Thursday, April 30, 2009

Letting go and moving on, with a little Captain Morgan's to ease the transition

OK, so Tuesday was not the most spectacular day of my life as a co-worker and employee. But Tuesday AFTERNOON was significantly better, and Wednesday morning was just kick-ass wonderful. So, I am going to try to figure out what I did on Wednesday that so improved my outlook.

Oh wait, I remember, I had some time alone, and I did something for MYSELF.

Ahhhhh. Refeshing !

I plan to give that a try again soon. I highly recommend this strategy. Doesn't have to cost anything, doesn't have to be planned in advance - even if you just grab a blanket and take a nap in the sunshine of a local park, or take a nice walk, I believe that the key for me is GET OUT OF THE HOUSE ALONE. So, with that said, I plan to continue with those efforts as much as possible in the future.

Step 1. No working on Mondays and Wednesdays when the kids are in school. No no no. Yes, I know, I was worried about how I was going to fill those long, lonely, empty hours. Well, fear not. I have a new plan.

I will go to the gym for yoga. Oh yes I will ! Because I joined the gym, and dammit, I'm going.

And then ? I will actually GO to the chiropractor as prescribed by my doctor and covered by my health insurance. Because I need to go, and because it makes everything else in my life (like, oh, sleeping and walking and standing upright) easier and more pleasant.

AND ???? I will eat a healthy meal. No more "forgetting to eat". I am going to take the initiative to feed myself, even though I have no one else around to prepare food for.

But there are other steps, too.

Step 2. Do not spend money trying to stay busy.
The $20 a month I spend on the gym membership is the only expense of my little plan. And that $20 is money I would have been spending on antidepressants and pain meds. So VOILA ! Med-free, and working on my fitness. Fergie would be so proud.
And by Fergie, I mean this one:
(image PEOPLE)

Definitely not this one, though she might be proud of my whole budget conscious fitness regimen too:
(image Getty)

Step 3. Set a few goals to get accomplished during the day as well. On Wednesday, I kept the bar very low, because I was so stressed out. All I wanted to do was manage to mail some bills out on time (one of the things I am very bad about doing).

SUCCESS ! Gosh, I can just hardly imagine what I can accomplish, with lofty goals like these.

Step 4. Make lists. I am using my Blackberry to put in reminders for EVERYTHING, from the classes I want to take at the gym, to the birthday party we were invited to on Wednesday afternoon. If I put these reminders in, I can relax, and forget about it, because I KNOW I have it covered. My phone will beep and flash and remind me of what I have to do, so i do not need to remember a whole bunch of crap that quite frankly, I can't keep straight in my muddled little mind.

And so with the weight off my mind and my heart, I can proceed lightly. EEEEEEase my way into the next stage of my life, which I can only hope will be considerably less stressful then the previous stages.

Onward and upward, people !

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You know those days, when you can't decide between bursting into tears, or punching someone in the face ?

I had a challenging day.

If I wasn't post-menopausal I would blame it on PMS - because that was just the kind of irrational, emotional, miserable black cloud I was under for most of the morning.

I know that people do this all the time, but for ME and MY KIDS, getting up and dressed and fed and lunches packed and out of the house by 7am is difficult.

When you have spent the previous night at the clinic - AGAIN - until almost 9pm, with a kid who had a high fever, it makes things that much harder. Because she has been on antibiotics for several days, and because she was feeling fine as long as the fever was kept down with Motrin, the doc said it was OK for her to go to school - and since I had work in the morning, that was good news. Or so I thought, until I realized how late it was, and how little sleep she would be getting.

And just as I anticipated, waking her up was not easy. I got up at 5:30. I made lunches, I showered, I dressed, I helped Max finish up some homework that he had been too burned out to finish the night before. I made him breakfast, ran a load of laundry, fed the dog, and went to wake Lucy.

Hah. Hah Hah. No.

Went back a few minutes later, after brushing my teeth and getting completely ready to go. Nope.

So I carried her, sound asleep, down the hallway. I put her on the couch. I coaxed off her PJs. I wrestled her into some of her clothes. I added breakfast to her lunchbox. It was 7:05. I ran to the car with kids and lunchboxes and backpacks and water bottles and my apron, and MY breakfast.

I dropped off Max, I drove to Lucy's school and waited for them to open the doors - then did the handoff, including setting her breakfast up for her. She was the very first kid, and she seemed very alone as I walked away and left her standing in the wide doorway watching me go. I felt sick. She is so little, and she didn't feel well, and here I was dropping her off as early as possible, so that I could go wait TABLES ? No. Just, no. Because she needed her momma. But, I had committed to this shift, and planned with the school to take her for this extra day, so I just kept walking. And felt really shitty about it.

I raced down the hill to work, the guilt just eating away at me, that she was eating breakfast alone in an empty classromm while the teacher was setting up for the day. I told myself that there were probably other kids there already. She would be fine. Just fine. I parked and walked in to the cafe, and discovered I wasn't scheduled to be at work for another 30 minutes.

30 minutes is a lot of minutes.

And, because I wasn't scheduled, I couldn't punch in.

And, because I wasn't scheduled to open, I would have to stay later - which would mean not being able to pick up either of my kids.

I wanted to cry. But mostly, I was mad. Mad that I had very specifically accepted the shift on the condition that I open, so that I could pick up my kids. Mad that I had asked, numerous times, before AND after the schedule was made, if I was opening, because I needed to pick up my kids. And I was assured that yes, I was opening, so I could leave in time. Mad because I specifically asked if the other waitress COULD stay for the later morning shift, because if she couldn't, I couldn't take the Tuesday shift they were trying to fill, and was told that she had been called, and had said that she would work the later shift. Mad that I had BUSTED MY ASS to get there, and I wasn't supposed to be there yet.

