Sunday, December 31, 2006

I knew it

2 weeks ago I was compelled to go to my father's grave. Compelled I tell ya. Last night my mother called me to tell me that she heard that my Uncle Bob passed away 2 weeks ago. I just looked online and saw the obit and left a message for an Aunt that I probably saw the last time when my father died. But still, it's sad. I didn't know my uncle well, but I do remember that he looked just like my Dad. Just like him. So much so that I remember staring at him during my father's funeral. These things make me so sad. It's like history slipping away. So, next weekend, we (my sister, mother and I) are taking the kids and going out to visit my Uncle Dick and Aunt Phyllis before more history gets away from us. My father was one of 10 and now there are 8 left. That's enough to get some history flowing!

I miss my father so much. It gives me the shivers to think that somehow, somewhere I knew that something was going on.

Out with the old

And in with the new. I didn't do that Meme that everyone else is doing because frankly I don't want to be reminded of last year. Other than some notable fun times like my youngest daughter turning 3 and being one of the brightest lights of my life and my oldest daughter turning 14 and being another shining star (when she isn't being a pain in the ol buttocks) and the ongoing and contniuing love and patience of my DP, the rest of it is well put to rest. I am looking forward to packing that year away with the Christmas tree, and dusting myself off, picking myself up and starting a whole new year fresh!

This year I intend to write a book. What kind who knows, but one will flow.

I will have spinal surgery and hopefully no longer be in agonizing pain and maybe, just maybe become an effective mother to my children and be a fully participating partner. Maybe give back a little of what was given to me?

I am going to get an accurate diagnosis of whether I have MS or not. And it's not going to be with the MD from HELL. I am still waiting on a referral, but I am sure one will be forthcoming.

So, folks, that's that for this year. Stay tuned for next year's exciting exploits!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Killing others

When I first read the headlines of the newspaper this morning about Sadddam being hanged, my first initial reaction was sadness. Then I thought about that and my intellectual mind stepped in and said, "Wait, this man killed thousands of people and many in barbaric ways". But, as the singer/songwriter Holly Near writes and sings, "Why do we kill people, who kill people to show that killing people is wrong"?

I really struggle with this. I wish I could be black and white in my thinking about this. You kill someone then you get killed yourself. That's your punishment and there isn't really anything to discuss. But, and there really is always a but, who gives us the right to take someone else's life? Who gives us the right to judge someone else for that they have done? Sure, we hire judges and pick juries of our peers (are they really our peers?),but is this really justice? Won't there be someone to carry on for him? There are so many followers that will continue his work and hanging Sadam is just going to make them angry and ramp up the violence over in Iraq. Which by the way is where our American troops are stationed.

Anyway, the point that I am trying to make is that who really has the right to judge who lives or dies? I don't mean for a minute that we let people who are a danger to society run free. They need to be locked up. And I don't wear rose colored glasses and think that all felons can be rehabilitated, some have just been so damaged from the start that there is no rehab in the world that will ever be able to help them to be productive members of society.

I just have a hard time with one human judging another and then killing them when it's decided that it's just and right. I know that there are a lot of people who will disagree with me and that's OK.

The whole thing makes me feel sad. Sad that the world that we live in is so corrupt and evil. There is so much anger in the world we live in. So much eye for and eye, tooth for a tooth kind of thinking. I wonder what would happen if for just one day the whole world set aside their differences and just got along? Got to know their neighbors for who they really were. Were able to agree to disagree for the sake of argument and got on with life as friends.

What a wonderful world that would be eh?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I have been wanting to write a book for a long time. I just feel as though there is something there that needs to be said. I have no writing style and a million ideas. Cheryl got me 2 great books to help me explore these issues and how to get it down on paper. I can't write physically anymore because of my hand issues, but I can still type.

So, any of you out there written a great book and want to give me pointers? I almost want to write something that I would have to research, because at least I know how to do that! Maybe I should start with a journal article or something huh?

Anyway, I will keep you updated on my progress!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Here is the way cool Dora chair Great Grandma and Great Grandpa got Katie (so she would stop sitting on the arm of the couch) and behind her is the crib that Grandma got her with the Doll and some clothes. She has on her Dora elbow and knee pads (minus the skates - I am a mean Mommy and won't let her wear them in the house). When I asked her what she was doing, she said, "Babysitting". LOL!

The day after

Well, I did my best. I really did. Only left MIL's house in a huff once over something she said to Gillian. Only threw one thing at my youngest sister who thought she knew everything.

Christmas and I just don't get along. I have no idea why I get so damn uptight over it. Well, I do know and I am not going to talk about it here. Suffice it to say that I have never had a Christmas where I could just sit back and enjoy. Maybe next year I will just ask for Valium and try and be merry for the kids.

You know this all cicles back around to my disability right? I can't do the things that I used to do and I feel really resentful to those who can. I can't bake anymore and I can't really do anything related to shopping other than online. Having no money (or at least not having the money that I wish I did) really makes me angry too. Another year of no vacations in the planning also depresses me. I just wish we could get away and know that it's not financially in the cards. I don't feel as though I am shorting my kids because before the big "disability" and I was working, we could do things. SO, they have been places and done things that I never did.

I guess I am back to being angry about the whole SSD thing. Come on already. Award me the money so that I can live again. Just live. Not live high on the hog. But live enough so that we can not worry about money for once. that I have blamed everything and everyone for my anger, let's just call it the way it needs to be called. I am pissed that I am disabled. Disabled without a clear diagnosis. So, there. I said it. I am disabled and I am pissed.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Waiting some more

Well, we met with the MD from hell yesterday and he has washed his hands of me. Doesn't know what is wrong, doesn't think it's MS, says go and get some balance therapy and maybe you'll feel all better.

I can't remember a time when I have been so mad, sad, anxious, depressed and then mad, sad and everything all over again. The wait for the local hospital is long but I am waiting to see if I can get into the clinic in Rochester. I don't want to go there either.

You know what I want? I WANT MY DAMN BODY BACK, and I want it back the way it was. You know, when I could read all I want? When I could walk without falling down? When I could hold things without dropping them? When I could maintain a coherent thought in my mind? YES!!!! That body. The one that doesn't hurt all the time. The one that I can trust to do the things that I used to be able to trust it to do.

This sucks. That's all I have to say about it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Every year I tell myself that I am not going to get caught up in all the hubub of the holiday season. I tell myself that I am just going to go slow and enjoy all the beauty of the season. It's supposed to be about waiting, waiting for the birth of the saviour, waiting and more waiting.

I have never been good at waiting. I want to instill in my children patience and I don't practice it well myself. But this year, I really wanted Christmas to be about Christ and all that He brings to my life. And once again, it's about presents and who is getting what and how much we are spending and how do we make everyone else happy. Notice I said, EVERYONE ELSE.

So, I am taking a deep breath and going to try and spend these next few days being patient. Not getting caught up in the hubub and trying to role model this for my children.

The other night Katie was having a hard time getting to sleep. Lots going on at school, a meltdown at Target, you get the picture. I took her into our room, sat down with her in our rocker, wrapped her up in her flannel princess blanket and just rocked her to sleep. I didn't read, I didn't think, I just sat with her in the moment. I sang and hummed to her. She fell asleep and I fell into a relaxed state of mind that I have been trying to achieve for days. I think tonight, after I go out and get that LAST present, pick Gillian up from karate, I am going to climb into the rocker and just rock. Maybe it will work again. And then tomorrow, I am going to carry that feeling over into the day with me.

Check in tomorrow and we'll see how it's going OK?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Gillian's Cotillion

Gwendolyn doing Gillian's hair

Hair is all done!

My girlchild/woman

All ready to go!

Our new Christmas Gift from Mom




This is the rug we chose!

I don't think there are words to express our thanks to Cheryl's mother for paying for us to get a new floor put in. It's like a whole new house and I am just thankful for it. God really does work in mysterious ways. I pray everyday for a lot of things and for a lot of people, but I don't usually pray for things for my house. I am thankful that we have a house to live in. But I feel as though we have been given a gift not just from Mom, but from God as well.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Random pics

I was going through some pictures that I have taken and thought I would share them with you. As soon as I DL the ones from Gillian's cotillion (semi-formal)I will do a whole post of that experience with pics included. By that time our new floors should be in and I can post some good before and after pics. For now enjoy random pics....

Katie told us this year that she wasn't going to sit on Santa's lap, but rather throw her list at him and run. As you can see, she had a change of heart.

