOW. It's all you have.

Think: "I can....I AM.....I am doing...." Get rid of negative thinking. You don't need other people to affirm you are what you are (in this case, a writer and an artist!).



What would your refrigerator say?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Widgets

and please do check out all my cool new Widgets in the sidebar over there --------------->
Charming (smartass that he is) is all "Look at you! All Twitter and Widget---you're so high tech!"
I said, "No, if I were high tech, I could freaken make the widget I want instead of trying to get this stupid one to work!!"
But really, most widgets are the technically....challenged, shall we say? You click on it, it asks you (or gives you an array of logos to choose from for those of us who can't read) what your "vehicle" is (facebook, blogger, wordpress, etc) and you click it. Sometimes it asks for additional info, like your blog name or to log in so it can post, but then, bing!, it appears. Pretty easy! :)

What frightens me is how much longer I have to go....202 days?! Really?! 11 weeks and 1 day seemed so much further along in the doctor's office....dang! oh well, I love my children. I will treasure this time....I love my children....I love my children.....

Updates!!

I have approximately 3 minutes until my head hits the keyboard from exhaustion and I wanted to get a shower tonight!! So here's some miscellaneous, yet important info:

1. For those of you that don't know, they will be premiering a clip of "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday May 31, 2009 at 9pm. so set your TiVo or your DVR or what have you! Also, on IMDB.com, they have some new movie posters, including one of the Pack and one that has Jacob with his back to you and Bella behind him, looking over his shoulder and in the foreground was Edward, walking away from them but glancing back at them....it's a good shot! Too bad IMDB wouldn't allow me to copy and paste!! and Stephenie Meyers' website is actually not showcasing them for some reason! The movie is Summit Entertainment, so maybe I'll hunt up their website or Google it later to try and get picks to post. The movie release date is November 20, 2009, for those of you that care! :)

2. Oh, and I went to the doctor's today. I have my first sonogram the beginning of June and my due date is (unofficially) December 10, 2009. They will confirm that after my sonogram. Pray I go close to on time and not closer to Christmas....pray hard. If I had thought to count ahead, we wouldn't have had sex the whole month of March and then started again, to skip the due date of the month of December. I don't want my child to get gypped because his/her birthday is in December. No birthday gifts wrapped in Christmas paper. No "this is your birthday slash Christmas gift! yay!" Or people forgetting it entirely because of the holiday. Not to mention the busy-ness of the season and having so much to do already---I usually do Thanksgiving too, so that should be interesting!!

3. The girl baby name winner was......drumroll please.....Aubry, by a landslide!! I was kinda surprised. My pick so far is Violet Anise. But we'll see, I do like Aubry, which is why it made the list of course! ;)

4. While "Castle" is done for the season, I am happy to report that "In Plain Sight" has started again. Mary cracks us up, we love trying to predict what the heck she's gonna do next and we always want to throttle her family FOR her!! It is yet another show both my husband and I like to watch together....it's like our brains are fusing or something...hmmmm....

5. I have found a new book series: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, a young adult trilogy that I found recommended by Stephenie Meyer, so I'm on the third book---so good!!! A girl finds out she's a Shadowhunter, from another realm, and her mother is kidnapped and falls into a coma upon rescue. A Shadowhunter resides here on Earth and uses rune and angel magic to help them battle demons, vampires and werewolves. The main character, Clary (Clarissa) meets other Shadowhunters Jace, Alec and Isabelle. She and Jace develop a "thing" but then there's a tremendous twist and of course, they can't be together and I'm really hoping she un-twist that the third book somehow!! There's magic, portals, fighting, wizards, and other beasties. As well as the teen angst and whatnot! :)

Ok, seriously, I gotta GO! I'm sooooo tired! Had 5 kids today cuz school was closed!

Talk at ya laterzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I'll vacuum more when Sears makes a ride on!"
--Roseanne Barr


Amen sister!....although, if there is something I DO do regularly, it's vacuuming and wiping windows. Shiny windows and lines in the carpet do wonders to make you feel like your house is clean. Dishes I've decided to do once a day, twice tops. No more washing and wiping 30 times a day!! A lot of other stuff I turn a blind eye to, as I don't believe I'll be on my deathbed saying "I wish I'd cleaned more!! I wish I'd mopped and cleaned the baseboards more frequently! Whoa is me! I didn't spend enough of my life CLEANING!!"

