Friday, December 31, 2010

Let's turn this up to 11 shall we?

It's New Years Eve, people.
Did that catch anyone else by surprise, or was it just me?

I swear I was just here:
NYE 2009-We fell asleep immediately after this was taken.


Owen was two months old. So tiny and perfect.
I was STILL healing from my section (infection/inverted staples) and exhausted.
We were both excited to see what 2010 would bring us and nervous about the challenges that were ahead....


This past year has been both really tough and really joyful on a multitude of levels.
It's been been a defeating year from a financial perspective, and super-stressful on the health front,

BUT

Watching O grow into the beautiful little person he's becoming has been magical.
(In the this-is-the-hardest-thing-I-have-ever-frikken-done-couldbethedeathofme- kind of magical way)

He's feisty, funny, and fiercely independent.

Gone is my sleepy cuddlebug who would nap on my chest for hours, and instead I see a zooming (almost)little boy who stomps around and babbles (in what sound vaguely like Klingon) at the top of his lungs.

He's my angel. My danger-seeking, Evel Knievel-esque angel.

Despite the different pit-falls we've weathered this year, I am beyond grateful for my family.
I have an amazing husband, a gorgeous son, and unbelievable friends.
I am a lucky lady.

I have no idea what 2011 will hold for my little family, and I won't even attempt to try and predict.

I just plan on heading into the new year frankly- my ears and eyes wide open, with a small bit of cautious hope in my heart.


Happy New Year, Friends! 
 I hope the year is kind and generous to you all.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Excuse me while I get up on my soapbox...

[I might need help getting down, just FYI.]

Anyone who is a mother knows that being a mother is hard.

It's the most amazing thing I have ever done, but also, hands-down the hardest.

Most mamas would agree....


And YET

We're always segregating ourselves into camps and judging each other. Like a scene out of Mean Girls.

co-sleeping vs. crib
breast-feeding vs. formula
baby-wearing vs. stroller
sign language vs. not 
homeschool vs. public school

ETC...

But one of the biggest (besides the boob vs. baba debate) is  
natural birth vs. cesarean birth.

In case you were wondering, I delivered O via C-Section. I did not want to, but there was a big possibility of risk/harm to him and myself if I would have attempted a vaginal birth. As much as I wanted to do it MY way, I couldn't abide by even remotely endangering my son to accomplish what I wanted.


I've received both overwhelming support and staunch derision for my decision.

This led to a lot of conflicting emotions surrounding my 'Birth Story" as it were.


I've never written about my birthing experience, because for a long time, I felt like I didn't HAVE one, which is just ridiculous. Of course I did.  It was just a different one from the one I had expected. That didn't make it any less.


That's like Battle Royale material in the Mamahood.
 

Holy shit, ladies. This is where we lose our minds. People get angry and vicious and all-KINDS of militant about this issue.

If you're wondering what brought this on, I stumbled upon this, which was in reference to this, which got me thinking about how frikken judgy a lot of mothers are (myself included, from time-to-time).

Why is that? Can't we just support one another, and each family's birthing experience?

How dare we (In the collective sense) marginalize a woman's love and/or commitment to her child because she had a Cesarean. How dare we sigh and cast a sideways glance of pity because that woman missed out on "giving birth" and bonding with her baby, again marginalizing the experience.

I WILL say this:

I am not a fan of elected, non-medically necessary C-sections. Stone me if you must, but I'm not.

However, I would never DREAM of saying that because a woman chose that route, it means she does not love her child.


Let's get it together people. Parenting is not black and white.

Each pregnancy is different.
Each Child is different
Each FAMILY is different.

What do we teach our children when we run around acting like holier-than-thou fools?

As long as we do our best to love and nurture and nourish and educate our children, while keeping them safe, do we have to sling arrows at the details? Or can we respect each other enough to try and hold one another up rather than always finding a way to tear down?





[Cue Melody of Kumbaya/We Are the World.]


Bottom Line?

The day a child is born in ANY manner is special and sacred day.


Let's not hang ourselves on technicalities.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Trims and tears.

O has such beautiful blonde locks, with little curlies at the end.
He has his daddy's coloring, but my obstinate hair-temperament. Ha!

I love his hair. Luuuuuuuurvvve.


BUT, it is getting a little long and shaggy.

Daddy says it's time for a hair cut...

Mommy says NOOOOOOO.

When we talked about it, I just burst into tears. Ugly ones.
I thought I was ready, I really did!

But I'm not.

I'm not ready to cut off his baby hair and for him to have a big-boy hair cut.

He's so big already. He's so independent. He wants to do everything himself. People always think he's like 18 months or older.

(He'll be 14 months next Tuesday.)

Half of me is beyond proud, and the other half is kinda heartbroken.

My little tiny baby is growing faster than I imagined. Everyone told me he would, and still, it surprises me DAILY at the speed.

I know it's stupid, but I feel like cutting his hair is like cutting away the last of his babyhood.

I'm sure that's melodramatic, but it's how I feel.

Totally NOT helping the situation is the fact that I'm still feeling the heat-wave of baby fever...

I know that we can't have another baby right now, or any time soon, but my biological clock is thundering loudly.

My husband said that he had thought O would turn the clock off for a while, but apparently, we just hit the snooze button.....sorry, Querido.

Maybe it'll pass????






No. Not with preciousness like  this.


I mean, HONESTLY. Honestly.




Maybe a hair cut for New Years...New Year, New Do'?


Sigh.

Maybe.


I make NO promises. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cerebral Palsy: It's Not as Sexy as it Sounds

I have Cerebral Palsy.  I know I've mentioned it in various posts (like this one, that one, or yep, that one), but I realized today over coffee with one of my close friends, as she was asking me about my experience with it, that I've never explained it in my blog...

[Take a second to read the info on the Mayo Clinic page, if you want. I like that site because it lays things out very clearly and concisely.]