I could not have done more to make sure that I could accept responsibility for the shift. I could not have done more to be there on time.

And need I remind you, that my rule of thumb is "own it". If you accept a responsibility, fulfill it - or find someone who can.

So, with that said, I own it. I did not go and look at the schedule on Monday morning, to make sure that it was correct. I took my manager's word. And I should have just gone and checked the schedule myself.

Which is why I wanted to cry. I was so mad at myself for not checking. So mad at myself for not calling the other waitress and making sure that we were both OK with my working the opening shift. And so mad for taking the stupid fucking shift to begin with, when my family - my priority - would suffer for it.


I do not think I was a lot of fun to work with today. I was so upset. And sad. And furious.

I tried hard not to mis-direct my feelings. I tried to clarify to my co-workers that this had nothing to do with them, that I was just having a terrible day. I apologized - which just made me angrier. I felt like I was apologizing for something that wasn't my fault. But i kept apologizing. And of course, the more upset i got, the more mistakes I made, which made me MORE upset, and led to really pissing off my boss. I apologized to him, too. "I'm having a bad day." I said. "I'm sorry, I'm really trying to get it together." I flooded the bar washing out blenders. "I'm sorry" I said. "I am having a terrible day." The other waitress very kindly said she would be happy to stay later so I could get my kids. I thanked her, and was so grateful for her generosity. At the same time I was furious that I was affecting HER day, and HER plans, and had to ask for favors, when this was all someone else's doing.

Which brings us back to the fact that ultimately, it was my responsibility to go look at the schedule, and make sure I could fulfill the shifts as they had been assigned.

So the lesson in all of this is, if I want to punch someone in the face, it would have to be me. And I think self-flagellation is so 1800's.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Suddenly, across the bustling South Street Station, I saw him.

I came very very close to achieving someone's romantic fantasy, once.

12 years ago, sometime around late April-ish, I met my future husband amid the swirling crowds of commuters, as the big board showing train numbers and times was clacking overhead, and vendors were on the periphery selling enormous bouquets of flowers in a kaleidoscope of colors. Children were crying, suitcases were bumping up the escalators and along the polished floor, the rumble of the T was underfoot, trains were chugging in and backing out of the tracks just outside the twirling revolving door. There was a hum, chaos, energy so deafening and blinding at once, that it was simply impossible to take it all in. But it didn't faze me one bit - I only had eyes for him.

And it was, obviously, laundry day.

The neck of his neon yellow shirt was stretched out, exposing hs shoulder. He was wearing atrocious knit shorts that were unspeakably unflattering. The sole of his sneaker had come loose, and flapped down as he walked towards me. His hair was long, and obviously had not been so much as trimmed in a very long time. His face was partially hidden by a black beard and a ginormous unibrow.

My destiny awaited.

And twelve years later, with a complete wardrobe overhaul, regular visits to a salon, along with a good leave-in conditioner and some new sneakers, he is dreamy. Women swoon. He has a fanclub at his doctor's office. The cashier at Home Depot told me he looked just like a celebrity - but she couldn't quite figure out which one.

Do you know his secret ? It's the smile. He has an enormous smile - it lit up South Station that day. It lights up my life and lifts my spirit every time I see it.

Happy Anniversary of the day my life changed forever. You arrived just in the nick of time, darling.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

As long as the bumper doesn't fall off completely, we'll be just fine.

Why, Hello there !

I am literally standing up, in my work clothes, tying an apron on, running out the door. Hopefully, the car will not be making the same scary sounds today, and the bumper will continue to cling to the front of the car in that alarming manner, the exhast system to hang by that ever so increasingly importatn thread, and I will get to the restuarant ontime.

If not, we'll be off to a rough start, no ?

So, work today. Family dinner tonight. And sweet, sweet Sunday tomorrow.

Off to paradise.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Better then a bong

For a week now, I have felt as though someone is sitting on my chest, preventing me from taking a deep breath.

Last night, I finally went and picked up a new steroid inhaler at the clinic.

Yeah. Another trip to the clinic. It was as awesome as you would imagine.

I went right up to the counter and handed them my insurance card. And the chick was all "Go have a seat and wait for your name on the board." And I was all "My doctor called this in hours ago, it should be ready." And she's all "It's not." And I glared at her and snatched back my card and went to sit, and wheeze and cough, and shoot nasty looks at the pharmacist who was definitely NOT making an exceptional effort to give me the gift of oxygen. I commented loudly that if they didn't get that inhaler ready soon, I was going to have to go to the doctor's office for a breathing treatment.

Miraculously, my name popped up on the board.

Amazing - 25 minutes to slap a damn label on the outside of a box. I mean, there was no counting, no measuring, all they had to do was pick up the box and PUT A FUCKING STICKER ON IT.

So while I waited in line for my turn (again) at the counter, I started to fee a little lightheaded, because really, air was at a premium. When I got to the counter, I ripped open the box and started sucking on that thing like, well, like you suck on things.

Everyone seemed a little uncomfortable, but I figured hey, they couldn't be more uncomfortable then ME trying to BREATHE. Fuck 'em.

So now it's 16 hours later, and I have to say that yeah, I feel a little better - but that inhaler was not the miracle I hoped it would be.

On the bright side, Lucy stopped puking and Max is back in school, and we got our tax return. So, you know, it's not so awful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


So. Yesterday. Lucy was a bit under the weather. I sent Max to school, because he was at least awake - which is more then I could say for the little Miss.