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have more pressing work to do...like dressing my children and getting more books at the library and getting a snack and maybe a nap later....yeah, a nap sounds good! ;)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Success!!

(PLEASE NOTE: I have tried and tried to separate out the paragraphs with spaces, but the stupid blog won't let me! I've done it on other blog entries, I think it's the pictures that are throwing it off!! My apologies to your eyes!!)
So I'm feeling a little better about my gardens, every year.
I have always loved flowers, from the time I was in elementary school and we used to be able to pick out flowers for our moms at the annual Mother's Day Flower Mart or whatever they used to call them! lol (remember those, brothers and sisters? Whoever picked us up ended up with 3-4 kids and a buttload of flowers to juggle!!) I always made sure to ask mom the night before or the morning of what her favorite flowers were or I'd ask Dad in the car---he usually knew at least one or two suggestions. I remember picking out marigolds and snapdragons and pansies in particular.
At her house on Glenmont Avenue, where she lived for 40 years, my grandmother had a small but varied garden that we (my mother, grandmother and I) walked almost weekly, noting the new growth, the new plants planted, the cut-backs and the selections my mother would sometimes make to take some home with her. She also had a veggie/fruit garden, where we helped pick green beans, cucumbers, zuccini and strawberries. To this day, even after my grandmother moved and has been in another house for...20 years, there are still plants that are spoken of as "a Glenmont Avenue flower/plant" because that's where they had originated. I personally don't have any of those...yet! ;) but since then, I have spent many an hour walking my mother's garden, asking about names, color variations, sun exposure and growth.
The house live in now we bought brand new, so I had to dig out places to plant.
Beside the mailbox was a big mistake. This flower locale baffles our mail carrier, Tina as well.
She asked me the other day:
Why does everyone plant flowers by the mailbox?! Why?!
I didn't have an answer. Frankly, I was stumped.
"Because it looks bare otherwise?" I suggested.
She feels it is a personal affront to plant flowers by the mailbox, as they can attract bees....which can then sting carriers. I pointed out that this year, because the soil was so crappy at that spot for a multitude reasons (the least of which being the township uses gravel---yes, gravel, people!!---when it snows instead of salt. That then gets kicked up onto our little strip of grass and that's all she wrote! I can't keep up with the amount of gravel that needs to be plucked out before I can plant each year.....but I digress!) because the soil was so crappy, I had opted for a big round pot, which can easily be moved if we find this type of flower (a lantana, if I'm not mistaken? and I may be, my pregnancy brain is like a sieve lately...) proved to be a bee attracter. Additionally, we are high up on a hill and the sun is brutal around here almost all day! Makes it very hard to play outside or to get much of anything to grow. I refuse to revert to planting only cacti. So every year, I am quite willing to try new flowers!
Here is my supposedly drought hardy, full-sun loving new mailbox plant:

It grows a bit willy-nilly and flopping, but I'm gonna wait and see how it goes! haha
The other plant I found is this cute little flowering one whose name completely escapes me except that I remember it rhymes with "dracula"! lol but it is also supposed to be sun-loving AND is supposed to be planted an astonishing 24 inches apart!! That is a lot, but I followed the directions and right now, I've got a slightly bare looking walkway garden, so I hope these really fill out like their planting directions suggest!! What I liked about them was that orange and pale pink and fuschia were all growing on the same plant!....course, I didn't take pictures of any of the ones with two colors on one plant, but I swear they exist!!






Finally, the [insert French word I can't spell and am too lazy to look up HERE], my Clematis. I wanted a pretty one that would twine about my mailbox, like some of my neighbors, but that was a no-go, for reasons outlined above. This is the third year I've had this one and it has 2 flowers on it and is twining quite nicely up our arbor! YAY!!! :) The second flower is growing through on the other side, where it poked through the arbor.