Be on the lookout in the next few days of the cotillion pictures. It was the day that my little girl really made me realize that she was indeed becoming a woman.

Medical update

I want to thank every single person who has supported me through this medical journey that I have been on. The MRI was fine. It was more open than they led me to believe, and I could have done it with no valium. They gave me some glasses to wear and I tried to watch Ellen, but kept falling asleep. Finally, they had to ask me something and I asked them to take the glasses off since they were hurting my nose. And the whole time Cheryl was there holding my hand. Not once did she break contact with me. Thank you for that gift honey.

I have my inner ear/balance test today and then I go back to the as*hole MD on the 21st since I haven't heard back that they have been able to get me in to another neuro yet.

On another note, my new pain MD put me on Cymbalta and Lyrica and reduced me down to 2 o*ycontin, but wouldn't you guess it? My insurance won't cover the Cymbalta because I have to try some other drugs (like Lyrica) before they will approve this drug. Well, they also denied the Lyrica too so I don't really know what they want me to do. I am letting the MD's office and insurance duke it out, because to be honest, I can't deal with one more thing right now.

Our floors are going to be ripped up in the family room and kitchen today and our Christmas present from Santa is going to be put in. Beautiful hardwoods in both room. But in the meantime, I have to live in chaos....and today because of the test, I have to be off my Klonopin for 24 hours. Not a good day to do that, but one has to do what one has to do! This weekend we can put the house back to rights and put up the tree.

I have one little 3 year old who is VERY excited about the Christmas season. She can't wait for the tree to go up!

Friday, December 08, 2006

I Never Ever win....

But today I did....follow this link... Then go down the side panel and click where it says, Shoppingtown Mall - Prize Vault 2 12/8/06 you will see me winning! It's very cool!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Living in the land of the f*cked

Medically anyway. I am done with being nice and not swearing. I am done with watching what I say. If you are offended, then I am sorry, but I am so done with medical shit that I just want to scream.

Cheryl and I met with the neurologist on Tuesday. I had to take 2 days just to settle down from the visit before I could even put word to paper about it. So, do I have MS or don't I? Who the hell knows. The asshole MD (and he was on the highest order of assholes) wants to do 3 more tests before we get a definitive diagnosis. He was cocky (come on, you can move those toes harder) and a real jerk (those are Cheryl's words). After he did my work up where you can see that the left sided weakness is very pronounced, he tells me that he wants me to have a closed MRI of the head and neck with contrast. You might as well bury me and give me a straw to breathe with because that is what a closed MRI feels like to me. He snottily said, "Well, we'll just do another open one" real disgusted like. Goes on to tell me that I need to address my anxiety with my MD as though it were his damn business. When he got to the it's how you deal with it in your head and mind over matter stuff, I lost it. Crying lost it, snot running down my nose and sob lost it. Cheryl just took me in her arms and told him that we would schedule the test (which we never did find out why he wants to do them of what he is looking for) because he beat feet out of that room as fast as he possibly could. Oh wait, first he threw a prescription at me for valium for the MRI.

So, I told Cheryl here's the deal, I will be in charge of this MRI. I will tell them they can put me in for 10 seconds and then pull me out and then I will tell them whether we proceed or not. Someone did tell me that they can sedate me and since I will already have an IV in for the contrast they can just send some happy juice my way.

Anyway, I don't have any answers. Just more damn tests. My poor body feels like it's been put it through the ringer and just keeps getting rung out. That my dear reader, is why medically I feel as though I am living in the land of the fucked.

Friday, November 24, 2006

My angel....

Is there anything sweeter than watching your child while they sleep?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Being thankful....

Our dinner table starts this post off with what I have to be thankful for....

It's really easy for me to think that I don't have much to be thankful for given the recent events around my health. But that simply wouldn't be the truth. I have much to be thankful for. I am blessed with the most amazing family ever. Starting with a partner who is always there for me no matter what. When we married, we took vows that we both take very seriously. I am grateful beyond belief that I have partner who not only loves me, but loves the me that continues to evolve into someone that we have no clue where I will end up. Cheryl, for that I am grateful. I am thankful for the 2 beautiful, smart and just perfect children that I have. My girls are as different as night and day and I marvel everyday at the gifts that they bring. Even when I am as frustrated and at the end of my rope as one can be, they give me the gift of stopping, and turning around and starting over again.

I am thankful that I have found a spiritual life that sustains me. I know that I came back to God at a time when I would need Him the most. I can honestly say that I haven't once felt angry with God for the medical stuff thaT is going on with me. God knows what I need. I simply need to stop and listen to what He is telling me. And keep faith that He does indeed know best.

I am thankful that I have life. As much as I grouse about how hard things are I do have a good life. I live in a nice home that has heat in the winter and central air in the summer. We have 2 cars that run each with car seats that keep Katie safe (thank you Estelle - how we'll ever repay you, I don't know). We have food in our cupboards and a beautiful and safe yard in a neighborhood where our family is accepted.

I am thankful for all the online friends that I have made. Friends that have pulled us through some of the toughest times of our lives. They continue to give and give from the generouseness of their hearts. I know that should the tables ever turn, I too would give what I could to someone who needed it. I am thankful too for my IRL friends. No one in this world should ever have to go through life without friends and I have to admit that I have some of the best.

So, thank you to everyone who has written me words of encouragement, kicked my butt when I needed it and gave me hugs when I needed them.

The next few months are going to be rocky. Getting through Christmas, then the back surgery will be daunting, but as long as I know you all have my back, I know that I will make it through.

Thank you all! I appreciate you all for all the gifts of love that you have given me and my family.

Strong and beautiful

Gillian is in rotation now for her black belt. She should be testing in June! Here she is. She's not only beautiful and smart, but strong as well!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Still here!

I am going to make this a quick post since I have been trying to post for days but blogger doesn't seem to want me too! I was working on a post of Gillian @ karate, but it kept eating it.

I had the appt. with the surgeon and he agreed with all the other MD's that I needed to have the surgery. My only other option is to keep on with what we are doing which is taking all the high dose pain meds and I don't want that! So, here's the low down. The surgery would be about 4 hours long and because it's a high blood loss surgery, I would have to donate 2 pints of my own blood back to myself before the surgery. The surgery would be a 5" incision in my back, with them then putting mesh w/ bone between L/4 & L/5 and L5/S1 depending on what he finds when he opens me up. He would then put in 6 bone screws and the take more bone and then put more bone on the sides of the spine for more stabilization. The bone would come from my upper pelvis. It's 3 days in the hospital and then 4-6 weeks recovery. He said I would be up and walking the next day and the only thing that I couldn't do during recovery is drive. He said that I could still do things as I felt able which was better than I thought. Some of the stuff I had read made me think I would be immobilized for weeks. He did say he expected about a 75% reduction in pain and symptoms.

So we are still discussing it here. I have an appt. with the pain clinic to see what they have to say about managing the pain. Someone told me about an intrathecal catheter that they put in to manage pain. I do know that it would be probably just delay the ineveitable.

Anyone who reads me ever had this surgery or knows someone who did? Please write to me (or ask them to write to me) about outcomes. I don't want to end up a cripple, but I do want to be able to live a producitive life again!

In other news, I started selling on e-bay under the name of gandksmom1967. It's mostly Katie's old clothes, but I am going to be selling some of her slings and old video's and such. I will also be posting some of Gillian's old clothes that are in good condition. She was/is into South Pole, Addidas and Nike. Hopefully I will make a few bucks anyway!

If I get a chance tomorrow (or later today) I will do that post about Gillian and Karate!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Katie's new dress!

My friend Lisa made this dress for Katie! Isn't it adorable? Or maybe it's the kid? Nah, it's both I think!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Katie's favorite blanket!

Katie sleeping with her new blanket!

Isn't it beautiful? If you would like one too, check out Kristen's Web Site and she will make one for you too. This blanket matches Katie's Dora comforter exactly. The other side if the blanket is plain, didn't think to turn over a corner to show. But it's warm and Katie loves it! Thanks again Kristen!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Christmas Meme

Here ya you try it!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg Nog

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? This is an interesting question for us. When Cheryl was growing up, they were unwrapped, when I was growing up, they were wrapped. SO, we keep going back and forth about what to do. I always wrapped Gillian's presents, but since we met when Gillian was 7 she didn't have a say in it. Now that we have Katie and Gillian doesn't believe in Santa, we have another decision to make!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope....