And in the afternoon, which was spent sleeping, she woke up in time for us to take Max to TaeKwonDo. And Max wanted to go. And I *so* didn't want to go ANYWHERE. But I did. And on the way down the mountain, Lucy coughed. And then, burped. And then, you can guess exactly what happened all over my backseat.

We tore into town, Max hanging his entire upper body out the window gagging, Lucy crying and spitting. I came to a screeching halt at the dojo, Max leaped out and slammed the door on the contamination just barely contained within, and I turned around and headed home.

And the whole drive home, I just kept wishing that there was a grownup around to help me deal with this mess. That there had been a grownup available to drive Max to the dojo. And I am not talking about Sami. I needed my mom.

An hour later, after hosing off the car seat and the surrounding area with my garden hose, and giving Lucy a bath and washing the chunks out of her golden hair (and out of mine) the door opened - a half hour ahead of schedule.

Turns out, Max hadn't really felt well enough for class. So my mad rush to get him there on time was ultimately just to have Sami drive him right back home again. Only Sami's backseat wasn't filled with barf.

Lucky man.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The "Since I don't understand the directions fully, I am just going to copy Antonia" meme

Antonia posted this meme she was tagged for, and invited her readers to do the same. I liked the questions - or maybe I more liked her answers, so please be sure to check them out. Because I am sitting here nursing (not literally, thanks, she's been weaned for years now) a sick 4 year old today, following on the heels of the sick 8 year old of the previous week, my creative juices were pretty much tapped by making chicken and rice soup this morning - which was deemed "not as good as the usual kind". She is referring to the condensed, salty canned version, and trust me, that is what I will be serving from now on, I can assure you.

I tried to comprehend how the original meme was supposed to work, something about bands, and names of albums or songs or something, and using those to answer the questions, and it all sounded very cool and clever, but what the fuck, it's been a long week. So, while they may not be as good as the others, here are my answers for better or worse. And yes, Trippy it's another meme. You can bite me AGAIN.

1. Are you a male or female: I'm a mother. Ergo, sexless to almost everyone except my darling husband, and guys who are into breeders.

2. Describe yourself: Loud, obnoxious, drunk, rude, sensitive, and loving. I adore babies, hate most animals and insects, and enjoy my food, allthemoreso because of my excellent matabolism.

3. How do you feel about yourself: Honestly, I'm a bit dissappointed. Not really measuring up. Certainly not embracing my full potential. But I nap regularly and pay the bills, so life is good.

4. Describe your parents: Divorced. Remarried. To others. Recently.
Mom is funny, shy, conservative.
My father is, well, if I am going to be honest, we have a lot in common. Our personalities are similar. We both read and write and edit because it is simply what we do. It's genetic. Ink flowing in our veins and all that. We yell, and argue, and have at various times drank ourselves silly and smoked like chimneys. Also genetic, I would imagine.

5. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriends: Assorted. Male. Single. History.

6. Describe your current boy/girl situation: I have a lovely husband, and we are very much in love AND in like.

7. Describe your current location: Sitting on a kitchen stool trying desperately to see/reach the keyboard whilst Lucy climbs around in my lap breathing on me and asking questions.

8. Describe where you want to be: Asleep in bed, or wandering the streets of some ancient European town sipping espresso and taking photographs. Or whooping it up in Thailand.

9. Your best friend(s) is/are: This chick who found me on mySpace turned out to be my partner in crime forevermore. My friends, in general, have tolerance for my drunken debauchery, find me amusing, and enjoy a good meal.

10. Your favourite colour is: dark cherry red. And I like those "u"s in the spellings. Much nicer then the ugly American spellings

11. You know that: Every little thing's gonna be alright.

12. If your life was a television show what would it be called: The Hard Way.
Take that as you will.

13. What is life to you: A gift.

14. What is the best advice you have to give: Don't run up a bunch of debt, you idiot.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Better Man

This morning dawned with a 4 year old being lifted onto my bed. "Don't wake up mommy, she's sick." And then he was gone, off to work for his 10 hour shift at the top of the mountain. "Daddy, why do you have to go ?" "Because I have to work baby - I'll see you tonight."

After much tossing and turning, she decided to just get up, and wanted my company.

I opened my eyes, blew my snot-crusted nose, and draaaaaagggggggeeeeddddddd myself out of bed. Every inch, ever particle, every hair was aching. My eyes and lungs burned. The dawn was stifled by the murky vog - things were not better. Not better at all.

I wandered down the hall to look at Max, who was snuffling and gasping in his sleep. But at least he was sleeping.

At about 8am, I took Lucy to school. I can't say that driving was necessarily a wise decision, but I thought that getting her to school, and away from our misery, was.

On the road, I spoke to Max's doctor. I love Max's doctor. Doctor Kitty is from New Hampshire, and she is the kind of doctor I recognize. The kind I grew up with. Calm, soft-spoken, grounded, funny and serious at the same time. If you are not familiar with New Englanders, she might come off as cold and clinical - but to me, she is simply professional, and reassuring in her straight from the hip assessments. Plus, she works at a large, HMO clinic - and still answers her own phone. And gives people her direct number. Unheard of.

Her assessment over the phone was: Bring him in.

Next phone call was to my doctor. Upon hearing that I was on my way to the clinic, he told me to stop in his office while I was there, so he could take a look and get me some meds. I love my doctor too.

So we saw our doctors, got smoothies, waited for prescriptions, and went through a lot of Kleenex. By the time I was finally headed home, after picking up Lucy from school to eliminate another trip later on, I was burning the last reserves of my energy. Everything was so impossibly sore and weak, all I wanted to do was climb in bed.