Also in this bed, on the left, is Lavender, which smells so nice when you're working in this bed! It gets to be monstrous huge with purple flowers on the ends eventually. I had initially planted 2 lavender plants, but the one I had in the middle kept getting flooded out due to our being on a hill and the way our drainage is (crappily) set up. I need to change that! At any rate, the other survived and has gotten bigger every year! It's so nice to have those no-work perennials that just make there way out of the ground all on their own, every year! :)



So that is my little bit of joy, my little bit of spring to share with everyone!
Even if you're not a gardener, having flowers is shown to improve mood!! If you have flowers in the house, or any plant, it can improve the oxygen levels (and smell! haha) as well as enhance your mood! How 'bout that?! :) I guess that's why we send flowers to people in the hospital, eh? :)







































































































FREEEEE!!!!




Ok, so I made this wreath less than a month ago. It matches my green, blue and beige (with dark brown and white accents) color scheme beautifully, because, well, I picked out the flowers. But since I've had it up, it's been hurting my eyes, my sense of style and has really hit me in my feng shui. (That's one of those things I don't believe in , but like to banter the word about now and again because I just like the sound of it!)
SO, my disgust is your gain.
FREE WREATH!!!!!!!!!!!
I have a UPS account and I will pay to ship this thing wherever, just let me know.
Seriously.
It will be a gift to ME if you take it off my hands.
First come, first served. There will be no fighting, ok kids? ;)


Friday, May 15, 2009

Angel Prayer

So I am looking through a website listing all the names and meanings of names, of angels. Batman's real name is an angel name and Charming is curious as to whether or not there are other angel names we might like for the baby. In perusing this site, I found quite a few that sounded interesting---like "angel of creativity" and "angel of writing"---and one of my new things to do is to write prayers.

I have long written poetry, but sometimes, in my free-verse to God if you will, I sometimes say things in conversing with Him that make me think, "that was nice!" or "that was right on!" and I wish I'd written it down. I have been inspired to write down my thoughts to God, that they might be useful to someone else....I know, I totally sound like one of those Renaissance-Fair hippie chicks that sell crystal earrings, but it's how I feel!! C'mon, just work with me people!! Honestly. Be open-minded.

So here's the prayer I wrote, asking angels to intercede on my behalf (it's a Catholic thing!) and I hope that other writers and artists can use it as well! I like to read prayers sometimes, or quotes, or anything that can help inspire and focus me before settling down to write. I hope this prayer works for me as well! :)

A Creative's Prayer for Angel Guidance

Ecanus,
Angel of Writers,
Encourage me to the end,
Even amidst the doubt of others
And,
More injurious,
Self-doubt.

Hamied,
Angel of Miracles,
May you see an opportunity
To use your talents in my life.
I pray for the miracle
Of steady income
Via Creativity.

Harachel,
Angel of Knowledge
Help me to keep
My mind open
To new opportunities;
To expand
My abilities and impact
As a story-teller
Both in art and in words.

Jamaerah,
Angel of Manifestation,
I pray you continue your struggle
To create space in my life and mind
To allow God’s visions and inspirations
To manifest themselves.

Maion,
Angel of Self-Discipline,
There is not a that day goes by
That I do not need your assistance!
The flightiness of my focus
Makes utilizing God’s gifts
Challenging,
Even on the best of days.

Paschar,
Angel of Vision,
Dissolve the mist in my mind,
That I may see God’s higher plan
For me
And for my work.

Perpetiel,
Angel of Success,
When my faith wanes,
When I stumble on my path,
Lift me up,
Carry me forward.

Samandiriel,
Angel of Imagination,
Your help is critical to my success!
May you never leave my side!

Tabbris,
Angel of Self-Determination,
Remind me that my current path in life
Is of my own choosing.
Help me to effect
Real and permanent change
In myself,
In any way you see fit.

Uriel,
Angel of Creativity,
Patron of all things artistic,
Fill me with the Fire of God
All my days.

Vohamanah,
Angel of Optimism,
May you be my bosom friend,
My constant companion.
Lift my chin and my spirits
When I am feeling down.

And finally,
Zagzagel,
Angel of Wisdom,
Guide me to listen
Whole-heartedly to God’s guidance,
That internal voice
Which is He.