If you're wondering which things apply to me, here's a short list:
  • Variations in muscle tone-stiffness/weakness
  • Stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity)
  • Lack of muscle coordination (ataxia)
  • Tremors or involuntary movements
  • Slow, writhing movements (athetosis)
  • Delays in reaching motor skills milestones (as an infant) , such as pushing up on arms, sitting up alone or crawling
  • Favoring one side of the body, such as reaching with only one hand or dragging a leg while crawling-My right side is my weak side and my arm will hang and/or my leg will drag, especially when I'm tired or in pain.
  • Difficulty walking, such as walking on toes, a crouched gait, a scissors-like gait with knees crossing or a wide gait-Before my surgery, I was on my toes and crouched...nearly impossible to walk that way.
  • Difficulty with precise motions, such as picking up a crayon or spoon-Or holding a pencil, handling scissors, typing, buttoning/zipping/snapping etc. As a kid I went thru a lot of PT to learn how to do those things, and I still get frustrated while doing it from time-to-time...particularly when you add a squirming toddler to the equation.

The lack of explanation is partly because it's a difficult disorder to explain, affecting each of us that has it a bit differently, partly because I don't even fully understand it, and mostly because that is not how I want people to "see" me.

 A brief history of Me and CP:
I was born about 3 months early.
I was 2 lbs. 6oz.
I needed surgery right away (and lived in a incubator for the first few months)...My heart and lungs were underdeveloped.
They told my mother that I wouldn't live through the night.
When I did, then they said I wouldn't last the week.
As I proved I was going to be around awhile, then it turned into:
She'll be mentally handicapped, she won't talk, she won't walk. and so on....

I talked very early. And from what I was saying, it was clear that I was very smart.

But I didn't walk. I didn't move very well at all.

When I was 2 and a half, they diagnosed me with Cerebral Palsy.

Along with that was more of what I wouldn't do...and leg-braces and walkers and wheelchairs and the mine-field that is the school-yard  playground.

When I was 7 years old, a surgeon decided that I would be a candidate for this experimental surgery.  It was risky, but it was free. It in my childhood mind, offered the possibility of being normal.
Yeah, it could backfire, and I could never walk again or DIE, but WHAT-EVER.   
Sign me UP!

The recovery from surgery was hell. It was long and excruciating and exhausting. Add in the less-than picturesque environment that was my home life, and I wasn't sure I was going to make it.

It took about 2 -3 years to get to the place I now (more or less)  find myself physically. I had to relearn to sit, crawl, walk, the whole shebang.  but the first day I went to school without a walker or braces or orthopedic shoes was one of the best days of my life.

YET,

I spent most of my childhood as the "handicapped" girl. The "retarded" girl. The "girl who walks funny" girl.

And I was bitter. I still was in pain. I still had tremors and a limp (among other things).
I still was never going to be an Olympic gymnast/ballerina/high-heel wearing supermodel.

I was never going to climb a tree. Or ride a bike.

People looked at me with that "Ohhh, she's special" look of pity on their faces...

It pissed me off royally.  You mean I went through all of that for NOTHING?

(Being told that I was worthless at home really wasn't helping either)

Fuck me.

But then I pulled my head out of my ass and realized that the only way I was going to have a life is if I got the hell outta dodge and ignored all the voices said:

NO You Can't.


So I fought it. Lied about it even....I didn't have Cerebral Palsy, I just had been in a car accident. People seemed to accept and deal with that easier than CP.  I did my best to hide my symptoms, and always tried to act like I was fine. If I was hurting, I tried not to show it. If I needed help, I would have rather injured myself than ask for it*. I avoided situations where my condition would be glaringly apparent.

I refused to apply for a handicapped  placard. To me, that was like pinning a big scarlet H to my blouse. Hell to the no.**

I pushed myself  and did things that I probably shouldn't have, but I was so desperate to just be like everyone else. To prove to myself that I wasn't trapped by my disability.

There are times that I did feel trapped. That I felt sorry for myself. I still do, occasionally.

But I know that I am so very lucky.
That it could have been so much worse.

Sure, I need help putting on socks and shoes, and it's hard for me to do certain things that most people take for granted, but at least I can feed myself. At least I can breathe on my own...there are those with CP that can't.

I do fear the future, what getting old will be like for me. For my husband and children. I worry that my son will miss out on things because of his mother's limitations, I worry that my husband will too,  for that matter.

Sometimes, my fears overwhelm me, and I feel defeated. But I constantly remind myself that I so lucky...To have overcome so much. To have been able to live the life I wanted. To have amazing friends. To have a loving husband and beautiful son.


It took me a long time to accept that I had Cerebral Palsy, (and as such, there would be complications/limitations-I was gonna have to tackle life in a different fashion than I'd hoped) and a long time to not try and hide it.

I now am very upfront about who I am...as you may have noticed...ahem....perhaps...

I'm so happy that I finally let myself do that. It's made me a better person.

That being said...

The General Public can often be unkind to those who are disabled:
They often treat you like you're contagious, or that you somehow did this to yourself. Like you're not a whole person. They ask rude questions and make idiotic assumptions.

I had a guy who told me once: I really like you, but I could never date a cripple. I said: Well, I could never date an asshole, so no hard feelings.

My husband was once asked if he married me because he had a fetish for gimps. TRUE STORY.
(It's a miracle that individual remained alive....)

I don't mind if people ask  questions. If they want to know more about my condition-what it is, what causes it, etc., but a little tip? Don't lead into your queries with:
"What's wrong with you?" Or, "So, are you like,  retarded?" 
 


It will not end well. When asking questions, be respectful. Or I will make you sorry.





(In all seriousness, if you have any questions, feel free to ask! I'll do my best to answer them!)





*If I'm being honest, I fall into that pattern of behavior still now and then because I don't want to be a burden, or be seen as weak. It's something I continually work on. 

**I want to be very clear about something:
I have an enormous respect for the Disabled community. I was wrong to be ashamed of my disability. I was wrong to hide it/lie about it. No one should ever be ashamed of something like that.  I was frustrated and afraid. I was made to feel like a burden by the people who were supposed to be caring for me.  I just wanted to be treated like a person, and as a child/teenager, denying my CP was the only way I thought I could be.  I would never want a young person with any sort of disability to read this blog and think that they should do that too.  Be proud of who you are. Don't hide and don't lie.  Be honest with the world and yourself. That's a more fulfilling life that faking it could ever get you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

All signs point to "Yes"

Sooooo NOT what I was hoping for.

I think I may have Fibromyalgia.

One of my close friends, R, has it and I was talking to her about how I'd been feeling lately (and over the past several years), and she said that all of my symptoms sounded a LOT like Fibromyalgyia.