I called Sami to give him an update.
"Do you guys have the flu ?"
"Nah, thank god we got those flu shots."
"Do you need anything on my way home ?"
"Um, I don't think so - leftovers tonight, OK ?"
"Yeah, that sounds great - do you want an Icee ?"

I love this man.

Five simple words that make a sick woman swoon.

So he came home - I was once again in bed, shivering and sweating. Only now, I was also short of breath, and slightly dizzy.

He came bearing a Coke Icee. The triumphant hero. He made dinner. He fed us and got the kids in bed. Now he is doing dishes, while I sit here and think about how amazing he is, and how even when I am really mad at him, he still makes me laugh. How, when the chips are down, and I need a friend, he is here, with a Coke Icee and a hug, and some comforting words.

To think about being a single parent is just unfathomable, with such a great partner. Especially today.

All I need now is some good clean air, and I'll be alright.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I need you to scratch an itch for me

I have this ITCH. It's not quite in my ear, but not all the way in my throat. And it's fucking ITCHY. And my eyes are itchy too, but it's a different itchy. A dry itchy. The throat itch is a burning tickle. The ear itch is a sore itch. I kind of want to take my entire head off and give it a good Q-Tipping.

But I can't do that right now, because my head is heavy. Too heavy for my rubbery arms to lift. Very, very heavy. Too heavy, really, to be held up by a mere humans neck. Especially when that neck is so very sore. And stuck between two aching shoulders. I would lie down, but if I lie down or even just bend over, snot runs out of my nose, which is several different kinds of wonderful.

I'm sick.

I can't tell if it's viral, bacterial, or air-quality related. There appears to be some sort of *issue* outside. Vog, maybe. Or maybe it's just a hazy day. Or it could be that something new is blooming.

And whatever it is, what is causing it, Max is suffering too, poor thing.

But not Lucy ! No no, she's as perky as ever. Lots of questions. Lots of fetching tissues. Lots of gentle hugs. And needy. Verrrrrrrrrry Needy. So this morning I took her to the beach. Max came along, and had a good time for a while.....but soon realized his mistake and sat in the sand and cried for a while.

So we came home.

Max lay down on the deck for a minute. Just stretched himself out on the warm wooden planks in the sunshine, facedown, with his cheek resting on the weathered wood, and promptly fell asleep. We woke him up after awhile - I was worried about sunburns and splinters, and Sami just wanted to get back to his porch construction project.

Yes indeedy, Sami has decided that while Max and I are laying prostrate on the couch coughing and sneezing and moaning, he should saw and drill and hammer his way to a new set of stairs. Which is both awesome, and loud. Max managed to drag himself over to a window at some point and ask how much longer there was going to be construction going on next to his head. Then he crawled back under the couch cushion to continue his suffering in peace.

So Sami wrapped up construction, and came inside, to ask a lot of questions like "Is the ham done ?" Now, seeing as how I was lying in bed, asleep, in a darkened room, and the ham was outside on the grill, and the fact that by the very nature of being a HAM it's already cooked anyway, I used all of my self control and quietly said "I would check that using a meat thermometer. Knock yourself out."

Later, after I had crawled out of bed, I approached Sami and said in my dangerously calm voice that gives just a hint of the wrath that i might very well lay down at any moment "Do you remember when you were sick ?"

Nervous, he glanced over. "Um....yeah ?"

"Did I ask you about the status of dinner ?
Did I ask you to do anything ?
No. No I did not. Because you were sick.
And now, I am sick.
And if you ask one more question that requires more then a whispered Yes or No, I will Lose My Shit.
When you were sick, I drove, with both kids and the DOG, to the pharmacy to get you medicine. Then I took both kids and the dog away from the house for the entire day so you could sleep. I left food for you to eat. I offered to make you jello. I brought you ginger ale and made you tea.
And today, all I requested was a DAMNED COKE ICEE and you just couldn't drive the 2 blocks for that. Just couldn't manage it. Couldn't possibly entertain Lucy away from a house filled with sick miserable people.
So thanks.
Now I know exactly what to do the next time you are sick.
I am going to sit next to your head and hammer things, and ask you questions, and expect you to drive us all to the beach. And it will be awesome !"

There was, I imagine, a dangerous glint to my red and crusty eye.

He didn't really have anything to say. Pussy.

Don't open the front door, the porch is gone

Today is a beautiful day here in paradise, and I am inside. For several reasons. The first being that if I were to open my front door, I would fall 4 feet to the cement block below. The second being that if I go out on the back porch, I have to very careful where I walk because again, I could fall 4 feet to the concrete pad.

We are doing some home repairs.

And by "we" I mean my husband.

And by "repairs" I mean adding access to our yard, which my husband thoughtfully fenced in for the dog before our camping trip last week. Without adding a gate. So for a week, the grill has been fenced into our yard, and the dog has had to leap 4 feet in the air like a circus performer to get up on the porch to access food, water, and bed. (Don't worry about him - he likes a challenge, and he spends all damn day leaping 4 feet in the air for no good reason - might as well have a goal, right ?!)

But there is another reason I am in here today. I have a sore throat - the kind that wakes you up from a sound sleep in the middle of the night, and then you lie there, for what seems like hours, swallowing, and analyzing the discomfort. Or is that just me.

Regardless, I am miserable. Sore and tired, and my head and ears hurt, and I need a nap.
At 10am.