Amen.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Comments

Some of you may have noticed that I now have moderated comments. I waffled for a while, but felt the need to do that because some no-name very cowardly posted an annonymous comment containing profanity. Now, heaven forbid someone accuse me of censorship! But, it IS my blog and I have certain expectations for the comments placed here:

No profanity (except my own and I don't name call. honestly people, grow up!)

If you are going to say it, put your name on it. Own it, stand up for it.

Back it up. I'm sorry, but I at least try to put some logic behind my opinions if nothing else.

Give me something to dispute or argue with, but don't tell me my ideas suck and leave it at that, thinking you are going to zing me with a one-liner. It shows a lack of intelligence. Besides, my one-liners are better than yours and I'll burn ya every time! ;)

SO, if you want to leave a comment, step up your game. Or I'll cut ya.

This is not really directed at most of my readers, say 99% of them, but you know who you are...yes, I'm talkin' to you!

Rosie's Gay Vacation....

I was watching “All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise” on cable today. It was all about Rosie O’Donnell’s family vacation and how she organized a cruise for gay families.

It was interesting because they had a former NFL player and his partner and their kids. A young girl whose mother had been married to her father before they divorced and her mom came out; she was there with her mother and her mother’s partner, whom she’d know since she was 4 years old. There was a lesbian couple who couldn’t get pregnant because of the restrictions put on them as to the way they could receive donated sperm because they were gay! (if you can believe it!!) A huge variety of families and how they operate, just like everyone else of course.

I think what I find most strange is all the contradictions when it comes to gay issues (I’m sorry, I prefer “gay,” I don’t feel the need to put the word “sexual” into my everyday language! I was always taught that was a private thing!)

When they entered Nassau, there were two churches protesting them. There were children coming off the boat with their parents, and there were hate-mongers on the corner, shouting what sinful people they are through bull-horns. They were shouting “NO!!” at families walking by the stage. Some of the children, heart-breakingly, were crying at all the shouting, confused as to what was going on.

One man said something along the lines of, “Other deviants---like murderers and drug-dealers—they are not trying to legalize their deviations like homosexuals.” And I thought, well, that could be because gay people are not hurting anyone else!!

Additionally, many of our laws are based on the Ten Commandments (as much as some people would like to sweep that under the rug!) and there is no commandment against homosexuality, if you want to be technical. Ironically, the….what’s the word for someone who lives in the Bahamas?? Bahamans?....they are all black! And they’re bible-waving, holding it open to places where “God” (sorry, but men wrote the Bible and tweaked it along the way, but that’s another blog!!) where “God” directly condemns homosexuality. Yet, when people were attempting to abolish slavery, that same holy book was being used as support FOR slavery, since it was mentioned, without criticism, throughout the book. Some of our supposedly holiest men were slave-owners! But we managed to recognize that God and Jesus cannot encourage us to be all-loving and be hateful at the same time. We came to our own conclusions, separate from what many believed the Bible was telling us, saying that the Bible mentioning slavery was a cultural thing, which we had outgrown with the change in times. That needs to apply to gay people as well!

I think the anti-gay group is really two components: men and fear-filled people.

The men I think truly feel sexually threatened by gay men. Number 1, first and foremost, they are afraid of being hit on. I think that because most men, in certain situations, say group showering, if it were mixed company of men and women, they know they would be attracted to any naked woman that walked by. Seriously. If they haven’t had sex in a while? Yeah, against their logical judgments or normal preferences, they know full well their bodies would respond whether they want them to or not. Change that equation a little and they’re jumping to the conclusion that all gay men want every man they pass. Really. I asked my husband, “why would you assume that all gay men want you? I mean, c’mon! Do you want every woman you see??” (if so, he and I have some other issues to discuss!) Additionally, they seem to think all gay people are some kind of sex-fiends that are going to accost them and feel them up at the first opportunity. Again, I ask you, Really?!