5. When do you put your decorations up? If it were up to me they would go up the day before Christmas and down the day after (scrooge). Cheryl likes to start a week after Thanksgiving and take down a week after New Years.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? My mother's stuffing. We make it with potatoes.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: All of us sitting around my Grandparents table eating Christmas dinner.

8. When did you stop believeing in santa? I think someone blew it for me early on, but in our house we had NO money and I think I thought if I stopped believing in Santa then I wouldn't have ANY presents so I "believed" in him for a long time!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? I want to do this. And have it be pj's that we would all wear on Christmas morning (I love those Hanna Anderson ones) but Cheryl say's no.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? We put it up and then we all take turns hanging decorations on it. I usually take pictures while we are doing it.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Living in Upstate NY where we get easily over 150" a year and usually over a foot at a time, I HATE IT!

12. Can you ice skate? Not since I had my ankle reconstruction surgery :)

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Getting contacts when I was in 10th grade

14. What's the most exciting thing about the Holidays for you? Watching my kids and all the wonder that is Christmas. I love that Katie believes in Santa and the magical wonder of her thinking he is coming on Christmas Eve. Since we have started back to church and I have reaffirmed my relationship with God, I love celebrating Jesus's birthday, recreating the story of his birth and the magical mystical wonder of that night.

15. Whats your favorite holiday desert? Pumpkin Pie

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Leaving cookies cookies for santa and some reindeer food. Reading The Night Before Christmas before the kids go to bed and the kids getting up early to open presents.

17. What tops your tree? Father Christmas

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night

20. Do you like Candy Canes? Not really!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thanks Chuck, Renee and Christopher

Yesterday the fed ex woman came (shh...don't tell the wife that she was cute)oh never mind, she reads me and will find out! Anyway, she came to the door and said to me, "Is it someone's birthday?" I mentioned that my birthday was in a few days and she said, "Well, someone must really love you, because these flowers come from the best of the best". I was thinking to myself that it was strange that Cheryl would send me flowers this early before my b-day. But I opened up the box and there were the most beautiful tulips that I have ever seen and they totally made my day!

I have gotten so much offers of support it's amazing. I am sure that when the going gets tough, we'll call in those offers. I told everyone at staff meeting today what was going on and that I was sticking to working the one afternoon that I was doing and again, folks were so wonderful and supportive.

Now, it's just getting through. But when you have that many people behind you, how can you NOT?

Thanks everyone....but especially to my BIL, SIL and Nephew for the beautiful flowers!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New pics!

After yesterday's post, I thought I would send you all some pictures. First is Gillian's school pic. Then we had our family pic taken for the church directory. So....I introduce you to my beautiful family!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Yep, it's been confirmed. I have MS. Let me walk you through my last 2 weeks OK? 3 weeks ago Monday I woke up throwing up. I think I even posted as to how wonderful my DP (dear partner) was to hold the puke bucket. I never really recovered. Kept feeling sick to my stomach, throwing up, and just not feeling well. So, on Thursday last week I had an appt with the MD who did my discography. I go in, pay my $15 co-pay only to have her tell me that yes, they replicated the pain on disc's L4/L5 and L5/S1 and the fact that the cortisone helped for a few days confirmed for her that I have degenerative disc disease in those disc's. I asked her what that meant and she said that I had to meet with the surgeon. Now, I am feeling crappy, about to cry because I just spent money I didn't have for her to tell me information I already knew and I said, "Wait, tell me what this all means". I have arthritis in my spine in that area and I need spinal fusion surgery says her. She rambled off some of the options but I really don't remember what she said and I left with an appt for a consult with the spinal surgeon in her office. I have heard from several people that he is a good surgeon, but I will be getting a secong opinion!

So, Friday I had a regular appt with my primary doc. I go in and he tells me I am not looking good and I tell him that I have been sick for almost 3 weeks and he thinks it might be diverticulitis since I have some pain. Now, I have had that before with different symptoms, but to humor him, I go to the ER. Before I leave there, he tells me that the MRI came back confirming the MS diganosis. He went into a bunch of scientific goblydygook, but all I heard was MS and already feeling miserable, I just wanted to lay down and go to sleep.

So, I call Cheryl and she meets me at the ER since I had Katie with me. It takes them 6 tries to get an IV into my dehydrated body. They do a CT scan without contrast because there was no way I was keeping that stuff down, but no diverticulitis. I meet the best ER/hospital MD ever there! He tells me that he thinks that because of all the vomiting I haven't been keeping enough of my narcotics down and I am feeling some effects of withdrawls. So, they admit me, give me a few doses of dilauad along with my regular narcotics and boost me with fluid and the next day I am much better. I go home and have been home since.

So, now I have to deal with these issues of impending scary spinal surgery along with the DX of MS. I am scared. I am sad, mad and every emotion in the book. I won't know more until I meet with the neurologist. My MD says there is a great one, but he's afraid she's booked out. I am waiting for their call with the referral. So far my most worrisome symptoms are short terms memory loss. Cheryl tells me I am asking her things over and over again a lot. I forget words easily and it scares me. What makes me the saddest is the vision problems I have with my eyes going wacky on me. I am no longer reading 6-7 books a week, more like 1 if I can get through it. This is a tremendous loss to me. I love to read. Gait is still off, but not so much that it bothers me or that I think people notice. No falls, but a couple of near misses.

SO, that's it for now. I am trying to move from a place of fear, and some denial to a place of power and taking over the MS and not letting it take over me. You'll be hearing much more about this in the weeks to come I am sure.

Hold on's going to be a wild ride!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sent from ArtSweet

If I could, I'd invent a Magical wonderful medication that would make my spine all better. Then I wouldnt' have to be in pain anymore and I could do all the fun things that I want to do.

I sometimes buy clothes that my kids don't really need, because when I was growing up, I didn't have what I needed.

If you came to my house to play and touched my computer, I wouldn't be very happy. I seem to be very protective over that little gadget!

The colour/s hot pink reminds me of my little bug Katie who loves everything pink no matter the shade.

The colour/s Lavendar make me happy and light. I love the color of it and think that it tastes sweet.

Eggy things, okra, and eggplant are OK...except for the OKRA and EGGPLANT part. I like eggs, but please don't make me eat the other 2 or I will throw up...promise!

I might get sick or die if I touch or ingest: Spinich. My step-father made me eat it once and I threw up. Now, if I even see it (cooked that is) I gag.

George Bush and all his cronies make me sad. I wish I knew what happened when he was a little boy because then maybe he would come to me for therapy and we'd all be happier. Especially me!

I love the feel of my daughters when they cuddle with me...yes, even Gillian will climb up onto my lap and cuddle! They smell so sweet and just knowing they came from's a world unto it'self!

No one should have to watch me eat chicken wings. Because I peel off all the skin and then, using my fingers, eat the meat out from around the bones.

I'm a grown-up now, so I don't have to do any damn thing I don't want to...well this isn't true now is it? I still have to work if I want money, I still have to take care of my kids because I love them, I....OK, dammit I do have to do all the things I am supposed to!

If I could invent a way to permanently coat my nostril hairs with this scent, I'd be my own biggest customer: Baby after a bath! There is nothing like that smell!

Three things I like that anyone might like: Reading, writing (blogging) and traveling.

Three things I like that nobody else in the world likes: OOOOh, this is a hard one. I like to sit in the dark and just think. I like to drink tea and I love to clean the cat box. (No, not really, just wanted to make sure you are still reading)

I have TOO MANY/TOO MUCH OF: Clothes - especially the ones that don't fit anymore

Okay, we know the best things in life aren't things, but these are the best things in life if there are going to be best things: Books, and make them free for everyone to read when they want to read them. And I don't mean the library. I mean go into a store, pick one off the shelf and read it for as long as you want.

When people have kind, sweet and nice things to say about me, they're usually talking about: How well I listen and how much I care.

It's true, I'm a social worker. And a pretty good one too!

If I could have any talent in the world, I'd choose the ability to get everyone to get along with each other and not fight!

You are given a day and a no-limit credit card to spend in one of these places, childfree. Choose one, or write your own:

An auction, where you never know what you want until you see it, and then you want it more than anyone. It's all about the adventure and the atmosphere.
A picturesque neon-lit bar, where a couple of swank cocktails and a friendly bartender might lead to a Chandler-esque story. It's all about becoming a character yourself.
A craft show, because you really need to find something attractive to cover your spare rolls of toilet paper with, and then, you want to maybe glue some paper to some more paper. It's all about making and doing.
A gourmet food store, because you are what you eat. It's all about feeding yourself and your soul.
A hoity toity boutique, because you'd rather have the experience of shopping gracefully than anything. It's all about quality time

I would choose a gourmet food store! I love to eat, but not to cook. Maybe if I had the right tools and ingredients I would get inspired! I would come home and make my family dinners that would wow them off their feet!