So. I am going to sip tea, and read, and cuddle with my little monkey (the big, boy monkeys are outside sawing things and nailing things). She wants to Go Do Something ! And I am afraid she is going to be sadly disappointed. I feel like shit on a shingle, and the furthest I'm going today is the gas station, to fill the tank and maybe buy a popsicle. Or an Icee. I love those damned things. I was going to go to the beach, but I truly feel awful, and don't want to lie outside in the sun getting all dehydrated. Though, the happiness she would feel might make it worthwhile.


Friday, April 17, 2009

It's not easy being green, so I'll just talk about topless beaches and porno movies

The latest Sunday Stealing installment is The Green Meme. Since last Sunday was Easter, and I was not computing, you'll have to enjoy it today.

1. What is your current obsession?
Finding a facial, seriously. My skin is FREAKING THE FUCK OUT.

2. What’s a good coffee place?
Any place that serves fresh coffee, baby !

3. Who was the last person that you hugged?
Lucy goosey - she's just begging for a squeeze !

4. Do you nap a lot?
Define "a lot" - it is very high on my list of priorities, yes indeedy.

5. Tonight, what’s for dinner?
Whatever the Rock's got cooking. No, seriously..... Tasty Crust.

6. What was the last thing that you bought?
Costco run last night was yet another $100 I don't technically have.

7. What is your favorite weather?
A sunny, dry, autumn day in New England - cool enough for a sweater, warm enough not to need gloves.

8. Tell us something about one blogger who you think will play this week?
Shit (running back to check list of bloggies) I don't know a damn one of them. Hmph. I need to get out more. And by "get out" I mean sit at home in my underwear and read blogs.

9. If you were given a free house that was fully furnished, where in the world would you like it to be?
I'm open. How about, "not a war-torn country" I'm interested in living in Europe - not enough to spend my own money, but if you're, they have topless beaches there ! Yessssssss.

10. Name three things that you could not live without.
You mean, besides water and air and food ? Well, you know, let's just be very clear. I am extremely familiar with the fact that You Just Never Know. Kids and Partners and Parents and Pets ? They all die. So do cars. And weatehr changes. And clothes fall apart. And money really doesn't mean a damn thing - especially considering the fact that on paper, half of mine just up and disappeared last year. So I'll just return to the basics, thanks.

11. What would you like in your hands right now?
Ha HAH wouldn't you just love to know......

12. What’s one of your guilty pleasures?
Spending money on food that we don't *need* but that I *love*

13. What would you change or eliminate about yourself?
I am not a big (no pun intended - it's HUGE) fan of my nose. And I have a very gummy grin. Can we fix those without my looking like someone completely different? Like, when Jennifer Grey got her nose fixed and then I didn't recognize her, and my husband pointed out that I had a similar pre-nose job nose, and that the same thing would happen if I got mine you know, maybe we should just forget the whole thing. I don't want to scare the kids.

14. As a child, what type of career did you want?
I always wanted to be a mommy. Oh, and an ACTRESS. And a SINGER - Just. Like. Debbie. Gibson.

15. What are you missing right now?
Culture. I would love a few days at the Met. Alone.

16. What are you currently reading?
I am about to delve into Three Cups of Tea.

17. What do you fear the most?
Death. Of myself or a loved one.

18. What’s the best movie that you’ve seen recently?
I need to preface this by saying I have possibly the world's WORST TASTE in movies. OK, so honestly the best movie I have seen recently is the ONLY movie I have seen recently. Zack and Miri Make a Porno. And you know, it wasn't as bad as I expected. That's pretty much the best I can say about it.

19. What’s your favorite book from the past year?
Well, that is just practically impossible to say. "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" was pretty inspiring.....

20. Is there a comfort food from your childhood that you still enjoy?
I enjoy all food. I find food very comforting. Grilled cheese and tomato is still the Great Big Gold Star of Food.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

See now - THIS is why I don't enter contests.

Contests are bad for my self-esteem. I get all upset at not succeeding, and yet - I am not making any extra-spectacular effort to get in there.

Ah well. I don't wear the All Mediocre Badge for nuthin !

Which is why yesterday, I left the laptop at home, and got a massage.

Way to compete, girlfriend !

You know, I have heard people rave about massages, and how fantastic they are, and how relaxing and wonderful - and I wonder if I'm doing it wrong. Because when I get a massage, it feels like someone digging into fresh bruises over and over again. Suffice to say - I'm tense, in general. My shoulders alone are a project. And the massage experience yesterday, at the hands of a very skilled therapeutic massage therapist, was very painful. But at the end, the shoulder that had been pulled up to my jaw was back down where it was supposed to be. So, it was a success ! But today, I feel like I have been hit by a truck. More water. Must. Drink. Water. Ouch.

Unfortunately, amidst my suffering, I need to climb up into the attic and crawl around for a bit. I have 2 missions to accomplish:
1. track down pink streamers that I *know* are up there somewhere, in preparation for Lucy's party on Saturday, and
2. locate the infant car seat. It was given to us by a friend, who has found herself in the family way unexpectedly. And since Baby V is not living here, and we have no new placements on the horizon, I was thrilled to be able to return the seat to her - freshly laundered, no less !

But first, I returned to the scene of my heartbreak - my trusty laptop - to suffer a bit. Physically AND emotionally. A pity party on a grand scale, as only Daffodil can. HOWEVER, I will not let this get the best of me. I will drink my water, clean the house, decorate for the birthday party, and attend story time and Tae Kwon Do with flair !

In the words of the great Bob Marley : No nominations, no cry.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A nice little Wednesday

Today, I was reading my blogroll per usual, and discovered a new and exciting contest that I felt compelled to enter, if only because I have never entered anything like this before.

You know, it's not my style to set myself up for humiliation/epic failure, but what the hell.