It’s a phobia, a culturally encouraged phobia that is almost as bad as the Beauty Myth is for women!! And since the bulk of the government is run by old white guys, guess what? They are going to do their damndest to get rid of that which scares the bejesus out of them personally. Which isn’t right, obviously. I think we are doing a slow, slow, slooooowww turn here, as we slowly recognize that gay culture contains everything that hetero culture does: families, the good, the bad, the ugly, the skanky. But everyone would prefer to concentrate on the skanky part and think that that is all there is to a gay lifestyle, discounting all the educated professionals with families who are gay. All the churchgoers, all the shy non-protestors, all the suburbanites, the joggers, the dog-walkers and the athletes (yes, some of them are gay too!!)

And secondly to men, you have those who are like small children, the (alleged) Christians who use the Bible like a damned security blanket. They are like blind sheep….

TANGENT: I said to my mom once, “It’s no wonder Jesus used the Shepherd analogy; how like sheep humans are! Without the proper leadership, we just all move in the same damn direction!”

On the surface, I cannot understand these people that condemn a whole section of our society, a section that, if allowed, could enrich our culture. They include artists, parents, lawyers, soccer coaches, musicians, teachers, dancers, therapists, holy people and a bunch of other types with valuable contributions that could take over the whole blog!! So then I tried watching them on TV, looking a little more objectively, watching their facial expressions and listening to what they were saying. And all I saw was fear. Fear on their faces, in their “go away” gestures. Fear in their words, fear in the very volume of their voices, trying to force people to hear them. These were people that wouldn’t just talk to the gay people who tried to engage them in honest, curious conversation, they yelled back at them, every time! Even when approached peaceably, the demonstrators were loud, angry and hateful. I felt sorry for them. Really and truly. They are a people living life with blinders on, unable to enjoy the bounty that God offers: communication and relationships with other humans who are different from us. There is nothing but enrichment there, yet they chose to shut down, to try to control, to gain power through being “right.” That is not God-like in my opinion; at least not the God I believe in! You can see how hard they move toward feeling and being triumphant, how important that is to them, how they revel in self-righteousness, but I just don’t see how that is a full life, sectioned off from others.

It is hard, because I grew up Catholic. And people like to say that God condemns this behavior, homosexuality. And I think, wow! Do you have a direct line? Who do you think then created these people that have two arms, two legs, two ears, two eyes and one heart, just like us? Did God create them, then, as some sort of cosmic joke? Just to give us hetero’s a challenge?? C’mon people!! Where is the logic in that?? Where is the logic in their very presence? What are they doing here then?? Why be on this earth?? If you ask me, they’ve been given the bigger cross to bear here: the object of hate. And, truthfully, there is no one in my family who is gay, nor do we have friends of the family who are gay. I think not actually knowing anyone, not being touched by someone leading a gay life in this constricting culture, leads people to fool themselves into believing they know all about it from what they read or see on TV.

So, I guess I just don’t understand why we can’t all just get along? Can’t we just take each other as we meet and get to know each other? You know, on an individual basis? No one likes to be discriminated against, no one does.

I think it’s about time America started acting more mature and intelligent about the whole thing, instead of like small children afraid of the boogie-man. It’s really demeaning.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Post, Weird Place to Put It!

Here is an amusing post I wrote and took forever to finish. I had just found out I was pregnant and it's about trying to grocery shop pregnant and hungry!! Of course, since I originally wrote it May 2nd, that's where Blogger chose to stick it, like anyone's going to find it there!! sigh. Oh well!

If I could find the time between bouts of hunger, I could write several blog entries!! haha I want to write one about driving and people's lack of knowledge of rules of the road, one about foods I couldn't get while living in NC, attack of persistent ants, and oh all sorts of things (most of which my pregnancy brain cannot locate at this time...). So bear with me. I also intermittently experience random crying and hormone surges---not unlike power surges, whereby I short out everything and everyone around me. Lack of sleep enhances the effect exponentially.

At any rate, microwaveable MacNCheese is calling my name....or is it chicken pot pie? No wait, ham and cheese on a pretzel roll....? ahhh, I'll figure it out in the kitchen!

The Trials and Tribulations of Pregnancy

You know how it is, in the beginning, when you're pregnant? When you can't feel the baby moving around in there, so it still seems new and surreal? You don't really feel pregnant most of the time?

Yeaaaaah.

Well, I'm feelin' it, that's for sure!! My body is all jacked up!! And any one symptom alone isn't bad, but it's when they're tag teaming me, like my two boys, the Destructive Duo, are wont to do, it can take ya down quickly!

