Monday, December 28, 2009

The Blue Blanket

Every little kid has their comfort object. I don't exactly remember what mine was, probably a variety of stuffed animals. Sam's is her pink blanket, it is fleece on one side and silky on the other. We have four of them.

As adults, I've realized that we have our comfort objects too. I love my Little Pillow, which was given to me as a gift as a not-so-little pillow when I was in middle school. It is just big enough now to fit in the crook of my arm when I sleep. One of my friends has a teddy bear. She won't travel with him, in case she gets into a car crash she doesn't want him to burn up. And Workaholic has his Blue Blanket.

The Blue Blanket was the comforter that his parents bought for him when he moved away to college. It's a full-size comforter, so it just covers our king-sized bed from corner to corner. No hanging over the sides here! We have tried NOT sleeping with the Blue Blanket, but it just isn't the same.

I have to admit, when I first met Workaholic and he told me about the Blue Blanket, I was skeptical. I mean, yeah, I like my comforter too, but just how great was this thing? (In case you were wondering, YES, it was after we were married that I got to use the Blue Blanket for the first time. OK, maybe not.) And for a while, after I started using it, I was annoyed because it is ONLY a full-sized blanket. And I like me some room when I sleep. (translation: don't touch me) I even forced Workaholic to use a completely different comforter for the first 3 years we were in our house. The shock! The horror!!

But over the years, I have come to appreciate the power and wonderfulness of the Blue Blanket. It just wraps around you like a cocoon and is just heavy enough and not too warm. It has this delighful not-at-all gross smell, even after you wash it. Fonz loves it too. Here is a picture of him with both the Blue Blanket and my Little Pillow.

The past couple of nights, I've been in bed first, which is unusual. And I wrap myself up in the Blue Blanket, fully expecting Workaholic to steal his part when he comes to bed. But for some reason, he has conceded it to me. He uses the comforter which actually fits on our bed, allowing me full and maximum usage of said Blue Blanket. And I have had a couple of great nights sleep.

I think he has come to realize his Blue Blanket is greater than him. Meaning, he has to share. He was OK with sharing with Sam when she was very little, I love this picture of them cuddling together when she was only a few weeks old. (and yes, I am aware of the SIDS risk, and I was right there the whole time, and after I took the picture, I moved her to her crib.)

I am a little worried that soon, I'll have to start sharing the Blue Blanket. At least we have no doubt she is our daughter...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dreams and Reality

So I've been extremely tired lately. It might have to do with the stress of Christmas and getting everything done in time, or it could have to do with every time I lay down in bed, my mind starts spinning and I create these awesome blogs filled with wonderful and witty things to tell ya'll. And then, eventually, I fall asleep.

A few days before Christmas, I had a dream just before I woke up about my boyfriend Drew Brees. (For those of you who don't know, Drew Brees is the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, and he went to Purdue, and led us to the Rose Bowl.) (And also let me make it clear that he really isn't my boyfriend, and I don't even stalk him, I just try to keep up to date on how the Saints are doing this year. Which, BTW, they are 13-1!) (I just think that "my boyfriend Drew Brees" rolls off the tongue so easily. Let me put it on the record by saying that I know that he is married to his college sweetheart, her name is Brittany, and the only reason I know that is because they have their names on a building next to the football stadium.) (And yes, that does make me a little jealous that they have enough money to give to get their names on a building.) (And yes, I am happily married, and even if my boyfriend Drew Brees wanted to run away with me, I'd tell him no.)