This was not something I wanted to hear (and I absolutely value her advice/judgment/insight), so just shrugged it off for a long time.

It's just having a new baby...
It's just the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
It's just the Depression
 It's just the Cerebral Palsy
It's just the Gall Bladder
It's just the Hernia
It's just the IBS
It's just....

But this isn't new...I haven't felt good or "normal" in 6-7 years.
Every day is tough, and it has gotten worse since I've had O.
Sickness/Infection/Stress just compounds it. (Me? Sick? Stressed? Why, that's so RARE.)

I've done all the things I'm supposed to do:
Exercise
Healthy Diet
No Alcohol/Drugs/Nicotine/Caffeine
Vitamins/Supplements

Still, I feel like varying degrees of SHIT on a daily basis.
There's never enough sleep.
I hurt all the time.
I feel like I'm in a fog all the time.

But I don't like announcing that daily, because who wants to hear that all the damn time? And regardless of how I feel, O still needs his Mommy and my Husband still needs his wife.

And really, (I started to think) maybe it IS all in my head. Maybe I'm just being a baby....



WTF?  I'm no baby!!

This is legit. Whatever THIS is. But the symptoms/issues don't match up to only CP/CFS/IBS* there has to be another explanation...

Then a few days ago, I was praying for my friend, and all of the things that she has to deal with, and it dawned on me that almost ALL of the physical things that I pray on for her are the things that I struggle with myself.
I started thinking of all the times in the midst of a conversation the words "Me Too!" came out of my mouth...

So I did what we all do these days: Googled my heart out**.

And it wasn't pretty.

DING DING! We have a WINNER.

So I called R and told her about what I'd read and what I was experiencing...she told me that I should talk to my doctor right away. In the meantime though, an important marker to check were the pressure points.

In FM there are 18 points bilaterally on the body that are painful to the touch of firm pressure in people with the disorder. You must have at least 11 tender spots to be diagnosed.

I refused to look at the points myself. I wanted accuracy.

I waited til the Hubs got home, had him look at the list and then apply pressure to various points, using fake points as well so that I wouldn't subconsciously skew things one way or the other.

I had all of them. All Frikken 18.


DAMN IT.

But both R and my Hubs made the excellent point that maybe:  THIS is the answer for what's been ailing me.

And if it is, there's medicine that will help control the symptoms and hopefully, improve my quality of life.

There's a novel idea.


I'll be heading to the Doc probably at he the 1st of the year. There's just no money for it right now.
I'll have to have a bunch of blood work done to rule out things like Lupus, MS, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, but if those all come back clean (FM is a negative diagnosis) then we've got an answer. Interestingly enough, I learned that that people with FM are more likely to also have CFS and IBS....go figure.


While I'm not excited about being even unhealthier, it would be a relief to know that I'm not crazy, that I am legitimately*** ill, and that there's actually something that can be done to help it.

We'll address how  in the hell we'd afford the meds when we cross the prescribed bridge. I wanna end on a positive-ish note....

At least we can safely assume it's not Lupus. Because as Greg House has taught us all, it's  
never Lupus.

Until it is, but ya know, whatever.








* So many acronyms, so little time...errr, health.



**How did we LIVE before Google? I just don't know!



***A lot of folks think Cerebal Palsy is only legit if you're in a wheel chair or pushing a walker and have crazy leg braces...all things which I've had/done before, but since I'm pretty self-ambulatory, I've been 86'd from the club as it were. And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Most people just think I need to take more naps or just stop being lazy. Yes, people have REALLY said that to me. To my face, even. IBS? Don't even bother!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Doin' Truffle Shuffle...

...More like the iPod Shuffle, but that sounded better (Ooooof! Not a pretty picture mental pic of myself though).

  My Dear friend B tagged me in a facebook note that went a little something like this:

1) Turn on your MP3 player or music player on your computer. 

(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode. 

(3) List the first 15 songs that come up (song title and artist) NO editing/cheating, please. Even if you might skip the song when it comes up or be embarrassed for people to know that it's in your collection, you still must list it.


I figured that I'd blog it, because my musical tastes will be an important thing for O (and apparently, my Husband)  to know about his Mommy, right?

Side Note: Isn't shuffle always a surprising moment? I mean, we bought the music, but there's always that "OH!" moment about a song we've forgotten/thought we didn't have/hadn't heard in eons...

 Sooooooooo,
 
 Here is a slice of my musical deck: Draw 15

1. Apres Moi: Regina Spektor

2. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: She & Him

3. Whatever Gets You Through The Day: The Radio

4. The Distance: Cake

5. I Love You: Sarah McLachlan

6. Help: The Beatles

7. You are the Best Thing: Ray LaMontagne

8. Electrolite: REM

9. Corner of The Earth:  Jamiroquai

10. Novacain: Strung Out

11. Loves Me Like a Rock: Paul Simon

12. Tell Mama: Etta James

13. Heard it Thru the Grapevine: Marvin Gaye

14. Over the Hills and Far Away: Led Zeppelin

15. Marian: Nouvelle Vague

The B-sides:

1. Under My Skin: Rachael Yamagata

2. Son et Lumiere: The Mars Volta

3. Are You in? Incubus

4. This is Love: PJ Harvey

5. The Walk: Imogen Heap

6. Strawberry Fields Forever: Ben Harper

7. Song For Junior: Beastie Boys

8. Tempted by The Fruit of Another: Squeeze

9. I Me You I'm Your: Jim Noir

10. Get Off My Cloud: The Rolling Stones

11. Go All The Way: Perry F

12. Love The One You're With: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

13. Friends: Band of Skulls

14. The Hurricane: Bob Dylan

15. Sea Lion: Feist

(Funny, I'm  obsessed with Florence + the Machine at the moment, but that never popped up)





PS.  Bubu, Mommy's Top Ten Fave Artists/Bands are: ( in no particular order, except for EC)
1. Elvis Costello
2. Van Morrison
3. Jenny Lewis/Rilo Kiley
4. Etta James
5. Pearl Jam
6. David Bowie
7. Neko Case
9. x
10. 3-way Tie: Fiona Apple and Bad Religion and Radiohead 
(Mommy was a product of the 90s and its throwback to the 70's, FYI)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gettin' all Holly Jolly up in this mug!