So I followed the directions, added the badge that was supposed to provide the link to the nimonation page so everyone could just click on over there and give me a bump....and that is when things started to go terribly wrong.

An hour later, I was still trying to install the fucking badge. My laptop battery died. And you know, I had to (deep sigh) make lunches and take the kids to school. And take that cat that does not even belong to me to the vet. Again.

Anyway, as soon as I got home, I went straight to work.

Only at this point, the site that I am attempting to link TO is not loading. I know, it must be all of those readers rushing to nominate me - thanks guys !

At this point, I am starting to remember why I never enter these things, or make an effort to increase my readership. Because I find myself 3 hours later in tears, crouched over my laptop sipping cold tea in a tank top and boxers, swearing at my internet connection and wanting to throwthe computer out the window. Meanwhile, the crackberry is blinking and filling up like crazy because in entering the contest I also, apparently, agreed to "follow" something that I do not wholly understand, which means that every time someone ELSE makes a comment on the website (something along the lines of "THE BADGE DOESN'T WORK"), I get an email alert. Fucking awesome.

So anyway, no time to blog today ! Maybe I'll put some pants on and take a wak around the yard shoveling dog shit. Might be more fun then what I got going on right now.

Monday, April 13, 2009

200 posts, and not a damn thing to say

Congratulations, you are reading my 200th post here at Adventures in Paradise.

It's not really my 200th post, because I have a whole separate blog, hidden away under lock and key with a different url and everything set to private private private. It's where I write things that I don't feel like sharing with other people. I name names, I use even fouler language, I whine and piss and moan, and make a scene.

Yeah, even more then I do here. Hard to imagine, isn't it.

I am sort of glad that I don't have anything really earth-shattering to write about. We had a nice weekend. We went to Hana, we camped, we ate insane amounts of food and discussed what to eat next. We drank liquor that was expressly forbidden at the campground. We tossed around the idea of re-enacting the crucifixion, starring my husband and Fagan's Cross. I cannot for the life of me remember the details of the conversation, but much hilarity about crucifixion and my husband's resemblance to Jesus ensued.

I ate about 1/2 dozen cupcakes, smeared with butter cream frosting, in honor of Lucy's birthday.

I restrained myself from eating Easter Candy until we got home - save the s'mores made with Easter-themed marshmallows (We were going to use Peeps again, but decided that the sugar on the Peeps was much too flammable and those damn things couldn't hold up in the fire. Pussies.)

And we ate soupy. Lots of soupy. Really. A lot. If you are reading this and scratching your head and saying to yourself "What is soupy ?" then SHAME ON YOU. You clearly have no idea how to celebrate Easter, and you should educate yourself immediately. Then, you too can spend a January weekend in your freezing cold basement grinding meat and shoving it into intestines and then waiting until the frost breaks and the temperature has risen and then on Easter morn, you can enjoy your soupy. And any intestinal discomfort is your own damn fault and don't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Flashback Friday. Four Years Ago, I was given the best gift ever.

I am sure that "flashback friday" should involve memories from more then four years ago. And in a way this does.

My infertility can be traced back to my diagnosis of endometriosis. I was 19, and newly married, and sitting in a doctor's office in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In broken english, the doctor explained that I had this disease, and gave me a brochure, and encouraged me to try to have a baby. Soon. I had just had a large ovarian cyst rupture, and I was in a lot of pain, and I would be having surgery. There. In San Juan. And I was very, very frightened.

That was the beginning. 15 years ago now. And it has been a long and very sad road. The end of my first marriage, the loss of several pregnancies, 13 surgeries, and the joy of a pregnancy brought to term (with only 2 hospitalizations for pre-term labor). And with the birth of my son, complete and utter joy. Yes, there has been joy - and lots of it. But there has been a great deal of disappointment and fear and medical complications, which has at times threatened to overshadow the joy.

And so, we hoped quietly for a second child, but really, didn't dare to try. The audacity of hope (there just isn't another phrase that better describes hoping for a second child after overcoming infertility once) was too much for us to take on. We needed to stay focused on the beautiful gift we had been given with our son, and not take a single moment from his childhood to focus on the medical interventions required to give him a sibling.

And then, a series of almost anonymous phone calls led to the final call.
4 years ago.
"You have a daughter. She is waiting for you in the hospital nursery."

It really was as easy as that, in the end. And we do not forget that. It makes the gift of HER even more miraculous and magical. We cried, we raced to the hospital and down the halls, up the elevator, no idea where to go.....and then we rang the bell of the maternity ward and the nurse who answered said "We have been waiting for you !"

They wheeled out the bassinet.
We peered inside.
And this tiny little girl peered back - she was 6 hours old and she looked like a fairy, with pointy ears and dimples and a cheshire grin.

We clapped our hands, and laughed, hugged each other and the nurse, and then, reached down for our baby. Because there was just no question that she was ours, and honestly if they had run a blood test I wouldn't have been surprised if our genes had matched - it was just that simple and clear.

Remarkably, adopting our daughter - the one thing that should have been the most time consuming and expensive effort, the one fraught with drama and angst and had been the easiest, simplest, most natural thing in the world.

The greatest gift, 4 years ago:

Happy Birthday my beautiful darling girl. You are the perfect compliment to your brother, you complete our family in a way we will never be able to explain, and we are the luckiest parents in the world.

And a special thank you to your birth parents. They will be in our hearts forever.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why, yes, that IS a cone around my neck.....

Yeah. Today was one of THOSE days.