I went to Purdue when Drew was there, and was only a year older than him, and we both were in the same school. I only saw him once or twice around Krannert, but it was awesome. And then there was this one time at my friend Tom's apartment, and he was in a hot tub, and I was standing outside the hot tub, and I think I said "hi." It was the. most. incredible. moment of my life. (except, you know, the obvious ones, like getting married and giving birth) Ironically, that was the same party where I was listening to a certain football jock (not Drew Brees) hit on a friend of mine. And he mentioned (or was bragging) that he was in the flight program at Purdue. And he was going on and on about how great it was to fly the jet. And he doesn't know that I know that flying the jet is for the best of the best in the flight program, and the reason I know this is because my dad had been a professor there for, oh about 30 years. And I was pretty impressed that this certain football jock was smart enough to fly the jet. And so I was like, "Oh hey, do you know so-and-so?" (you know, my dad) And this jock looks at me, and is like, "Yeah." And I'm like, "That's my dad!!" All excited that I made a connection with good-looking football jock. And then he turned around and walked away. WTF??!! Come to find out that Mr. Good-Looking-Football-Jock was just saying that he flew the jet, and he wasn't smart enough to do it, and I totally called him out on it without even knowing it. I totally ruined his game. Oops. Oh well, I guess that's what you get for being an asshole.

Anyway, so I had this dream about how Workaholic, being the awesome husband that he is, somehow set up a dinner with me and him and Drew and Brittany. And I was sooo excited for this dinner. And Drew and Brittany walk in, and sit down at our table, and have another couple with them...some other football guy and his wife or girlfriend or escort. And I was so nervous, I didn't say a thing the whole dinner, and all of Workaholic's effort's were in vain because I looked like a dumb ass. Looking back, I now know that I probably can thank the good-looking-asshole-football-jock for ruining my mojo. Even in my dreams. So long story short, Workaholic and me and Drew and Brittany are NOT best friends, but he is still "my boyfriend Drew Brees."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Excuse Me...Death? Really...I've Had Enough.

I try not to do sad blogs more than once in a row. I mean, that’s just depressing, and I really don’t like to be that depressing on here. But then I thought, you know, Fuck. That. Because it is the holidays, and sad shit has been happening, and as much as I do this to sort of keep my family and friends updated on my life, I also use it as an outlet. I have a headache from trying not to cry today, so I have to get this out. So if you don’t want to be sad, just click over here.

Death has been surrounding me lately. It started a few weeks ago, although at the time, I didn’t realize it was the start to anything. If you can’t tell, I am pretty close with my in-laws. They are pretty great people, and they take great care of Samantha. Since they’ll watch her at least once a week, I talk to them rather frequently. So when I heard that the best man in their wedding died around Thanksgiving, my heart just broke for them.

The natural progression of life sort of states that you have to bury your parents and grandparents. It is very sad, and often will have profound impact on you, but it is to be expected. Burying a child is never expected and never acceptable. What is just awful is when you have to see your friends suffer through an illness and then pass away. Especially friends that you have had your whole life. People who know secrets from when you were kids and doing stupid things like swimming in the community pool in the middle of the night and getting chased by the cops. There is something to losing a friend that makes you look twice at your own mortality.

About a week ago, we realized that Buster was in his final hours. We were able to let him slip away peacefully and hopefully as painlessly as possible. He was surrounded by those he loved, but that was another heartbreak for my in-laws. A couple of days after Buster passed; the family was again surprised by the death of my FIL’s close friend. The two men were vacationing together in Florida. While it was his friend’s time, it doesn’t make it any less painful or gut-wrenching.

This is where it gets even worse. (as if that is possible) I got to work on Monday morning to find out that one of the men who works here wife passed away suddenly on Friday. She was only 55, and they have two college aged sons. All I could think of was that these 3 men have to get through the holidays without their wife and mother, and then have to get through each next holiday without her. To bury a parent may be expected, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. And for the husband, he is so happy all the time, I can’t imagine the sadness that now envelopes his life.

The next day, my very good friend Jennifer had to let go of her yellow lab, Buck. And my other very good friend, Dr. Nadene, who was gracious enough to come up and help us let go of Buster, was the one to help Jennifer. Buck and Buster had a lot in common. People often underestimate the effect that pets have on our lives. But Buck was there through moves and divorce and sickness and sadness. Buster was there for long-term sicknesses and deaths, and he was there when all the boys moved out of the house, and back in, and then back out again. In short, those two dogs were there for my friend and family through thick and thin, good and bad, every. single. day. When you feel like no one else in the world cares about you, they will come up and put their chin on your knee or give you a hug and let you know that they love you. And in the end, sometimes that is all you need.