Or, maybe not so much...

O's visit to Santy this year was a little dicey.

But, C'mon, how cute is that picture?

Husband said that I just enjoy schadenfreude.

I say that I enjoy adorable....

Speaking of  adorable (as in adorably loud), my angel of a son who is supposed to be napping is now screaming from his crib.

I gotta go.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm waaaay behind!

How is it December? 
(I still need to complete my last TOP entry...sorry'boutTHAT.)

I've completely been dropping the ball on my blogging and tweeting...

Truth be told, Twitter intimidates me. It's so all-consuming. I feel like I can't keep up, and need a crackberry/iphone/smartphone/compuphone to just maintain...


No thank you.

I'm not going to delete the account. but I've given up the ghosty of being all tweet-pro.

As for my blog, I reaalllly wanted to try and do at least 1 short post a day, with at least 1 meatier one a week, but so far, that hasn't happened either...

This is partially because I feel like it's silly.

Who wants to hear from ME on a daily basis? Isn't that a bit indulgent?
My life revolves around Elmo and shoring the tides of laundry that flow through my life.
This is not thought-provoking content.

I'm just not feeling particularly interesting these days...

Side Note: Does any one else feel like they've gotten drastically less intelligent since they became a mother?

Or am I experiencing my own personally deserved intellectual decay?

The other day, I couldn't remember how to spell knowledgeable.

Really?!

I used to be an editor for CRYING OUT LOUD. Now I'm stumped by an elementary-school vocab word.

For Shaaaaame.


Moving swiftly along-

We bought a new car! Yay! Well, new to us. It is a pre-owned 2010 Chevy HHR.

Yes, it was going to be tough to add yet another bill to our pile, but the time had come, and the Jetta needed to be put out to pasture, so we decided to at least look...


And as luck would have it, we found the perfect car for us at a amazing deal. 
 After showing it to my FIL, who is very savvy about these things, and getting the thumbs up from him, we decided that we were gonna go for it!

We were terrified, but we needed to pull the trigger.

THEN, on the way to the dealership, my ILs call to tell us that they've decided what to give us for Christmas....

They TOTALLY helped us out in the down payment arena in a very generous (and-completely-unnecessary-but-we'll-TAKE-IT kind of ) way.

I was bawling and GRATEFUL and sorta unsure if we were being "Punk'd" or not....but we weren't, so we signed the papers and drove home in our Shiny NEEEEEW CAAAAAAAAR!

We love it. I LOVE it.

I hated my husband's old car. It had a lot of bad Juju for me.  As my dear Father-in-law put it so perfectly:

"I can't say I'm sad to see that see that Blue Bitch go..."
 (I truly heart my FIL)




Indeed.

So sure it's another bill, but it's WELL worth it.

Goodbye, Mika...
Helllllllllooooo Julius!

Happy Hanukkah AND Merry Christmas, my friends!


Ps. I need someone to come over and watch Christmas movies with me whilst eating sugary holiday treats.

My hubs is a little scroogey and won't participate.  He teases me about being a bad Jew. He's right, but whatever...I ADORE Christmas.

And I light a Menorah.  I might even make Latkes. While eating Peppermint Bark....





Who's with me?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TOP Week 3: MIL

This post will not be what I originally envisioned because a sick toddler=off day.


My Mother-in-Law is rad.

She's beautiful and elegant. Always. It's inhuman.

She's an awesome shopping buddy.

She didn't care when I vomited/peed (at the same TIME) in her Mercedes while pregnant.

She's taught me the value of high-thread count sheets. IMPORTANT.

But mostly, I'm thankful for her because she's such an awesome grandmother to O.

These past few weeks that I've been out of commission have been hard for me. I hate not being the one to takes care of my son during the day, but I knew he was in loving hands, and that was crucial to my being able to rest and heal.


Thanks, Ma!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hurray! Let's make a baby!

My spouseface does NOT have cancer. He's not going to die, nor is fertility being snatched away from us...(see title)...

The lumps are not dangerous in the immediate future....BUT He is going to follow-up with a urologist yearly from here-on-out, just to monitor the situation.

That's the gist of things!
He's kinda uncomfortable with his "dudes" being discussed in my blog, so that is all I will say.

Thank you for all the love/prayers/good vibes etc. We really appreciate it.



All off this madness as of late has made me think about mortality and such--How short life is.

So much of my life has been set up on the "when this, THEN this" type of schedule.

I've found myself asking the question: Do we (the universal we) have the time to keep to that schedule?

I mean, obviously, sometimes we have to.
We have to pay our bills before we go shopping for shoes.

But are we always supposed to wait? Do things the "right" way?

Every fiber of my brain screams yes to that question. My heart, on the other hand, wants things a little out of order.

I totally want to have another child. (like NOW)

I'm afraid that if we wait 'til it's the "right" time (we've moved out, become debt-free, we're making more money, etc.) it will be the wrong time for my body.

I'm  turning 30 in a few months. That's not old, but it's pushing it for someone with CP and CFS in terms of healthy pregnancies.
[And my pregnancy with O kicked my ASS.]

Plus, as you may have noticed, I'm often plagued with health issues. This makes me nervous about taking a leisurely stroll toward a second child.

Maybe we won't be able to have a second child, but I'd like to give us the best chances to try. I want to be as young/healthy-ISH as I can be.

Also? I would like for O and his potential sibling to be close in age.

Maybe it's greedy to want another baby, but I do! Is it?!

(It's funny, I had always thought I'd have 4 children. But life had a different plan. Sigh.)

If we can't have another baby, I will ALWAYS be beyond grateful that we were able to have Owen, but it will break my heart if we miss out on the gift a second child because we were waiting for the "right time" to start to try.


After almost three years of the wrong things happening to us/in our lives, it feels like the "Right Way" is a myth.

With the news of our "freedom" as it were, it feels like we need to carpe diem this mess!

But as my ILs heads would explode if we had another baby under their roof, I doubt we'll be carpe-ing OR diem-ing any time soon.

Which makes me a little sad. Okay, a lot sad, if I'm honest.


But my Hubs is of the non-cancerous variety, so Yippeeeeeee!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

T.O.P Week 2: VU Sistas


 Words of thankfulness. Be a part.
My second note for Thankful on Paper is actually a group of notes (emails) to my:
 
VU Sistas.