I spent what should have been "my day" running around looking for a hiding cat, then wrestling that poor cat into a cat carrier, driving to two different schools to get the kids, explaining that all I had for snack was a ziplock baggie of dinner rolls, then taking the cat to the vets to have the wound on his face drained and sutured, PAYING FOR IT - and driving the cat back home for a week of medication and hot compresses with firm pressure. And using up about $10 worth of gas in the process.

Wait - did I mention it's NOT MY CAT ? Or that I really, truly honestly wholeheartedly do not like cats ?

Fucking A.

Oh, and I read a note in Max's assignment book that I guess he copied off the board, saying he needs two hardboiled eggs, some easter grass and some snacks for tomorrow.

And we are leaving Friday to go camping, as soon as I get off work.

And Lucy's birthday is Saturday.

And I need to bake cupcakes tomorrow.

And pack.

And tomorrow is story time at the library which always seems to take up the entire morning.

And it's supposed to rain all weekend - especially in the area where we have a permit to camp.

Needless to say, I have opened a bottle of wine, and I am planning to consume it while I boil eggs and bake cupcakes and fold laundry and track down the camping gear and wash the sleeping bags and find a place to board the dog for a few days. Because if today taught me anything, it is that the dog should always go to a kennel, so that I know he won't escape or hurt himself trying to escape, or get lost after escaping.

I am seriously considering getting myself lost after escaping. Who's with me?

Monday, April 6, 2009

The yard sale lasted for 1/2 a bloody mary

Sunday was our Big Yard Sale. It was raining.

I got everything up in the screened-in porch. It was crowded - but I knew that I just needed a few minutes to "merchandise" everything, and I'd be all set.

My girlfriend showed up with her 3 kids, and Easter Basket fillings - because we have a small side business putting together party favors, gift baskets, and gift bags for kids and we hoped to sell some Easter Baskets at the sale. The basket stuff didn't fit on the screen porch, so I piled it outside. I'd deal with that later.

Our neighbor arrived up with a bloody mary for me. Heaven. Big slug of tomato goodness and I was ready to get organized. I turned to go into the screen porch and deal with the piles of yard sale stuff. Then our neighbor's wife (another girlfriend of mine) and daughter came up the stairs. The deck was now very crowded. 5 kids were inside the house shrieking. The dog was running up and down the porch stairs. My girlfriends and I were sitting on the steps talking. My neighbor was reading to his daughter. Piles of crap are jammed into the screen porch, and the outside deck is littered with boxes and bags of uncertain origin and contents. I am ignoring all of it.

2 customers walk up the stairs. Yard sale regulars. I recognize them right away, and tell them I'm not ready yet, hoping they will leave. The dog sticks his nose in their butts. They literally run back down the stairs and jump in their car. Coincidentally, the man is the same one who took a dump in my bathroom during the last yard sale. (I am not even joking. It was the same weird guy with the frizzy hair and the too-short pants, with the strange girlfriend.) If there is anyone that deserved to have my dog's wet nose jammed up his ass at 8am, it was this clown.

More bloody mary is consumed. I am still not organizing the crap in the screen porch.

Sami is trying to put out signs, and is attaching them to cars that don't belong to us. No, I don't know why. Yes, I agree, it doesn't make ANY sense. I ask him to go put signs out on the main road. He leaves in the truck, with plywood signs and a hammer.

More customers arrive, and in short order buy almost all the good stuff.
For $6.00.

My girlfriend is browsing - and spends another $5. Now anything worthwhile is gone. We're left with some old clothes, a TV, and a bunch of tote bags and toys.

Sami comes back. He parks the car and gets out. I am now a teensy bit woozy from the bloody mary. I tell him we have to close up shop, that I have sold all the good stuff and need a nap.

He asks if I am serious, and the look in my eyes (and maybe the slight swaying from side to side and slurred voice) assure him that I am, indeed, very serious about ending this yard sale. He gets in the car to go get the signs from the road.

I finish my bloody mary.

Everyone else leaves.

We pack up the back of the car with our crap to donate to the charity store, and make a pot of coffee. Fun times.

The end.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yeah, it's a meme. Bite me, Trippy.

This week, I stole my meme from Saturday 9 for two reasons:
1. I *love* Inside the Actor's Studio (O, James Lipton, you are so witty and wise) like I love reading my People Magazine while drinking and napping on a lazy Sunday.
2. The Sunday Stealing meme was boring.

So, here goes ! Take it away, James......

The host of the famous Bravo series, actor, professor and host James Lipton asks actors these 9 questions (among many others). Today we will ask you those questions!

1. What is your favorite word?
Fuck. No, wait, fuck, I mean Shit. Shit is my favorite word, James. That's my final answer.

2. What is your least favorite word?
Well, that would be a toss up - I have issues with cunt, pussy, and vagina ((((shudder)))). When I have to talk about it - which only happens with Lucy, and even then, only occasionally - I call it "bum". As in: Did you wipe your bum ? Does your bum hurt ? Now hold on, before your viewers get all pissy feminist on me (ha ! Pissy !) James, let's just get real here - the vagina is the part up on the inside - not the whole region. So we need a better word, obviously.

3. What turns you on, creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
I don't have a touchy feely answer for this one either, James. My turn on is sleep. I need to be well rested James. A tired Daffodil is a cranky Daffodil. And there is no turning on a cranky Daffodil.

4. What turns you off?
Idiocy, James. Incompetence. Oh, and blame. I just hate that. Don't be stupid, do what you are supposed to, and own it when you fuck up. Know what I mean, James ?

5. What is your favorite curse word?

6. What sound or noise do you love?
Silence, James. I love silence.

7. What sound or noise do you hate?
A crying newborn. Makes my boobs hurt, James. I lactate just thinking about it, actually. Next question ?