I found out this morning that a woman named Rose who used to work for my company passed away Monday from a 4 month battle with cancer. She was one of the first women who I interacted with when I started here, and was always super nice and helpful to the new, young kid. While she hasn’t worked here in about 4 years, I feel for her family and friends who have lost a terrific lady.

I also found out this morning that one of the young men who works not far from me in our office lost his father. This guy is younger than me, and I can’t imagine losing either one of my parents at this point. And then a woman who works here also lost her brother-in-law. She is an incredibly happy and upbeat person, and to see her sad just reinforces how death affects all of us.

I know that death happens every day, and I may just be noticing it because I am looking for it. But I really don’t think so. I have been fortunate in my life to never lose anyone close in age to me that was also close to me. I am the youngest of 27 grandchildren, and we are all still alive. And all of my cousin’s kids are also still alive and healthy. And now those kids are starting to have kids, and so far, knock on wood, they are healthy. So I am not sure how I would react if I lose someone close to me like the people I’ve listed above. I’d probably just curl up in a ball and cry. I know I’d hug my boy and girl and dog. I think I’ll go home tonight and do that anyway.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Good Bye Buster

Last night, we had the very sad task of saying good-bye to my in-laws 11 1/2 year old chocolate lab, Buster. As you get older, you realize how you are older than you think you are when things like this happen. For the lifetime before I met Workaholic, he spent his summers at his parent's lake cottage. It was on leased land, and one of the rules was NO PETS. (I know, I know, the horror!) Anyway, the summer after I met Workaholic, his parents made the decision to move to another cottage across the lake. It was still on leased land, but this time, there was no dreaded NO PETS rule. In fact, it seems like it was almost encouraged. Everyone over there had a dog.

They moved in to the new place over the 4th of July weekend, and in August they bought an adorable little chocolate lab puppy. They debated between naming him Buster and Elvis, but Buster won out. He was to be my youngest to-be-brother-in-law's dog, but over the years, we all realized that he really was my father-in-law's dog. They would "talk" to each other. Buster would often set his chin on my FIL's knee, and then do a little groan-y howl, which was reciprocated by my mostly deaf FIL. Back and forth they would go, until Buster got what he wanted.

I met Buster when he was about 12 weeks old, and the first thing I remember is how he had a love of running away. He adored being off-leash, and proved himself completely untrustworthy of sticking around his own house. His first day home, he ran right over the edge of a pool and sank. Good thing someone was there to fish him out. Granted, he was following his new little buddy, (who also happened to be his savior that day), but it sort of foreshadowed his tendency to let his heart lead the way.

This proved to be a challenge his entire life, as just last month he wandered out my back door, down the stairs, and visited our friends 6 houses down. He got there, but couldn't get back, so he just lay down and waited in the front yard until we came to get him. (My MIL once got a phone call while she was in Florida.... "Hi, we have your dog." It was my neighbor across the street! Oops.) He was on a NSAID and a narcotic for his arthritis, was on Phenobarbital for seizures, and he had benign tumors on his tail and under his belly.

But all of those things were just the physical part of Buster. The best part of Buster, what made him who he was, was just his awesomeness. People who didn't even like dogs loved Buster. He was calm, sweet, and just asked for your love and affection. And while his ulterior motive may have always been for you to give him peanut butter, he really like the pats too. Because there were three things Buster truly loved in this world. Running away, his family, and peanut butter.

Buster was a smart cookie, as he could open screen doors, knew what "Go get your peanut butter" meant, and knew the actions leading up to a car ride or a boat ride. If he saw a suitcase come out, he would sit in the front seat of the car for hours so he wouldn't be left behind. (He was the only dog I knew whose owners had to turn on the air conditioned seats in the summer because he wouldn't get out of the car!) If he saw coolers and towels, he opened the screen door and ambled down the pier to the boats. He would wait to see which boat was the chosen one that day, and then would board it and take his assigned seat in the front. Or the back, or wherever he wanted. (He was over 100lbs!)