Let's make a list:

Heartburn. Check.
Exhaustion. Check.
Sciatica. Check.
Insomnia. Check.
Frantic nesting. Check, check.
Uncontrollable early growth of belly. Big ol' honkin check.
Headaches. YES.
Did I mention menu-limiting heartburn? I did. Oh. Well, it sucks.
Constant hunger....I'm hungry right now. You don't even need to ask if I'm hungry, I'm always hungry. Just assume it.

Now, don't go gettin all mad at me, I AM grateful I am pregnant. I am not one of those women who complains her way through pregnancy and hates being pregnant. I really don't mind. I think of it this way: This is the only time in their lives they will be this physically close to me. I am constantly hugging and snuggling my child at this point. I only get this for 9 months out of their entire long lives. I feed them effortlessly (with no decision making necessary, no clean up! lol feeding them will never be this easy again!). I will know their every mood and comfort level as they get bigger. And this is (in MY plan! lol) the last pregnancy, which is kinda sad.

But all that aside, I just hate being slowed down. More than that, I hate that there is nothing I can do to just make the issues go away. I can't take zantac yet and everything I eat gives me either heartburn or indigestion (or both!!), which can slow me down or keep me from sleep. Which annoys the hell out of me! I don't like to be hindered when tackling my To Do...which triples when you're pregnant, while, paradoxically, your energy wanes. It's a mystery!

I was telling my sister, "There's that old wives' tale that the more heartburn you have the more hair your baby has. At this rate, if it's a girl, she's gonna have waist-lenght hair when she comes out....and bangs! Maybe a whole hair-do! She'll come out with a big prom up-do!"

At any rate, I am down to plain pasta with some parm and a dash of olive oil (when my mouth yearns for more!! but my stomach complains bitterly later...) and baked potatoes, which are great with bacon bits and cheddar cheese, but I'm hungry like 10 minutes later!! sigh. I had a huge plate of pasta earlier and 2 pieces of garlic toast, about 1:30pm, and here I am at 3:30 moving in to hungry again!! Eat some carrots, nature's acid-reducer, only to have horrible gas pains across my stomach hours later as my hormone-riddled digestive system wrestles with the raw vegetables.

I can't win.

oh well, I guess I'll go meditate in front of my pantry for a while and see what appeals to my suddenly finicky tummy!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

In Memoriam...

Shadow Taylor
July 1, 1997 - May 9, 2009
Beloved Family Member, Protector and Friend.
Our Shadow is gone.

He was 11 years old. His birthday is July 1st and he would've been 12 right before our 12th anniversary...

His condition worsened this morning.
My husband took him to the vet yesterday afternoon. They xrayed his belly, but no blockage, nothing to explain the lack of appetite and the vomiting. They gave him anti-nausea drugs in the hopes he'd eat and he seemed more himself when he got home, even going into the dining room for the first time in 3 days to get water out of his own water bowl. We were hopeful.

We cooked him dinner (rice, cooked ground beef and green beans) but he wouldn't even smell it. He couldn't seem to sleep, his eyes flew open at every sound. He was actually looking bloodshot from lack of sleep, even though they gave him pain meds.

This morning, his intermittent loud raspy panting woke me. His water bowl, right between his paws, was still full of water. He wouldn't get up when I called him. When I cupped his chin, like I always did, and talked to him softly, crying and telling him I wasn't ready, he just looked at me and sighed a long sigh. I knew then he was trying to tell me, he was tired, he was ready, I needed to let go.