And here's the last chance to make sure that you're not going to get a "Jelly of the Month" club membership when you're expecting your bonus for a swimming pool. It is important to me that the items chosen for me (Examples: respect my Wal-Mart boycott, are vegan, aren't made by child or sweatshop labour, can be stuffed down my pants)

Aren't made in sweatshops and are organic.

And: If I could suggest that you read only one post from my archives, this would be it:

I would like you to choose what you would like, although I did just write one that I was hoping to hear some other people's experiences on!

And: If I were to name the Holiday of my choice for this exchange, it would be: Christmas. I love that holiday. It hasn't always held the best memories for me, but I am trying to carve some new ones out for my children.!

Apple picking

Well, since my last post was a dud, we'll just go back to the nice pictures. Here are some from the apple orchard.

My girls...

The three of us!

Katie riding Butterscotch!

Monday, October 30, 2006

For One More Day

By Mitch Albom

For those of you who have read this book, you know what a treasure it is. I am not going to talk about the book here, but rather take one part of it and explore it for myself. Then, I would like for those of you who want, explore it for yourself. Either in my comments, or leave me a comment telling me that you are going to explore it for yourself either in your blog or somewhere else....

Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back. What if you got it back? (Preface, For One More Day, by Mitch Albom)

When I first thought about answering this question, the most obvious answer was having one more day with my father. But losing my father at 10, I am not sure what I would say to him knowing it was the last day we were ever going to have together. So, going back to my 10 year old mind, here it goes:

Dad, the last day you and I had together was on a Sunday. Tammy and I were visiting you on our visitation day and we were playing together in the driveway. We were playing basketball together. It was a warm fall day and I had you all to myself, at least that is how I remember it in my mind. Dad, I would tell you I love you. I would tell you that I was being abused in the house that I was living in. I wouldn't keep it a secret from you anymore. I would sit on your lap and stare at your face so that I would never forget it. I would hold you and hold you and promise you that I would grow up to be somebody that you would be proud of.

OK...this is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I have to stop now, because I am crying and I want this to be a postive exercise.

What would you do?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Our summer trip....

This summer we got free tickets to Enchanted Forest, Water Safari . This place has been around since I was little. Anyway, here are some cute pictures we took.

When you walk in, the first person you see is Paul Bunyon and it's standard fare to have your picture taken with him. I love how small Katie is next to him. I also love to compare pictures I have with Gillian standing next to him as the years have passed. This was Katie's first trip to EF! Here are some more pics of the trip....enjoy!

When we got the tickets, EF was only going to be open for 2 more days. It was FREEZING! First, the park is in the Adirondak Mountains where it's usually colder than any other place on earth. EF is also a water park. The girls, particularly Katie really wanted to go on the water rides. We have a couple of pictures of her with blue lips, smiling for all she's got coming off a freezing cold ride. It actually rained for part of the day, but just when we were going to call it a day, the sun came out. So we stayed.

We started at storybook lane and visited sleeping beauty, the crooked man, snow white and the seven dwarfs and peter's wife in the pumpkin shell. There were many more and we visited them all. Then we were off to the farm where we fed some deer and sheep. They have a small area of mechanical rides and Katie LOVED the Tilt O"Whirl, the upside down ferris wheel. YOu can see above her riding in the helocopters! She was very disappointed that she was too little to ride on the bumper cars. Gillian had a blast riding all the rides and even got Cheryl to go on the round up with her.

After that, we sat for the little circus and were quite impressed. We rode the little train back to the front and then went up in the "balloons". They are little seats with balloons on top that run along a wire and you can see the whole park from up there!

We'll hopefully go again next year with better, warmer weather and more water rides!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Trying to be upbeat

But I really suck at it. All week I kept thinking to myself, I'll feel better tomorrow and I'll blog about something good then. Well, it's Friday and I thought I'd better blog and it's going to be about being depressed, so stop reading now if you've had enough of my depressive shit.

There - now warned...I am so tired people. I am waiting to go back to my primary MD to see about this possible MS diagnosis. I had the MRI and I go back next Friday, but really, what the hell? I have so many of the symptoms. Cheryl says maybe they are from the medication. OK...I have been on high powered narcotics for a year now and I am just getting them? Nope, I don't buy it. I just don't want to walk through my life a slurring, stumbling idiot who can't remember words. I feel stupid. Wait, do I have a Master's Degree? Oh yea, I do, but I can't remember what I ate for lunch yesterday?

I am now taking Reglan. I was afraid to take it, but after Monday's barf session and my continuing inability to eat more than a few bites becase I am sick to my stomach (and I don't want to give the illusion that I am actually losing weight) I decided that something had to happen. So, I went to my back MD yesterday and asked about the Fentyl patch since I was thinking that it was the pills wrecking my stomach and he told me it's the narcotics making me sick. If I go on the patch (which he was willing to do) then I would have to take something for the nausea. Better take the Reglan and help the food pass through the stomach more quickly instead of it sitting there making me sick. So, I took one last night and woke up feeling pretty good. No upset stomach. I haven't eaten lunch or dinner yet, so we'll see how it works on a big meal.

I guess I am just depressed. I wish I had some friends that stayed home during the day. Friends that think like I do, other lesbian's with kids my age so we could hang out. My image is sitting on my sofa, drinking whatever we drink and the kids playing, and we are talking. They don't care that my house isn't spick and span because we know each other well enough that we don't care.

Back surgery. My regualar back MD wouldn't go over the results of the discography because he didn't do it. So, I have to wait till 11/21/06 before I know what she found. When we were talking about putting my on the patch, he said that he thought that it would take longer to get my dosage regulated than we had before I would have the surgery. Surgery? So, I am prett sure that is what her reccomendations are.

Crud. So, to all my friends that read me....thanks for hanging in there. You guys are great. I know you all don't respond, but I know you are there.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I hate being sick!

Yesterday I woke up throwing up and running to the bathroom on the other end. Poor Cheryl got to wake up to me retching and like the good wife that she is, she held my head while I threw up and wiped away the sweat and chills that came with it. She took Katie to work to finish some stuff off and then took Katie to school and picked her up and kept her occupied the whole afternoon. I finally stopped throwing up and running to the bathroom and just slept. Today Katie is hanging out with her Grandmother because I am still soooo wiped out.

So, just a HUGE shout out to the one I love. Thank you for taking such good care of me hun! I love you!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Like mother, like daughter?

What do you think?

Here I am at 5 mos

Here is Gillian at 5 mos

And Katie at 5 mos!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My other sad Fall post

So, I told you all the other day that I couldn't talk about this next here it goes today.

When Gillian was 6, I decided that enough time had passed, I hadn't found another partner and I really wanted another baby. SO, I decided to go ahead and single parent another baby. I started when Gillian was 6, but it wasn't until she turned 7 that I got pregnant. From the beginning it was bad news. My first beta was 8. I scurried around the internet looking for success stories of beta's that were 8. Found a couple, but most were bad news. When I went for a redraw, it had gone to 17. It doubled, but it was still low. I went back 2 days later for another redraw (it was a Friday, I remember) and when they called me back they told me it was a 18 and that they were sorry, but I was probably going to miscarry. So, I went home and cried. On Monday I started bleeding and had what I thought was a normal period. Lasted about 5 days and was normal. I was afraid everytime I changed my pad I would see evidence of the miscarry, but didn't. (It was so early I don't think I would have seen anything anyway). I went back on Wednesday for another blood draw to make sure all of the HCG was out of my system and got a call that blew my mind. My HCG was over 2,000. So, I went in, and had a sono and there was the blink, blink of the my right fallopian tube. I knew right away that there was something wrong, because it definately wasn't in my uterus. The RE told me that he was so sorry. We started out with methotrexate to dissolve fetal tissue and after 2 shots and continued rising HCG, it became clear that I was going to have to have surgery to remove the pregnancy. My baby. I checked into the hospital and was settled into my room to await being taken to the OR and a woman from vital stats came in to fill out the death certificate. OMG....the questions she asked....did you use drugs, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes.....I screamed at that woman to get the hell out of my room. She did have me sign the death certificate before she left though. She told me that it was standard for anyone having an abortion to do this. I WASN'T HAVING AN ABORTION! But, I was, in a way, wasn't I? After that woman left, the woman in the bed next to me whipped the curtain back and told me that that lady had been there to talk with her before me. She kicked her out too. We got to talking and she was also having an "abortion" for a missed miscarriage. We talked until they took her down and while she was gone, they took me down. I remember being in the OR, shivering and my RE holding my hand while they put me under. I remember waking up crying, telling the nurse how much I wanted that baby.