The thing is, no one minded having Buster around. Some dogs can get annoying...they smell, or they beg for your attention, or they jump. But Buster just greeted you (albeit with a nose to the crotch) and then went on his way. If he felt he had not had a sufficient amount of peanut butter that day, he might throw his bone at your feet, (or on your lap) and give a little whine. He knew the difference between "Say please" and "Speak!". He didn't care if little kids crawled all over him, pulled his ears or tail, or stuck their fingers in his mouth. He just basked in the glow of a child's love and later gnawed on his peanut butter bone.

So today is a sad day. (Granted, the past couple of years took their toll on our old man. He moved more like an 80 year old veteran NFL player than an 11 year old pretty-well-medicated dog.) But his spirit was always there, and love always radiated from his eyes towards his people. We'll miss you Buster. We'll miss you swimming in the lake, jumping off the pontoon boat, pooping in the water (shh...don't tell anyone!!), and sneaking off to the Yacht Club or the Hayes'. We'll miss you barking to be let in the house, or out of the house, or rolling over for a belly rub or to be vacuumed. We're just going to miss you. I know you are waiting on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge for your Timmy, and while you wait you have all the peanut butter you could ever want. Rest in peace, old man.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Last Boat Ride

Just because it is 25 degrees outside doesn't mean you can't go on a pontoon boat ride, complete with Christmas tree...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Almost a Hoarder

I’ve had so many things going on in my head, it’s been impossible for me to pick one thing to rant about on this here blog. But last night, Workaholic decided it for me. Let me give you a little back story…

In August, we re-did our mortgage. It wasn’t a full-on refinance, but we added my name to the loan and adjusted the rate. After getting over the carpel tunnel from signing our names 6000 times, I realized that we needed to go to the county courthouse to apply for our homestead and mortgage exemptions again for our property taxes. I insisted that this must be Workaholic’s job, since his schedule these days is a little more flexible than mine. He called me yesterday morning, panicked because he couldn’t find the deed, which is what he needed to take with him to the courthouse.

After a while, he ran out of time, (and the house…leaving poor Fonz outside ALL DAY by himself in 35 degree weather) and decided to look for the deed later when he had more time. Which turned out to be last night.

I have to admit, I started the ball rolling by simply filing away a few bills that had been sitting out on the desk. But then I was joined by my husband who, I always knew in my heart, but just got confirmation, is a hoarder. At least he doesn’t have the condition to the extent of people that you see on the TV show, because he got a bug up his butt last night to throw away old stuff. Here is the trash pile…which is still sitting in this exact spot on the floor, as I took this picture this morning.

I am happy to report that no children or animals were hurt in the process of cleaning the office, and we did find some CDs of pictures from when we were both much younger and thinner. (and they confirmed what I never believed…I was hot!!) Hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to load these pictures onto facebook and here. (watch out anyone who knew me in college) Until then…I’ll work on making Workaholic clean up the mess while I play on facebook.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Almost 11 Month Update

Samantha Update:
She weighs 18lbs. 4 ounces and is 27 ½ inches long. That puts her in the 20th percentile for height and weight. She also has been wearing lately a pair of 3-6 month jeans, and the sad thing is, they still fit her. They are not like my jeans and drag the floor.

She has taken as many as 4 steps, but usually she isn’t all about walking. She is really good at standing on her own, and bending down and picking things up and then standing back up. Last night, she tried to walk from the chair to coffee table, and she fell forward and hit her head on the edge of the coffee table. Surprise! No wonder she doesn’t have the confidence/desire to walk.

She also, thanks to her cousin Anna, learned how to drink from a sippy cup last weekend! I watched her…Anna threw her head back and took a big swig, and then handed the cup to Sam, who threw her head back, and somehow magic happened and she gets it now. It really is very exciting. She is really into throwing the cup on the floor from the high chair and laughing at how high and loud it bounces. Sam also learned that if she holds her arms out, that means that she wants to be held. And she also learned that pointing at things means something…as in, “I WANT THAT NOW!!!!” Thanks Anna.