Things have been a *smidge* stressful around here as of late, and shockingly, I haven't been all that cheerful. [See: "Ashes" and "The Tearing of Robes"]

But I do feel loved. I have gotten so many emails, FB posts/messages, texts/calls, blog comments, etc. wishing us well and sending us their prayers/love...

The hub of these messages come from a group of women I met in college.

I went to a small, conservative,  Christian University. For those of you who know me well, you might be asking yourself, what the HELL was she doing there?!

(It's a long story, for another time...)

Needless to say, I felt very uncomfortable and out of my element. I didn't belong to a church, hadn't grown up in one, came from basically a "Cops" episode in terms of my childhood, and had a sailor mouth. (still kinda do.) I had the audacity to show...CLEAVAGE. (Get behind thee behind me, Satan!) I was judged and judged HARSHLY.

I kinda hated life. Until I started to meet women who accepted me as I was, and loved me not just in spite of it, but because of it.

I have unique relationships with each one, and while some of the friendships may have been superficial or sporadic to start, over the years, every relationship has deepened and become special to me, and even as life takes us in different directions, I know that they will be there for me, as I will for them.

Every one of these women have entered a place in my heart not as my friends, but as my sisters.

[They know who they are :)]

At different points in the last 9 (almost 10, now, WOAH.) years (It's been a rough decade, to say the least), each woman has touched a part of my life, and has been there to lift me up when I couldn't lift myself.

Now as I've moved into wife and motherhood, they have celebrated and shared with me. Cheered me on and still, step in to not just lift me up in times of turmoil, but also my family.

Whether we talk mostly via FB or email, phone chats, or we see one another regularly, whether we remain friends till we're old and gray or get swept away from each other in the changes of time: 

I am so Thankful for these smart, gorgeous, funny, compassionate, kind, creative, loving, crazy women. I always will be. I love you all, and I hope I have been (and will be) the type of "sister" each of you have been to me.


We don't have Traveling Pants, or anything, but you all are magic in my life.






I may not have Luck, but I have amazing friends....which is kinda lucky.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Because I said I would!

While I sit on pins and needles waiting for Will to call me, who is waiting for the Doc to call HIM, let's turn our attention to something happier:

O's Halloweeny First Birthday Extravaganza!!!

I was panicked and stressed up until everyone arrived: The weather was awful, nixing our outside plans, Owen fell asleep right as people were supposed to arrive and tons of people canceled last minute-I thought we were DOOMED...

But you know what?

It turned out to be just what it should have been:

Small
Warm
Comfortable
Sincere
Lovely

Here's a Looky:

















Big hugs to everyone who helped make his day (and Daddy and Mommy's too) SPECIAL.
We love you all! Thanks for giving us yours!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It would be almost Funny...

If it didn't potentially involve cancer.

My Darling Hubs found a lump in his testicle.
On the 30th anniversary weekend of when his father discovered that HE had testicular cancer...
Awesome, right?

He went to the doctor yesterday, and was told that it was probably a blocked vesicle or something else of a non-cancery nature, but the doc can't be sure, and there is a family history....soooooo:

He's having an ultrasound this afternoon to try and confirm the nature of the lump.

Despite my best efforts, I vacillate between rage and despair.

I'm repeatedly telling myself that it's not cancer and that the tests are going to be fine, but even if they are (and I can't BREATHE until I know for sure)--

Are you efffing KIDDING ME? With all that we are struggling with, Life's just gonna throw a cancer-scare in there for shits and giggles? It's just too much.


I was already depressed as hell, and I can't say this is helping. Even poor hubby has cracked...

We need some pure, unadulterated, good fortune to come our way with a damn quickness. PLEASE.

If that weren't enough, they're trying to deny my insurance coverage.

Wooo!!!

I'm hoping it's just a clerical error, but I have yet to get on the phone with an actual person to find out. I loathe, LOATHE automated systems...

If they want more money, they are S-O-frikkenL. We don't have anymore money. Especially with all of the time Spouseface has had to take off given the various health upsets. I don't think he's gotten a full 40 hr check in two months, which is, ya know, "helpful" and stuff....

As far as post-surgical-update:

I'm doing okay. I had some complications with my pain meds and ended up in the ER on the Saturday night after my surgery, but they switched them and fixed that problem. The pain was FAR worse than I had expected, as was my lack of mobility and the fatigue. Thankfully, the pain is manageable now...I still can't bend, twist or pick up/carry O (which breaks my heart), but at  least I can finally walk around . The fatigue, however, is crushing me.

I suppose I should've seen that coming, given I already have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but I was still caught off-guard... (E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D. Dead. Sadness.)...
maybe because lapro-surgery is made to sound so easy-peezy. It's not, just-so-you-know.

Sure, it's better than open surgery, but it's STILL MAJOR SURGERY. I think the fact that it's out-patient is a little dangerous, honestly.

That about sums it up. I'm pained, exhausted, kinda heartbroken (on many levels), and financially tapped OUT, but no gall bladder attacks or unexplained abdominal pain (the hernia), so HEY, that's great!

Or Something Like That....

Please keep my sweet Husbandface in your thoughts. We are doing are best to keep our chins up, and expect the best, but I know he's scared (I'm terrified), and we could use all the luck we can get. Hopefully the scans today are all negative (in the positive way) and happy.

I'll keep you updated...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

TOP Week 1: Husbandface.

Words of thankfulness. Be a part.

 My first note for Thankful on Paper was to my Husband. Why? 'Cos he's pretty frikken amazing.

If you read his guest post, or the  word "SexBee" has any meaning for you, then you probably know what I mean.

When we met in early 2005, we were both a mess. 
A jaded, scarred, and suspicious lot.
 There are times I am still dumbfounded that we managed to make it this far, but we had an unexplainable (if I'm honest-Strange) bond. 
No matter what happened, or how hard we tried to ignore it--it couldn't be shaken off.

Thank goodness we both had the sense to recognize how rare that is...  

It wasn't until we got married that I realized that I had never experienced unconditional love in action before. I had known only love that came with strings and caveats. He has shown me the life-changing difference between the two, and I am continually astounded at the gift that THAT is...