A few weeks later we got the results back from the choromosome testing. A healthy baby boy.

I named my baby boy Jared Christopher. I like to think that he's up in heaven with my Dad. My Dad is taking care of his grandson while I am down here on earth taking care of his granddaughters. It makes me feel less sad to think of his spirit being held by my Dad.

So, September 19, 1999 stands in my mind as the day I lost one of my children. Some of you might think that he was a bunch of cells. To me, he was my son.



LOL..betcha didn't know that did you? How about you?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fall is one of my most favorite months, but it is also the most difficult. There were 2 defining events that happened in Fall, that will forever change my life. When I was 10, my father was killed in an accident where he worked. The day is etched in my memory forever. I remember it being the most beautiful fall day. I went to school as usual and when I came out my mother was there waiting for my sister and I, and she had my step-sister with her. I immediately became suspicious because it was no secret that my mother and step-mother weren't friends. When we got home, the minister from my step father's church was in the kitchen. OK....I really knew something was up. I wish that my life ended there, because when my mother sat me down and told me that my father had had an accident at work, my life fell apart I rushed right through all of Kubler-Ross's stages of grief. I begged my mother to tell me that my father was OK. Was he in the hospital? Please, please tell me he's OK. When my mother took my hands in her's and knelt down in front of me to tell me that my father had died, I was crushed. Then became numb. I remember in full relief the entire wake, funeral and burial. I remember sitting in the folding chair at the funeral not believing that my father was in the casket. In fact, for years after his death, I would occassionaly tell myself that my father really wasn't in the casket, after all he was really hurt in the explosion right? Maybe it wasn't him, but someone else? I know now, it was him, but for a long time I wanted so much to believe it wasn't.

My father was and still is in a lot of ways my world. I loved him more than I had every loved anyone else on this earth. I was Daddy's little girl. I blamed everyone for his death. If my parents hadn't divorced, he'd still be alive, if he and my step-mother hadn't had a fight the night before he died, he would still be alive. I missed him most when my children were born. He would have been such a wonderful Grandfather. I missed him when I had my committment ceremony with Cheryl. I miss him every single year that passes on the anniversary of his death. When the fall comes, I gear up for the sadness that I know will be there. I go and visit his grave and clean it up for the winter. I talk with him and tell him everything that has gone on for the past year. And then, I tell him I love him and say Goodbye.

I know at the beginning of this post I said there were 2 defining events that happened, but writing this has just sucked the energy and emotion out of me. I will write about the other one later.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


We went to a Holly Near concert last night and had the most unbelivable time. I was on the planning committee and had the best time. Gillian and Holly had a most awesome conversation about Gillian's karate and I even got to shake her hand! LOL! Seriously, it reenergized me in a way that I needed to be. I love the way that Holly interweaves her stories with her songs in a way that the songs mean so much more than they would if she just sat there and sang.

Our president is a big bully. He and his administration are sending our children out to fight a war that we have no right being in. This I knew. What I learned last night was that it's not OUR children who are going off to fight, but the poor and disenfranchised who are being sent over with the promise of something BIG! And the biggest thing they get is killed and sent back home in a casket. If OUR children were drafted, we'd get up off our complacent asses and mobilize. But these kids are OUR kids too. If no one else stands for them, then who will? Will it be you?

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I should have clarified.....the previous post should have been I would "like" to listen to. No, I spend most of my day listening to Laurie Berkner, Jack's Big Music show and well, you know.....

Now, the one day a week that I work, I could listen to music on the way to work on my tape player, but a couple of years ago Katie put a penny in the tape player and now I can't use it. Sucks to be me!

So, it's been a long time since I have actually listened to any of the music on my list. But a girl can dream right?

In other news, nothing much going on. I am off to the MD tomorrow for a neuro work up since I have been having some disturbing symptoms that I am hoping are just side effects of some of the meds I am on....Last weekend Cheryl and I took the kids to a nature park and when we were climbing some steps, I couldn't get my legs to work (this scared me the most), I have had some trembling in my left arm off and on, Cheryl has noticed that my speech is slurred sometimes and my eyes go wacky from time to time. My doc wants to check me out especially since the MRI saw something that could be a lesion on my spine. Those symptoms combined with the lesion could indicate MS. Personally, I don't think that's it. We still don't have a definite on the lesion on my back. They are calling it an atypical hemangioma.

Hmmm....can't think of much else. Girls are good, Cheryl is good...and life is mostly good.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What Music are you listening to?

Tagged by Rae!

1. I am Willing - Holly Near

2. Baby Watch Your Back - Nellie McKay

3. Weave Me The Sunshine - Peter, Paul and Mary

4. I am Willing - Holly Near and Cris Williamson

5. Waterfall - Cris Williamson (Did the original) Holly Near and Teresa Trull sang an awesome rendition at Michigan!

6. Remember Who You Are - Cathy Bolton

7. Wrap The Sun Around You - Holly Near

8. Remembrance - George Winston

9. A Day Without Rain - Enya

10. Send In The Clowns - Judy Collins

It's so hard to pick my favorite songs...or even what I am listening to now because it depends on the day and the mood I am in. I love music and listen to just about anything. I am working with the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation as a volunteer and we are bringing Holly Near here next weekend so I have been listening to a lot of her stuff!

I tag.....Casey, Judy, Art-Sweet, Tracey, Laura and Care!

Bad blogger....

Well, just a post to update! My grandfather was having some difficulties again, but it turned out to be some gallstones. They were thinking it was a bowel obstruction, and how they got from that to gallstones, I have no clue. But since I have been crazy busy, I will just trust what they are telling me.

So, I went for the discography. It was single handedly the most painful experience that I have gone through. They basically take a needle and put it into your back and thread a catheter into the disc. They don't sedate you (although they did give some versed to take the edge off) and then they fill the disc with contrast and ask you to tell them when you have your everyday pain and then tell them when the pain is overwhelming. OMG! I am so glad that it's over. The MD doesn't like to tell you about the results because she thinks that the versed doesn't allow you to understand the results and my follow up appt. isn't until 10/23/06, but I asked her if there was a problem at least and she told me there was. I started to cry and told her "You mean, it's not all in my head?" and she told me that L4/L5 and L5/S1 are shredded inside. I asked if it was something that could be fixed and she reminded me about the conversation we had about my willingness to have surgery and then told me that we would talk more at my follow up appt. So, I am assuming surgery is going to be suggested. I am waiting for the final verdict though.

It is such an overwhelming feeling for me to validated. I think that a lot of people thought that my pain was all in my head and to have to it be real is BIG for me.

I will post more about the kids...doing some amazing things in a bit!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Eeeek, there's a mouse!

So, dear readers, I am sorry that I haven't been a good blogger, but you see, we seem to have a new member in our family (well, maybe several) and it is consuming all my time. The other night, I was lying in bed, the kids asleep, Cheryl was downstairs making her lunch...sounds just bucolic doesn't it? When all of the sudden, I hear this racket from downstairs. I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs only to find Cheryl on her knees in front of Katie's Dora House. I know you are all thinking something dirty, but the cat was circling, trying her damnedest to get....what? A friggen mouse. Apparently, while I was lying upstairs in bucolia, the cat spied a mouse and went beserk, leading Cheryl to run to see what the hell was going on. She see's the mouse cornered in the Dora house, goes and grabs a trashcan and throws it over the mouse, which as you might imagine, pissed the cat off. I grab her a piece of cardboard to slip under the can and out the door the mouse goes.

So, here I think it's just a one time thing...never had a mouse in the house before. No evidence (or so I thought) of there being any around, I just assumed he scrambled in when a door was open. HAHAHA! The night before last I reached under the sink cupboard to get a roll of paper towels and it was wet under there. I start pulling things out to see where the water is coming from and find.....yup, you guessed it.....mouse turds. Ewwww. I pulled everything out, cleaned up under the sink. Used half a bottle of pine sol while doing it too. Never did find out where the leak was, but did find out why the cat has been sitting in front of the cupboard, whining and pawing trying to get in. Now, lest you think that I am stupid, not recognizing that something might be under there driving her crazy...the trashcan is kept under there and whenever we take it out to empty it, she likes to explore under there. Last night, I noticed more turds. Ewww....out comes the pine sol again, with a plea to the wife to see if she can find where they are coming from.