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Well, gee, I have tried so many professions - except, of course, the world's oldest profession, James. Never tried that one. I think that I would just like to continue my life as an actor, to be honest. I just love the spotlight, and the freedom to inhabit another persona. And, I want an Oscar.

9. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Did you bring any of that Maui Wowie ? We're running low up here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

That mushy gushy post I promised you with lots of sunshine and reasons why I love being a girl.. I mean, a mom.

I Got Tagged.
Never before in the blogosphere has my participation been requested. And they may just regret their kind offer after reading what I have to say. I haven't read any of the other answers yet, so that you can get my honest-to-goodness responses, without my having to worry that what I have written sounds like someone else's answer. That drives me bat-shit crazy.

So, here goes.

5 Things I Love (or actually, not so much) About Being a Mom:

1. I love that my children are a real life, wonderful example of the power of tenacity. I overcame infertility two ways (that sounds like chinese food) and by following two very different paths, had the same wonderful result. Happy, healthy, well-adjusted children - one biological, and one not so much. (See, I know that not so much exemption would be useful.)

2. I love that my children have introduced me (via other children they have befriended) to some of my favorite mommy friends. People I never would have met, had we not had children of similar ages and interests.

3. I love that my children have brought napping back into my life. Oh, how I love to nap. And napping, I missed you so. A small but important piece of my soul was missing when you were not part of my day.

4. I love that my husband and I have this secret parent code now, where we can just glance at each other and KNOW what needs to happen. One single raised eyebrow can signal the "it's time to go" exit strategy. And when someone gets in trouble around here, we present a united, solid front, no conversation required.

5. I love the feeling of pride that I have in my family. I know, in my heart, that I am raising Good Kids. They have manners, they are cute and personable, and they can charm the pants off of anyone even remotely charm-able. They are my most successful endeavor, by far. Career ? Meh. But let me tell you all about my kids !

OK, one of my little darlings just dropped my brand new Blackberry on the floor. Which is how my last cellphone was destroyed. I am not really feeling the love at this particular moment, so best to stop and post now, before I change all of my answers.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Why ? Because I said so.

Tonight, I stood at the kitchen counter and glared at the children until they meekly finished their desserts. Because I am (pause for effect)


Dude. I am getting old. Because of Mr Barf-o-rama, last night I slept on the couch, far far away from our comfy but contaminated bed. And I use the word "slept" very loosely, as there was very little sleep, and a lot of tossing and turning and thinking mean thoughts. I woke up sore and cranky, and went to work. It was a quiet morning. In the first hour, I had only had one table, and I was really giving it my all. I gave them a rousing description of the specials - and sold 3. Seared Ahi Benedict ! Mango Blueberry stuffed French Toast ! Sausage Gravy and Biscuits ! My heart sang !

(The fourth customer at the table got the basic breakfast......sooooo boring).

So anyway, they all got big breakfasts. I gave them many coffee refills. I brought condiments, I fetched pastries, I chatted and smiled and really - I thought we were all having a lovely time !

And then, they paid and left. Do you see the important part of this picture that is missing ?

No ??????

THE TIP. They did not leave a tip. On an $80 tab. No. Tip. At all. None.

So, here are my tips for the day. (HAHAHA - get it ? My TIPS for the day. sigh.)

OK, let's get to it. Public Service announcement number 43.

1. Always get a good nights sleep before work or school.

2. When mommy is tired, just go to bed. Seriously. It will be more fun in your room alone, then trying to tell me some long drawn out story or show me some new Lego creation. I don't care. I am tired and sore and cranky and I love you but I will love you EVEN MORE after I get some sleep. You can stay up As Late As You Want. Just keep it quiet so I can pretend I don't know you are still awake, and so that I can fall asleep.

3. When you eat in a restaurant, and someone comes to your table and takes your order and brings you food and/or drink, leave a fucking tip. You cheap bastard. If you don't want to tip, don't sit down - take it to go and get the hell out.

4. When you are sick and you have contaminated the bedroom, it is important that once you are feeling better, instead of going to your friends house and playing WII, that you decontaminate your room. Change the sheets. Do some laundry. Open a DAMNED WINDOW for the love of God.

OK, that's it. Vent over. I am going to bed. In my own bed. That I decontaminated myself, and probably will come down with the barf bug as a result.

You have been warned.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

This spring break can eat me. Yeah, I said it.


You know, a spring vacation can mean many things..... travel (check) seeing family (check) relaxing at home (check) catching up on your reading (check) going out on a weeknight and not wrrying about bedtime (check).

It can also mean drinking a gallon of milk a day (check) begging for happy meals morning noon and night (check) whining about being bored (check) asking to have ridiculous amounts of things, of questionable quality and need, purchased for you (check) and going back to schol just in time to get Friday off (check)

And for me, it also meant waking up at 4:47 this morning to the sound of someone throwing up. Perhaps you are thinking "man, she needs a new topic, someone is always puking at her house." And, you would be right. Someone IS always puking at my house. And today, that very special blessing was bestowed on my husband.


So, in addition to 2 very bored kids, I also have a miserable husband and a pissy dog (who got hit by a car on Tuesday but MAN that is a whole 'nother post, and suffice to say he's fine and still running in the road like an idiot so don't worry about him. GDD.)


This vacation can just wrap up ANY OLD TIME NOW and that would be cool.

Thank god, tomorrow I go back to work. Whew. Not a moment too soon, I am down to $6 and a bad attitude.

I will be back later to blow sunshine up your ass and regale you with tales of dogs and kids and husbands and FUN TIMES. But not today.