I am an all-or-nothing kind of creature. Survive or be killed, that's me.
He has a bit of a sunnier disposition....a bit more dramatic too, but whatever...(teasing. sorta.)
He keeps me balanced and from despairing in Humanity, a lot...
(You'd be surprised at how handy that can be!)

He is my best friend, and my Life Buddy. He is my Heart.
I am so Thankful he is mine.

He has patience when I do not.
He finds optimism when I can't.
He forgives me when I won't forgive myself.
I am so Thankful that he is mine.

My husband is not a Perfect man, any more than I am am a Perfect woman, but he has made me feel like I am perfection in his eyes. After so many years of being told that I was nothing, and worth even less, I can't even express how that has saved me.
I am so Thankful that he is mine.
I am so Thankful I am his.

(I love you, Querido.)


PS> It's not too LATE! Get your THANK on!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dear Santy...

Hey Mister C!

I know it's been awhile since we've had any correspondence, but it's never to late to reconnect, right?
I need a favor. I need you to bring me some big-ticket items this Holiday Season. Yes, I know I'm almost 30. I know you've got that happiness of children across the world to worry about...nonetheless. 
(Let's be honest, you can squeeze me in.)

I have been a very good girl and this has been a very hard year. 

Here is what I'd like for Christmas:

1. I want to be debt-free. No more credit card, student loan, or medical debt. It's gonna run you about a $100,000.00 but trust me, it'll be worth it.

2. A new car. Our Jetta is dying, and really? SO NOT a family car. We'd really like the Chevy HHR. We found a lovely pre-owned one a CarMax-making your job THAT much easier.


That's it! That's all I want...well, I'd love health insurance, but I'm trying to be realistic here.

As the Jolliest of all Elves, I know you can make this happen. Pull some strings, call your friends (Oprah has GOT to be on your speed dial, and she could do this in her SLEEP.), work your Kringly magic.

I could really use a Christmas miracle this year, sir. 

(And not to drag up the past, but this would TOTALLY make up for all the years you accidentally "missed" my house.)



Love,
CJ

PS. Fulfilling my Christmas Wish does not negate your duties to my son. He's not old enough to write letters or know who you are, but someday, he will. I would expect that his letters will be assessed fairly.

[In the event that this doesn't pan out, I've also written to Ellen.]

Thankfulness. It's easy when you think about it.

Friends! This is a lovely idea that I found thru my even lovelier friend, Rachel.
Gall-Gate 2010 has made me a little late to the game, but better late than never!

Let's do this THING!!!
This year, join me and be THANKFUL ON PAPER.

Here's how to get your THANK on:

*The 4 Wednesdays (beginning on Nov 3rd), leading up to Thanksgiving, I'm going to write one person and tell them I am thankful for them and why. I will send it to them them that day (or drop it off at their house) and hopefully express to them how much I care for them and how grateful I am that they are in my life. I would love you to do the same.
*The 4 Thursdays (beginning on Nov 4th), leading up to Thanksgiving, I will write a simple blog post about who I wrote to and why. On those Thursdays, I would love for you to join me and write a post.
*It's as easy as that! 
 
Who doesn't need a little love note these days? And to be reminded of our blessings now and then? 
Keeps me from becoming Mayor of DoomandGloomville...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gimme Gimme Gimme some LOVIN'.

All the cool kids are doing it....

And by cool kids? I mean Andrea and Kacie. I strive to be as adorably cool as they are someday. Check them out!





Dearest Readers, Can I ask a favor? As you may have noticed, I changed some things in my neck of the blog woods...I thought that my followers and links would make a smooth transition.

Based on some emails of confusion I've received since, it seems I was mistaken...

So could you take a sec to re-follow me at the new url digs and/or BlogLovin'?

http://goteamjayne.blogspot.com
Just Plain Jayne.


New Look, Same Great Sarcasm!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This is NOT the Jayne you're looking for...

As you may have figured out by now, PJ (see what I did there?) isn't feeling well today - what with having an organ removed and all - so I, her Husband, will be the substitute "Jayne" for this post.

I've had the privilege of being a (very) behind-the-scenes player in this blog since the beginning,  as either an over-the-shoulder proof-reader (she loves that), or an occasional source of inspiration (I was a Slutty Bee. I regret nothing.), but  I think it'll be fun giving the actual writing a try.

Having just read my last sentence, I can tell this is going to suck. You have my condolences: PJ will be back soon, I promise. Let's get this show on the road.

Obviously, the surgery went as expected: completely laproscopic, no complications, etc. There was a small surprise, but we'll get to that in a bit. Let's start the timeline, shall we?

The day starts at 5:30 AM.

This, as you may already know, is not a good time of day for my Wife. In fact, she'd like to believe that mornings start around 10, but our son has confirmed that the ass-crack of dawn is a perfectly acceptable time to wake up.

We make our way to the hospital, and arrive right on time at 7:00 so that we can get prepped for the 9:00 surgery. I notice very few people in the waiting room: good sign, I think. I'm an idiot, so you can guess how this actually turned out.

Three hours later, they wheel her off to the operating room.

Side Note: after spending several hours in a surgical waiting room, I can safely say that Grey's Anatomy is full of shit. I saw dozens of doctors, and there was no McDreamy, no McSteamy, no McNothin'. Well, there was McDumpy, McSchlumpy, McUgly, and McSurly.

Since I'm about as useful as an underwater bicycle at this point, and I'm not going to be needed for another two hours, I decide to get something for breakfast. Not three minutes after I leave the parking lot, I get a call from her surgeon. From the operating room. While she's on the table. Fuck.

Turns out, he found an Umbilical Hernia, and he needed to let me know before he fixed it. How courteous.

Admittedly, I can't really give him any crap, because this guy was clearly very good at his job: he caught an extra problem, fixed it, AND removed the offending Gallbladder in less than an hour. It usually takes me longer to make frickin' spaghetti.

So, at 11:00, I head back to the hospital, and wait for her to get out of recovery.



And wait.



And wait...



And wait.



Seriously? What the hell is going on back there? Cripes, how long has it been?


...Half an hour? Oh. Ok. Well, I'll just sit back down, then. Sorry about that. How long's this supposed to take, again? Hour? Hour and a half? I can handle that.



Three hours.