Fast forward to this morning. Katie was doing her morning calesthenic's on the couch and had her head down, and say's "Mommy, there's a mouse under the couch" I scream at her to get over to me (probably traumatized her against mice now) and Cheryl comes to inspect. Yes, indeed, another mouse. Didn't run, so we are assuming that it was mangled by the cat, but not killed. Cheryl scoops it up and puts it outside...while the cat, Lily, looks longingly out the door.

So, we have mice...somewhere in this house. Ewww...just the thought makes me squirm. Katie is not terrorized, she thought it was cute. Cheryl will be on the lookout for the rest of them.

I am off to Target to get some mouse traps. I am not as nice as Art Sweet. When she had woodchucks eating her flowers and plants, she went out and got one of those humane traps. I'm just not as nice as her. The plain old fashioned one's will do for me!

Monday, September 18, 2006

What will my last words be?

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"What we know is not much. What we don't know is enormous."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My baby is....

Going to Pre-K tomorrow! And for the first time in 3 years, I won't be staying with her! When we first started our school district's pre-K program when Katie was 18 months, she was still in diapers, still sleeping with us and still breastfeeding! In that program, we stayed together for the one hour a week that we were there. When she started the 2 year old program, she was still in diapers, still nursing, and still sleeping with us. And we still stayed in the same room with the kids, but only for 1 of the 2 hours. Then we went into another room for the other hour, but it was within the room they were in. They knew we were there....! When we left the 2 year old program at the end of the year, Katie was weaned, potty trained and no longer sleeping in our bed! So, it seems fitting that such a big girl would be going to pre-K 2 days a week (except for one friday each month added in)and on Monday's I will bring her there, interact for 15 minutes and then when she leaves for Gym, I will leave the building and go somewhere. That somewhere is still to be determined! Tomorrow happens to be their first Friday, so tomorrow Katie will be at school without me for the first time. On Wednesday's I stay, but only with her for the first 15 min and then they leave for gym and we head to the parenting room.

I love this program. It is so wonderful, the teacher's are wonderful and it's FREE! She is going to school with kids that will be in her Kindergarten in 2 years (I did not just say that did I?)

So, pray tell, what does one do with 2 free hours?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I just want to stop feeling overwhelmed

So, my MD upped my medication to 3 X's a day. I go to pick up the script and the insurance only gives me enough for 2 X"s a day. Since when does the insurance company decide how many pills you get a day? Now, I need to call the MD on Monday to see if he can get the insurance company to pay for the extra pill. And we are talking oxycontin here, not amoxicillan! What if the insurance compancy says no? What am I supposed to do? It's just one more damn thing I have to do and I am so sick of it.

I wish I could stop taking these meds but until they find out and fix the problem, I have to take them. I am going for a discography on the 28th (or whatever the last Thursday in Sept. is). They told me that it's the most painful procedure they do on a back and they can't medicate you because they have to replicate the pain.

Anyway, just writing about it all makes me feel overwhelmed all over again.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

True friends are friends that care....

Thank you to all of my friends IRL and on the web who have either commented, e-mailed me privately or called me. I'm sorry that I let a few people get to me.

I spent a lot of time last night praying. I find that praying is very powerful for me. I do feel as though God has been testing me, but also showing me that althogh bad things happen, something good does come out of them. I was denied SSD and people that knew me, jumped in to help us out, cheer us up and just plain let us know that we are loved. I guess some people don't understand that, or maybe they haven't even felt that love themselves. I am sorry about that.

I have been part of many online communites, each one different in their own way, each one fullfills a different need that I have. But the one thing they all have in common are people that care about me and my family. I have been part of most of these communities for 6 or 7 years. I feel grateful to know so many caring and wonderful women (because all of them are women based for the most part). You have loved me, challenged me and I have learned so much from every single person who I have had contact with!

I refuse to let the few people who want to try and make me feel bad succeed. It's not fair to the people who have worked so hard to help me feel happy, safe and loved.

So, to Kim from my Queer moms group who spearheaded their help and my Queer moms, thank you for always being there. The one thing that I love about being part of that community is always having my views about anything in life challenged. I have learned more about life than life has taught me! Thank you for your support over the past 8 years!

And to Estelle, who spearheaded getting Katie a safe carseat, thank you and everyone that pitched in to help. You have been a great friend and I appreciate your willing to help us out with something that was so needed.

And to Raechelle who got together with my L-Moms and took up a collection. You all have been a part of my life for many least 5. I feel like you are all a part of my family. So many of our children have been raised through this group. I feel like you all the village that we need to raise our children. And Rae - you and I are going through some of the same things. It is so nice (if I can use that word) to not be going through this alone. Through the midst of your own pain, you went and did something for our pain. Thank you all.

And to my good friends over at Attachment Parenting after Infertility. We have all been through so many of the same challanges. And while we don't always see eye to eye on some things (mainly political) we are always respectful to each other and supportive in many ways. When you sent that bike for Katie, I was speechless. It was an act of generosity that I never expected.

I want to publically thank you all for everything that you have given me over the past 8 years. You have all given so much over the years and I love you all! I look forward to many more years with you all.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

No, you don't need to get your eyes checked

I deleted the last post and I am going to post here for people to stop sending us things. For the record, we aren't getting a new van, a used van or any other kind of vehicle. In case I was clear enough (and apparently I wasn't) in the post that I deleted, I was wishing out loud. I guess a person can't do it. So, those of you who think I have a different personality, I am sorry. What started out as some nice people helping us out at a time when we needed it, turned into a question about my honesty and integrity.

I am so sad and hurt. That even one person would think that I am lying. Do you seriously think that I want to feel this way? Do you seriously think I like to accept help from other's?

I didn't ask for one thing that was sent to us. Not ONE thing. I accepted it graciously, maybe even grudgingly. I was writing about my feelings about not being able to get my kids the things they want (not need) and people that I consider my friends wanted to go above and beyond to do those things for my kids because they love and care about us. And they also know that I would do the same for them, anytime, anywhere. Because that is the kind of person I am. I didn't write because I thought that somone would send us stuff. It was the furthest thing from my mind. In fact when I heard that some people wanted to help out, I was VERY surprised. I was not expecting it.

So, if you think I was trying to scam anyone, I am sorry. It's not who I am and those of you who know me, know this. I don't even know why I am writing this because I am sure that the people who wrote to Estelle and left me nasty comments (on the post I took down) won't read this. I am writing because I am so upset that even one person thinks that I am dishonest.

I will assume that those of you who are reading this, do know the real me. Please know that I appreciate everything you have done for me and my family. More than you will ever know.

Well, I keep rambling and deleting. I guess the bottom line is that I am just going to assume that the people who know me, know me well and that is all that matters. I don't want anyone to think that I am a bad, or lying to get things. I would never disrepect people I consider friends this way.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The love keeps pouring in....

So, I am hearing that more good and needed things are on the way. I am so overwhelmed with all of this outpouring of love. I want to thank Raechelle and Estelle for taking such good care of our family when we need it the most. You both rock. You know I will write more...when I can think of words that can explain how I feel. I love you both. And, to all the people who contributed to make these gifts a reality, drop me a line (L-Moms too) so I can thank you all properly.

Good news and bad....

Well, I continue to be amazed at the generosity of IRL friends as well as web friends. Yesterday my friends over at Attachment Parenting after Infertility sent Katie a Dora bike! She hasn't stopped riding it since Mama put it together. Thanks guys! You have made my baby so, so happy. And to all who keep sending us stuff, I continue to thank you. You will never know the positive impact you have had on our family!

Now for the semi-bad news. My MRI showed a lesion on my spine that could be a hemangioma, but the MD says that it looks atypical. I am going for a bone scan next week. Most of you know about my cancer let's pray that it's just a weird hemagioma and not bone cancer. And let's hope that this hemagathingy is causing most of my back pain and if we can get rid of it, I might find some pain relief!

Thanks again everyone. I will keep saying it over and over....