Jay had to lift him and only then, hating being lifted, did his legs move and he came downstairs of his own accord. Jay lifted him onto a dog bed, where he peed himself. The color of the urine indicating dehydration. He finally got up and moved away from the wet spot. We took him back to the vet this morning, knowing it was time.
She checked him over a little but said he was definitely in worse shape than when she had seen him the day before. She said, for his breed, he was very old, although he looked really good. We had both kids, our other Husky and my sister with us. It was a small, crowded room, but we all wanted to be with him. He finally just sighed and slowly collapsed onto the floor, where he lay through the whole exam and the euthanasia process. It was hard for us all to have a hand on him. When they gave him the sedative, I lost it. We gathered the kids and we petted and stroked him and told him how much we loved him. They injected him with a pink solution and listened to his heart. And he just left us. With no noise or fanfare, he was just gone. My Shadow is gone.
We took home only his lead, his collar and some fur they shaved off for us. He will be communally cremated and put in a communal vase at a pet cemetary in Mechanicsburg, PA. We hated that, but we couldn't afford the individual cremation, we just didn't have it. So we're gonna plant a tree and bury his stuff, like a time capsule, at the base.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ollie-Ollie Oxen-Free!!

I don't know why we used to yell that when we played hide and seek, but we did!
So, here I am....it's been a hard week, I feel like that nasty girl from the Exoricist, head spinning, puking and gravelly voice and all.

So I'm pregnant, 9 weeks today, which would explain....well, a lot of things!! Tiredness, asthma flair-ups, constant hunger, napping in the middle of the day, a well-stocked pantry, hunger, nausea....did I mention I'm hungry a lot? I'm also nesting like some kind of large mutant bird that likes to, well, nest. I've run at least 1 if not 2 errands every day this week (3 kids in tow) and created the largest To Do List I've ever had, if I do say so myself. I've been organizing, cleaning out, buying new, rearranging, moving furniture, eating, reading----rest, repeat. all week. I've made the dining room my office and my basement office will soon be the guest room and the guest room will be Batman's room (mental note, still need to clean out the closet!!) and Batman's room will be baby's room. I decided I'd better get started!

Charming keeps coming up from his office and seeing more changed and he's like, "Hon, you've GOT to stop nesting, you're going to hurt yourself!"

I said, "Fine, so can you move this table downstairs and bring up the shelves that are down there up to here? I did everything else I could!"

In the meantime, our 13 year old Siberian Husky, Shadow, has suddenly taken a turn for the worst. Up to now, the worst issure we've had with him has been his infrequent boughts with arthritis. So when he didn't come in Wednesday afternoon, after being outside for 5 hours in the brisk breeze, I didn't think anything of it (if the temp is 40-60 degrees, he only comes inside for drinks--he loves it outside then!). BUT then it started raining and he hates the rain, and still no Shadow at the back door (which leads to a deck which leads to steps, down to the ground, lots of steps). I sent Charming out to check and he comes back with a staggering Shadow, yelling, "Something's wrong with Shadow!! Come quick!"

I don't know when he's last eaten, but he hasn't eaten since he's been inside from 6:3pm Wednesday and now it's Friday afternoon. We assumed it was his arthritis, so we applied hot compresses, gave him his meds. The next morning he threw up some grass. (I bought a Bissel steam spot-cleaner machine after that and a good thing....) He ate some chicken and some soft dog food (which they don't normally get) and a few hours later, he threw all that up too. I personally think it's either a blockage or sometimes large dogs, like Huskies, can end up with twisted intestines. I forget what it's called, but depending on how badly twisted, it has a high death rate. Sometimes they can operate and fix it, but often, it reverts back. I was going to do some research on it, but then I figured, why scare myself? He's going to the vet in an hour and a half and we'll know the diagnosis (and prognosis) then. Charming is convinced I'll have to run down to the vet because they are going to want to put him to sleep. I cried most of the evening Wednesday, bursting randomly into tears.

We bought Shadow from a breeder's home two weeks after we got married, in 1997. He was 9 weeks old. The owner had named him Ransom and called him "Handsome Ransom," gag. We already had the name Shadow picked out.

He was a tough puppy, chewing like a crazed animal when left alone, he nearly destroyed the living room in our rental and Charming was ready to kick him to the curb! He was always smart and independent, from the time he was tiny. He never comes when you call him, he's grumpy, he loves the kids and he is more in tune with my emotional state then...Charming! lol Charming has been gone a lot with the military, he's worked night jobs, he's now traveling---Shadow is my constant companion. Charming pointed out that we still had Trinity and I wailed, "Yeah, but she's a big BABY!!!" and burst into tears again. Trinity thinks she's a lap dog, but Shadow, with 2 blue eyes, black fur, and a deep bark, he is taller than the average Husky and heavier too, he usually makes most people take a step back. Which was always fine with me. He's lived in North Carolina, Maryland and Pennsylvania. He's adjusted to the addition of 3 cats, another dog, our 2 kids and then my friends 3 in addition. He's been through a lot, we hope he's lived a full life, but even more, I hope he's around a little longer....I just don't want him to be in pain. It's a hard time, wanting him not to go, but wanting more for him to be happy and peaceful.