We got there at 7:00, and left at 2:00. I didn't care; I was just happy to get my Wife back. My sweet, delirious, high-as-a-fucking-kite Wife. She's a peach when she's on drugs - she really is. Remarkably friendly. Cute as button. And funny as hell.

Knowing full well what was in store, I took a video of our conversation during the car ride home. I was originally going to post and/or transcribe it here, but frankly, it just doesn't translate, and PJ would flay me alive if it found its way onto the interwebs. Suffice it to say, it is awesome, and if anyone wants to see it, give me a buzz.

But just so everyone gets a sense of what I had the joy to witness, just imagine a four year old (her voice gets really high-pitched when she's under the influence; no idea why, but it's awesome.) juxtaposing questions about the existence of her own belly button with discussions of I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, Cotton Balls and Death (sounds like an amazing band), and graham crackers. It was beautiful.

Anyway, that's all for now - thanks for tolerating me while you could, and JPJ will be back next post!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

365 Days of Sunshine.

My little O is one today! He has been on this earth for an ENTIRE year.

How did this happen?! I was warned about the speed at which his babyhood would pass me by, and even so- It takes my breath away...



My Darling Bubu,

Happy Birthday, Love! You don't know what birthdays are yet, but you will!
And you're gonna loooove them!
A birthday is the day that your family and friends celebrate the day that you were born-showering you with joy because of the happiness your birth has brought them. Plus? There's always cake and ice cream....

The day you were born was the most amazing day of my life. It was what I had been waiting for-for a very long time. MORE than worth the wait!! You are the most beautiful little boy I have ever seen, but more than that, you have a beautiful heart. I know that you will grow up to be a good man. You always make me proud. You've given me a peace and a joy that I never thought was possible. You make me laugh every single day, and I am sooooooo lucky to be your Mommy.

I promise to do my best to be worthy of this honor. We may not always agree or see eye-to-eye. There are times where we will be angry at each other, or make one another sad, even though we didn't mean to...whatever happens, know that I love you. I will always do everything in my power to make you feel safe, secure, happy and loved. My love is, and always will be, unconditional. Nothing you can ever do will make me love you less. I promise to listen, to share, to hear you. I will make mistakes, (but you'll learn that we all do) and I will strive to learn from those mistakes so I can be an even better Mommy.

You are never a burden or obligation, you are a gift. You are my 365 days of Sunshine. I can't ever thank you enough.

Happy First Birthday, Sweetpea! You have so many to come, and I'm so excited to see the fantastic person you will be with each passing one. I love you with all the love in the WORLD.

Kisses,

Mommy














One Day...

One YEAR!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ain't that a kick in the Teeth?

As my lovely readers may have figured out, things have been a little less than rosy around here...

I can't really say it's lookin' up.

Monday, I got a notice from Medi-Cal that my Share-of-Cost coverage was terminated as of the 1st of October.

Ummmm, come again?!

I have a SURGERY scheduled on Friday. THIS FRIDAY.

Immediately filled with the urge to vomit, I tried not to panic. There's was nothing I could do until the next morning...

My fervent hope is that I would call Medi-Cal and it would all be some silly misunderstanding...
Ooops! "Silly Us!" They would say.


Yeah, NOTSOMUCH.

My insurance is canceled. As I am no longer pregnant, O is no longer an infant and I happen to be married, we no longer qualify for squat.

Our income is "too high" (tell that to our bank account) and we are an "in-tact" family, therefore ineligible for aid.

Since when is being a stable family a bad thing?
It is in the eyes on Medi-Cal.

I was able however, to skim under the radar somehow, and since my surgery was already approved, it will be covered with the $2000 co-pay.

BUT, any medical care costs or anything related to the surgery/post-op that occurs AFTER the 31st of October will be our responsibility 100%.


Yippee?

Please cross your fingers for me that the surgery goes smoothly and is laproscopic, so it can be considered an out-patient procedure. If they have to go in all Mash-style, I'll be laid up in the hospital for a few days, and we don't have that kind of scratch....

Hey, did I mention that we also need a new car? SchWEET.








PS. O's Birthday Bash was Fab! I will post as SOON as I get all the pictures!

Friday, October 22, 2010

I just checked on my son...

Asleep. So sweet and innocent.

I love him. To the point where it's often hard to breathe- because the sheer enormity of the love I have for him feels like it might overwhelm me...

He is what I have dreamed of.

He is what I have lost...
and found again.

Tomorrow is his first birthday party. His actual birthday is Thursday.

I can't believe we've already come to the year-mark.

It feels like yesterday-yet, since the beginning of time?

It's been quite the journey....

Tonight as I brushed his hair from his forehead, I was reminded of this:

For my Child-Whom I shall never meet.

Breathe.

Watching you sleep puts the world
In perspective

There is peace
(however fleeting)

Cynicism has no place
Where you dream

I will lie beside you
And find
myself.

(December 17th 2003)



It is strangely just as true now as I wanted it to be then.
Which is oddly comforting.







Goodnight, my Darlings.

Gall-Gate 2010: The Final Showdown

Woke up at 2 (after falling asleep at 12:30ish) with another gall bladder attack.

Complete with nausea!
Been up since then!


::DELIRIUM!::

I think this makes I think this rounds me up to a solid ten.

No big deal, right?

Who doesn't love a wake up call O' pain?

Me, that's who.

But that bastard's days as my gall bladder are numbered.

Surgery is set for next Friday.

10-29-10.

I'm relieved freaked.

What if I die?

Who will take care of my boys?
Totally not how I wanna go out!
Death by gall bladder?


That's just insulting. Thankyouverymuch!

(I know I probably WON'T die, but neuroses are hard to control on no sleep)

The surgeon hopes to do it via laproscopic, but won't know 'til he's all up in there whether I'll have to be filleted or not...

...So waking up will be all surprisey and stuff.

Yay Surprises!












PS. The GastroGuy called and it looks like I don't have colon cancer/ulcerative collitis/Celiac disease/etc. It's just probably Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Could I BE any sexier right now? Honestly.


PPS. Question: Why are my insides so effing pissy? Whatta bunch of Bitches.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The "D" Word.

No, not Divorce.

(Calm down, Querido.)


Depression.

I am depressed. As much as it PAINS me to admit it, it's true.