Saturday, August 26, 2006

At a loss for words

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking about a way to blog about how angry I was that I was turned down for SSD. I was particularly angry with God. How could He, with His almighty power, not turn a miracle for me and my family? And then, a miracle did happen. The other day our family recieved a gift card for a substancial amount to a local grocery store from my dear friends over at my Queer moms group. They had all gotten together and sent our family this gift card. Enough by the way to feed our family for a month. And then another miracle. I had mentioned again to this group, that I had gotten a free $25 gift card to Lands End from the place where I accrue points when I do survey's. By the end of the day, one of the women from Queer mom's sent me another $25 GC to Land's End. Apparently, where she works offers GC from and she had one. She sent her's to me for Land's End. Soon, one of the women that she works with sent another $25 GC to Lands End. Katie will now have clothes to get her through the winter.

Now this same day, my friend Judy shows up at Cheryl's work with the biggest bin of size 5 clothes I have ever seen! Another miracle? Seems like it too me. Lots of jeans in this bin. By the end of the day, my Queer mom friend e-mails me and tells me that another woman and her sister have some more clothes that their 6&7 year old daughters have outgrown, so expect a shipment coming soon! I offered to pay for shipping and I get a "Nope, we'll do it throught he company!" As I am signing off, my Queer friend again sends me an e-mail that one of her colleage's has just gotten married and has some Target gift cards to offer up. This will take care of school supplies for Gillian.

By the end of the day, I had money to feed my family. Clothes to get Katie through the winter, other than boots and a winter coat! Gillian is also in need of the same, but with all this help, we should be able to pull together the money to pay for these! Oh, and some jammies for Katie. Hopefully we'll be able to get some of those from Target too! If any of you that read me, have any of these items and were going to donate them to The Salvation Army and want to pass them my way, I would be willing to pay postage!

So, in my anger at God, I got a very clear message. God does provide. I will never be able to thank my friends and Queer moms, Judy and especially Kim, who made all the GC happen. You have all restored my faith not just in myself, but in the world in general. You have all given so unselfishly of yourselves and I will forever be grateful.

Thank you all. From the bottom of my heart.

And blessed be to God, the Almighty and maker of miracles.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Another whiney post.....

Delete if you don't want to come to my pity party OK?

I can't stand this anymore. I am so tired of feeling depressed. Guilty because we don't have the money to get the girls stuff they want. Not need. We are providing for their needs, but I feel so damn impotent. Katie wants a bike. She has never had a bike of her own and currently owns a handmedown trike that she is too big for. She tells me "Can I have a new Dora bike when we get some money Mommy?" Sure you can, but who knows when that will be.

Gillian had to spend all her own money on school clothes. I always said that I would never do that to my kids. And here I am. I know...there are some of you who feel as though this isn't an issue. But it is for me.

Even though I know rationally these are not big issues, they are for me. Really big. I feel like I am failing my kids. I feel like I am failing my partner. She didn't sign on for this.

I don't know what I would do without her or my girls. They are truly my reasons for living. Chery, you are my rock. I know that life is hard, but I want to tell you in front of people that I call friends, that you are the most wonderful partner a person could ever ask for. I know my being disabled makes things very hard, but you never waiver in your love for me. You are always there for me to help me feel safe and loved. I love you now, I will love you forever. Thank you Cheryl for being my partner, the true definition of partner. I only hope that I give you back a tenth of what you give me. I also want to thank you for being the best Mama the girls could ask for. And the best parenting partner, I could ask for. Are things always smooth? No. I would be lying. But are they the best they can be under the circumstances? Yes. Thank you and I love you!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Updated Montage

For those of you new to me, here is the montage that I made of my family. Those of you who have seen it before, I added some more pics at the end!

My Grandfather - redeux

My Grandfather is back in the hospital and has pneumonia. And since someone in Liverpool is now reading me, and the only person I know in Liverpool is my Aunt who is taking care of my Grandfather, I want to state for the record that she has been taking phenomenal care of him! She has everything organized (and let me tell you that that is a HUGE job) and just all around takes good care of him. So, it's not because of her that he's there...he just developed pneumonia. They also changed the thickness of his food and didn't slow down the rate, so he also threw up.

Anyway, I want to talk about people who read my blog and not liking feeling as though my privacy is invaded. I know, I's not private when it's on the web, so I guess I just have to say....if you know me and read me, beware, I might say something you don't want to hear or know. There, you've been warned. This is my space to talk about things that either make me happy,sad, mad or just plain want to bitch about. It isn't about's about me...but then again, isn't it always?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Shopping with Gillian I love to shop, but we haven't had one extra penny to spend. Gillian has to spend all of her birthday and babysitting money on her school clothes this year and I feel so guilty! I always told myself that I would never do this to my kids....but I guess there really isn't any other option. And she seems to be OK with it.

Let me tell you how glad that I am that Gillian likes to wear "boy clothes" because the clothes that they have out there for girls (even little girls) are just horrid. If you can even call them clothes. Pants so tight and low that you can see butt crack. Shirts so tight and short that you can see bra and belly. Why? I just hate to see girls disrespect themselves so much. And while I was looking to see what they had for little girls (Katie is in a 4 already....and that's not a 4T, although some 4T fit) they are the same. What ever happened to cute little girl dresses? I did find some a Kohl's but they were too expensive. So, Katie has one pair of pants for the fall and my good friend Judy is coming down next week with her 5T bin so that hopefully will give her some more clothes for the fall.

Anyway, what do you think about girls clothes these days?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A tisket, A tasket, a beautiful blue basket!

Gillian made this beautiful basket today with her mentor (from her church seeker's class). Isn't it beautiful?

Monday, August 14, 2006

I thought I was a SAHM?

So, why don't I ever stay home? This morning found us running out to the library. Katie got some books and I returned some. I told Katie to get a couple of million books, because we were going to get Grandma (her great grandma) and take her to a MD appt. So, after the library, we go and get Grandma (who lives with my Uncle (this would be the SOB one) and take her to the MD. Did I mention that they live on the opposite side of the county from me? We head into the city, head the the MD's office, which happens to be in the hospital physician's office bldg, and arrive just in time for her appt. I brought Gillian and the aforementioned books so that she could entertain Katie in the waiting room while I went in with Grandma, because Aunt Nancy (the SOB's wife) asked me to ask the MD some questions about my Grandfather. Anyway, Grandma gets called and Katie doesn't want to stay in the waiting room, so in she trots with me. I introduce myself to the MD and boy is he a nice, patient MD. First thing he asks is about Grandpa. BTW - Grandpa ate 4 teaspoons of applesause so here's a big raspberry to the nurse who told us he'd never eat again!!!

Anyway, back to my story. Grandma is all upset because her ankle's are still swollen and the medication he gave her last time isn't working. He suggests stockings and she goes off half cocked. I get her calmed down and we get it figured out that she got mixed up and was still taking one of the meds that she was supposed to stop. Anyway....hopefully that is all straigtened out. I wrote down everything he told her (and me) and got her next few appt's scheduled and got out of there. On the way back to taking her home, I stop at my lawyer (who is handeling the ssd stuff) and give her the affidavit from my MD we need for the appeal (that will take 2 more years to happen I am sure). I take Grams home and visit with my Grandfather and then take the girls to the playground near their home. I am starving. Luckily I packed them lunch, but not me. All I want to do is come home. I finally convince them that if we don't leave right now I will surely expire! So, I am home. I left the house at 9:45am and got back at 3PM!!!!. Everyone tells me that I am a SAHM, but I sure don't stay home do I?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

AAAAH, vacation!

Well, I came back to almost 1,000 e-mails, but I knew you, dear readers wanted to hear all about our exciting vacation up to my Grandparents camp in Canada. We did have a nice time. We had a relaxing time, which is what we really, really needed. Although there is a phone, it's on party line and it's a pain in the butt to call out on. People can call in, but there aren't many people that know the number, so it didn't ring very often. There is satelite TV so the one day that it rained Katie got to watch Noggin and Gillian caught a few episodes of "That 70's Show". We swam, I took the kids and Cheryl for a boat ride (a very short boat ride) and we canoed (again a very short Canoe trip).