Send up a little prayer, will ya? For all of us....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Grocery Shopping Anyone?

Ok, so I go grocery shopping hungry and pregnant. uh-hmmmmm. I try to follow the list. I really do. And I've been really good about menu planning and coupon cutting and getting our grocery bill down. I've been buying more fruits and veggies, doing chopped veggies to put out while cooking dinner, eating healthier and less processed foods, right? But then I made a fatal error: I went shopping with Hungry and Pregnant.

Me: Hmmmmm, I've been buying that 2% Kraft Mac and Cheese, which isn't bad, but....

Pregnant: I'm kinda craving.... mmmm, butter and powdered cheese!!

Into the cart go 2 boxes of spiral macaroni. (hey, it was cheaper!)

I get to the peanut butter and jelly aisle, which is paired with refrigerated items on my left. So I select seedless Strawberry Jam for our PB & J. And Hungry says,
I do like jam on other things...maybe I'll stroll back down and see what other kinds of bread they have, we haven't tried anything different lately. Just whole wheat, whole wheat, whole wheat.

Pregnancy shouts: BISCUITS!! Must have biscuits and jam!!

I managed to maintain enough control to get reduced fat biscuits.

Back down the bread aisle we go.

In goes whole wheat bread. In goes mini bagels for the kids. They don't have my regular DoubleOat bagels left, so Hungry begins to frantically dig through the flavors that are there:

Blueberry?

Hungry: nah.

Maple French Toast?

Gag, says Pregnancy.

Harvest Fruit? I ask hopefully.

Yeah, but what kind of fruit? asks Pregnancy.

We can't figure it out, so back it goes.

AHA!! yells Pregnancy, smelling a bag of cinnamon raisin bagels. In the cart they go. (Hungry and I will actually appreciate this the next morning!)

Pregnancy groans: Grilled cheese sandwiches on sourdough bread like we used to get at Friendly's!!

Hungry grabs English Muffin Bread for said sandwiches of cheesy goodness.

Cruising towards the end of the aisle, I hope to hook the corner without incident, but Pregnancy lunges and grabs 3 Fruit on the Bottom yogurts, Pineapple flavor. Almost 30 grams of sugar PER YOGURT! Thanks Pregnancy. (She will later eat two of these in one day!!)

I suddenly (and legitimately) remember we have no ice cream left at home. I'm looking at all the slow-churned half the fat ice cream, trying to pick a different flavor, when Pregnancy's eyes start roaming and suddenly we're moving three doors down to REAL chocolate ice cream, with visions of waffle cones and chocolate jimmies dancing in our heads. Hungry concurs. Traitors.

Pregnancy generously grabs the one ice cream that is recommended in Eat This Not That is actually scrumptiously delicious: Edy's Loaded Peanut Butter Cup ice cream. Skim milk, first ingredient people! I begrudgingly agree. That's 2, 1/2-gallon containers of ice cream, in case you lost count.

I suddenly remember I got American cheese at the deli, but no lunch meat, as it's supposed to be healthier to get it packaged, not sliced. Less bacteria....so I'm perusing meats, waffling between smoked ham and honey turkey. I finally make a decision (smoked ham, all the way) when Pregnancy darts a lightning quick hand out and chucks something into the cart. I peak. Scrapple. I haven't had scrapple in probably 5 years! Hungry looks at the square package critically, commenting on how like Spam it looks. I begin to agree until Pregnancy says:

Crispy. Salty. Soft in the middle. Brown it on the griddle. Yummy!!

Hungry and I reluctantly agree and leave it in the cart.

Ok, I say to Batman in the "car" portion of our cart. Time to get the heck out of here!!

Batman nods and shakes the extra-large canister of chocolate jimmies at me.

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