Tuesday night, I woke up in the middle of the night to pee...You know, like ya do...

As I sat down to take care of business in the silent darkness of 2am, I just lost it.

I sat there sobbing like a child for a good 30 minutes, desperately trying to muffle myself so I wouldn't wake the Husband or the Boy.

Unfortunately, I DID wake my Hubs, who panicked and wanted to know what was wrong.

I couldn't answer...

Nothing? Something? Everything? ME?

We got back into bed and he held me while I cried some more.

As the tears subsided and his snores started, I realized that I was depressed.

(I know-I'm THAT quick)

SuperFuckingSadExhaustedAngryOverwhelmingly DEEEEpressed.

I mean, I've battled depression my whole life, so I know the signs, but I kept finding ways to tamp it down or skirt the issue...I don't have time to be down, G-ddamnit! I'm already Physically DOWN as it is.


But that's the funny thing about depression. It doesn't give a SHIT about what you want or have going on, it's going to take root anyway.

Sometimes I can fend it off, sometimes I can't.
And I don't like talking about it.

The subject makes people nervous, and they spout superficial platitudes at you in an effort to help, but instead just culminate in you feeling like an ungrateful asshole.

I loathe feeling this way.
I'm good during the day, as I have to be. I can put on that happy face.

But at night, after everyone goes to bed, not.so.much.


Even the Hubs is depressed.

We're a sad lot around here. No pun intended...HA!

We just have so much stacked against us, and we need help, but no help is coming.

Instead, we just get "shoulded" to death, with no practical applications (or resources) as for how to fulfill that list...

We're barely treading water, but if we were "responsible" we'd be doing more...





It's enough to drive a person crazy. Oh, Wait......

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NOH8. Today or EVER.

In honor of GLBT Spirit Day, This is my Facebook Status Today:

Rock your purple today, friends. Adults and CHILDREN across the country (the world) are suffering abuse and dying due to hatred, intolerance, and hopelessness. NOT because of their own "choices". It is NEVER okay for a person, let alone a child, die or be tortured because they are different. To all of the GLBT community out there: I support you and ♥ you! Stay strong. You are not alone. You are not forsaken.

I stand by that statement. Wholeheartedly. I cannot and DO NOT believe that homosexuality/being transgendered is a choice.

{I know the scriptures, I do. Please refrain from bombarding me with them.}

I'll say it again:

I believe with every fiber of my being that it is not a choice. Nor is it a mistake, a mental illness, or an abomination.

It is as natural as my heterosexuality.


If that offends you, that is your choice.

I am not going to attempt to change your mind-just stating mine.

I will ask this though of those who don't support Gay Rights/The GLBT community:

Despite your personal opinions or religious convictions, find it in your heart to show some support today for the kids who have died or are struggling because of anti-gay bullying/torturing.

They were not/are not degenerates trying to tear the moral fabric of society or dethrone whatever G-d you follow, they are CHILDREN who are trying to find out who they are. Where they fit, and what love is.

They are your children and they are mine. They deserve our love, support and protection.

They deserve Hope. Not Hate.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Eviction Notice.

For my gall bladder, that is.

I FINALLY saw the general surgeon yesterday morning and he said its gotta come OUT.

This makes me relieved and nervous at the same time.

I'll be glad to not have gall attacks anymore (I was in the ER AGAIN last Saturday), but surgery always is a little risky...

Will it be fine? I'm sure it will, but having O has made me a bit of a NervousNellie.

The surgery hasn't been scheduled, the surgeon has to get approval from Medi-Cal first. I hope it goes smoothly and speedily so this I can get this mess over with!

I still haven't gotten the results of the biopsies they did during my colonoscopy, so there's no updates on that yet.

[I did file a complaint, btw. Just a written one-I had no desire to get all sue-y about it, I just wanted to make sure it was documented so it hopefully won't happen to someone else]

I never heard from the Uro guy after that craptacular appointment, so I'm thinking I'm going to have to find another one and start that process all over again.
Yaaaaaaay.

But, while having the bladder of an incontinent octogenarian isn't exactly sexy, it ain't life-threatening, so I'm putting it on the back burner 'til the gallbladder/colon/stomach sitch is figured out.

Other than that,
I'm exhausted.
STRESSED.
Fighting off a bout of depression.

I lay awake at night wondering how we're going to weather all of this financially.

Weirdest of all, though?

I really want to have another baby.

I KNOW. I must really be going off the deep-end...

I think I'm just afraid we won't be able to try for another one before the option is taken away from me health-wise...?

I know that I am super-lucky to have one healthy baby, and I'm not trying to be greedy, but I know that the Hubs and I would be sad if we didn't at least try to have a sibling for O.

Anyhoo-in happier news:

O's FIRST BIRTHDAY party is on Saturday!

(I'm having a hard time accepting that he'll be 1 soon.)
I'm excited, but WORRIED. We had planned to have it in the backyard, but with the weather being all torrential, I don't think that's happening...and my IL's downstairs isn't exactly "kid-friendly."

I know O won't give a rip, but I just want it to be a special day.

Cross your fingers!

I'll post about the festivities next week!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

You kinda never forget.

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

So many people in my life have lost a child(ren), through miscarriage, SIDS, and stillbirth, and it's so important to remember those losses and honor those children.

I know that it's not a comfortable subject for a lot of people, but it's a real one that families (especially the mothers) deal with every day.

No matter what others may believe, no matter how early (or late) the loss was, to the mother, he/she was a baby.  

Their baby.

But because the people in their lives often want them to move on and (with the best intentions) forget, it is a pain that gets bottled up for fear of upsetting others.

If you know someone who has suffered this loss, send them some love.

If you've lost, my heart is with you.


My first child would have been born on March 9th, 2004
We said good bye at 12 weeks.

My second child would have been born on April 16th, 2007
We said good bye at 6 weeks.

They would have been six and a half and three and a half.

I never really got to know them, but I love and still miss them.

Every day.

Sometimes it's fleeting, and sometimes it's overwhelming.


My son has served as both a salve and a reminder.

A beautiful thing.

He cannot replace the children I lost (yet he fills my heart with so much joy and gratitude for his gorgeous little face), but he can remind me to never forget the miracles that they were.



In remembrance of those that have lost, please light a candle tonight at 7pm.