The boat story. My uncle, who made a bit stink about anyone going up to camp except for him and his family (it's a long, long story - if you want it, e-mail me). Anyway, he makes a big deal about whatever gas you use in the boat, you have to replace it. He leaves me with empty tanks in both boats. Then, after I go into town and spend $25 on gas for the boat, he neglects to tell me that the stearing is shot (since my Grandfather had the boat down in FL in the salt water and the stearing got all corroded). So, I go to take the boat out and find that I can barely steer the damn thing. Since I don't have a whole lot of experience with the boat, I turn around, and manage to dock the sucker. To say that I was pissed was an understatment. This boat is what we call the big boat. The one with the big motor that can take you down the lake in half the time it would take in the little (or fishing boat). You can move around in it without worrying about it capsizing too. You can also fit more people in it. So, I have a major panic attack, but with the help of my calm co-captain, Cheryl, we manage to dock the boat the first time. The next day, I get my Great uncle (not the same AHOLE UNCLE) to how me how to use the small boat and we take off across the lake to a bay where we might see some loons and other wild life. I am nervous, because this boat is small and it's windy out and it's bumping along in the waves. All I can think about is how I am going to get the damn boat back in the boat house. The big boat was docked outside the boat house so it wasn't as hard. After an extremely comical docking of the small boat (imagine me climbing out of the boat and holding onto it, trying to turn it around the right way to get it into the boat house) we docked it. This process sent me into another panic attack. I think I took a nap after this one.

Hey, wasn't this supposed to be a RELAXING vacation? My uncle (again, the nice one) graciously allowed us to use his canoe and we took it out one evening for a short spin around the island. Gillian sat behind me telling me all of the things that I was doing wrong in paddling. I wanted to crack her over the head with the oar, but refraned. So, after 2 days of boat debacles, we decide to pack a picnic lunch and take the girls down the lake, find an island and have a nice picnic lunch. I also let Gillian paddle, since she was the master paddler apparently! Well, it was windy and as any sane person knows, it's very difficult to paddle in windy conditions. The boat was rocking, I was feeling another panic attack coming on and we just went home. I guess I am not a boating person. I don't mind riding, I just don't want to be in charge.

So, we slept (well some of us did), we ate well and we relaxed. Kind of. Most of all, we got away. The lake was beautiful. The loons were so wonderful to listen to. There really isn't anything like going to camp. I just missed my Grandparents Camp isn't camp without them.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Happy Birthday Gillian!

This picture was taken when Gillian and I went on the NightWatch trip back in February. She is in front, it's one of the few pictures of her with her hair down and I think it is just GILLIAN! If you look to the left of her you can see me busting some moves (I have on the blue LLBean overalls).

I am so thankful for this child. She has done nothing but keep me on my toes since she was born. From the 10 weeks of bedrest leading up to an induced labor at 42 weeks that lasted 27 hours with 2 hours of pushing thrown in. Her head never decended. I should have known then that I was in for it! After a crash C-Section, my first child was born on August 5th, 1992 at 8:06am. She weighed 7 pounds 3 oz and was 21" long. She came crashing into my world, and has taught me the important need for a parent to be patient. She has also taught me that no child is ours, but rather our for a short time. To hopefully impart manners, skills, values and judgement and then give them the wings they need to fly. I only hope that when that time comes, I have the grace to let her go.

I love you Gillian. Forever and for always.

Who are you?

I have noticed that I have a lot of readers but few posters. SO, I am interested in who some of you are. Especially who reads me from Washington DC (Dept of Labor). I am also interested in knowing who reads me from NY: Rome, Buffalo, Bedford, Bellmore and Kew Gardens. Other's that read me (and am I impressed) is someone from Israel, Hinton, Alberta in Canada, Aspley, Queensland in Australia, Prestwich, Salford in UK, Eastwood, New South Wales in Australia, Courtenay, British Columbia, Aukland, New Zealand, and a whole contingent from CA - Sacramento, San Diego, Victorville and some others. Someone reads me from Salt Lake City, Utah, Omaha NB, Norwalk, CT, Taylors, SC, Port Angeles, WA, Baltimore, MD (Hi SASSY), and Ingleside, TX. I am impressed that I only have one reader from TX!!! Berlin is another one I just noticed!

Anyway, if you want to shout out and put a face to the place feel free to do so!

Also, give a shout out to my 14 year old Gillian! Today is her birthday. Another post to follow when we finish her party!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Lord, what a morning!

Well, poor Gillian has been sick for a couple of days with a cold. On top of that her colitis has been acting up. It's hard to tell with her when she gets diarreah if it's illness or colitis, so when she told me yesterday that she hurt all over, I was thinking illness. She woke up this morning feeling worse, so I took her in to the MD and sure enough, she has a nasty sinus infection. It was actually kind of neat because the MD had a student with her and she had him look up her nose and I asked if I could look too. It was so nasty. Thick green ropes of snot just hanging down. Anyway, she gave us an antibiotic and then went and got some saline stuff for Gillian to use to wash out her nose and help break up the infection. I was impressed because she went to hand the saline stuff to me, reconsidered and then gave it to Gillian and explained to her how and when to use it. After we left the MD, I stopped to get Katie (I left her at MIL's house because I didn't want her to pick up germs at the MD office and she already has a cold). After getting Katie, we headed to the grocery store because I wanted to get stuff for Gillian's party this weekend.

Can you believe that I am going to be the mother of a 14 year old???? We are having a family birthday party out at my sister's on Sunday and then when we get back from camp, I will take her and a couple of friends to the movies, or let her have a small sleep over here at the house.

So, the reason that we are having her party at my sister's is that she lives near my uncle. What's the big deal you say? My Grandfather is at my Uncle's recovering from his open heart surgery and my Aunt (who is doing almost ALL of his care) is going up to camp for a few days and my Grandmother is too confused to take care of Grandpa approapriately. SO, I was supposed to go over and spend the night tonight, but since both kids are sick (and I would have to take them with me because Cheryl needs to go to work in the AM) I had to have my mother go over instead. And my sister (who is a nurse) is going over 3-4 times a day to feed/push meds. My Grandfather still can't eat or drink anything by mouth. They aren't sure whether they are going to be able to fix this problem which would mean he would spend the rest of his life being tube fed.

Another big news item is that Katie got her hair cut! Doesn't she look cute? She told me that she wanted to do it when we went to get her bangs cut and she is just so proud of herself. I told her she wouldn't be able to have ponies anymore for a while, but she didn't care. She totally looks like a little girl now and not a baby anymore. The picture here stinks because I had it taken in one of those little booths (since I don't have a digital camera) but you get the jist!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Blog cloud!

They take all the words from your blog and put them into a cloud. Pretty neat eh?

Monday, July 31, 2006

Give me 5

I got this from Casey's Blog
today so here goes:

5 Things in my purse:
* pair of Blue's Clue's underwear
* brush
* badge for work
* calculator
* scraps of paper with book titles on them (one's that I want to read)

5 Things always in my wallet:
* Debit Card
* library car
* Check book
* Pen
* Medical cards

5 Things always in my refrigerater
* Yogurt
* Bagels
* Milk
* Cheese
* watermelon

5 Things in my closet
* Clothes
* Shoes
* Extra blankets
* Kids hope boxes
* Old clothes on shelves (Hey, they might fit oneday)!

5 Things in my car
* Toys
* Pens
* Paper (for Katie to draw on)
* Books
* Handicapp tag

5 Things on my desk
* Comptuer paper
* Printer
* Piles of things to file
* Books that I *will* read someday
* The garbage can (because our freak cat likes to chew on the plastic liner)

As I was told, if you are reading this, you are officially get to it!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Just so you know...

We aren't catching a break yet. I was supposed to take the car in yesterday to have it inspected. The Kia place down the street was running a special and you could get a free inspection. Well, because I am having an emotional breakdown, I completely forgot, (more like didn't give a shit) about getting the car inspected yesterday. Cheryl called me this morning to remind me of this fact and of course I started to cry and remind her what a burden I was and whydoyoubothertostaywithmeIamsuchaloseranyway! SO, I get my act together, ask my neighbor to watch Katie (because getting myself to the Monroe place is hard enough on my own, please don't ask me to entertain a 3 year old while I am there) And yes, notice the change in venue. Can't get in to the Kia place because they are full until Tuesday and then it's too late. And since we paid a $50 fine for Cheryl not having her car inspected last month, we are loathe to repeat that mistake.

Well never fear dear readers....I did indeed get a free inspection. But that's only because I had to pay $357.00 for 4 new tires because the old ones wouldn't pass.

So. Let me just sum up here...denied SSD, no money and then yes, needing to pay $357 for 4 new tires. And $15 for babysitting because I was gone almost 2 hours!

Cheryl assures me that everything is going to be OK and quite honestly I have to believe her. Because if I don't, well I can't go crazy, because I am already there!