Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This?? Is the Dog That I Thought Might Be Sick...

How on earth could I think he was sick? Or old? Or frail?

The only thing he is, is a really good actor.

Friday, May 21, 2010

No Motherly Intuition

Do you ever have a “gut feeling”? Like Gibbs on NCIS? I started feeling a little uneasy about The Fonz lately, Dr. Nadene brought up how he was limping (still don’t see it!), I found a couple of new lumps on him, and he’s been really clingy lately. And then, the other night, just lying on the floor of the nursery while Sam brought me book after book to read one page of, his teeth chattered for like, 10 seconds, and even the top of his head was quivering. Something was not right.

I’ve never been a big fan of my gut, whether the one that sticks out from a shirt that is too short because I have a weirdly long torso, or the one that tells me things. Specifically, the one that tells me things incorrectly. Like how Samantha was going to be a boy. Yeah, missed the mark on that one. Or how I was sure my wedding would have no major disasters. (lost childhood photos, anyone?) I seem to have no intuition at all.

So I was hoping that my gut was again wrong when Fonz and I went to the vet this afternoon. I LOVE my vet, and even though I didn’t get to see her, I got to see the tech that I love, the office manager who I love, and also another one of the vets there…who I love. She found four new lumps on Fonz, and rotated and manipulated his legs and felt there was nothing wrong, except maybe a tweaked knee. But she was happy to oblige my request for x-rays, you know, since I am a hypochondriac. Well, a canine hypochondriac.

And lo and behold, not only is there NO CANCER, but there is HARDLY ANY ARTHRITIS! No wonder Fonz runs around like he is two, he’s all hopped up on pain meds! (or, as one friend pointed out, addicted to pain meds) It would seem as though the years of supplements might be doing him some good. (or he has good genes…I’d like to think the money spent is why) And YET AGAIN, my gut is wrong. Awesome.

I think that perhaps Fonz has adopted my canine hypochondria, because as soon as we got home, he was literally bouncing up and down in front of me, playing bowing, tossing a toy in the air, bringing it to me, running away, hopping up on the bed, hopping down off the bed, and begging for treats. He must’ve heard me when I said that he was as healthy as a horse. I really think he wanted me to drop $157 just so he could feel better. I know I do.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Updates Like Crazy!

My dad is doing well, according to me. According to him, he is not as far along as he'd like to be. Him and my mom don't see the vast improvements, since they are there every day. But trust me...there are improvements!!

My sister who lives in Germany left on Tuesday morning, and one delayed flight, one cancelled flight, one missed flight, one lost piece of luggage, one hotel room, and one trip to the first-class passenger lounge later, she just made it home!! Yay!! Here is a pic of her with my oldest and youngest nephews, as well as Sam. (Don't worry, the oldest just got a hair cut...it doesn't look like that anymore!) Sam was not in a cooperative mood for mommy the photographer.

Memorial Day is next weekend. Just wanted to remind ya'll.

I have a vet appointment for Fonz tomorrow to make sure he doesn't have cancer. I really don't think he has cancer, but he has been limping a tad on his back right hip, and I found a couple of new lumps, and his dad died of cancer when he was 10. Fonz is 10 1/2. We're doing x-rays just to be sure, and because I feel it has been all too long since I have handed a couple hundred dollars to my vet.

I have heard no news on my buddy The Piano Man. I am starting to wonder if I started a rumor, or was spreading news that wasn't supposed to be shared. Oops.

I joined Networked Blogs on Facebook! I've been wanting to do this for a while but didn't have the patience to figure it out. Turns out it's super easy. But due to dial-up speed "high-speed" internet access at home, I almost lost my mind and threw the computer out the window last night. (The only reason I didn't is because there are too many wires attached and there is a big-ass printer in front of the window.) So please! Feel free to click the little button over to the right and follow me!! I am not exactly sure how this works, so if there are too many updates for you, then you can always un-follow. I think all it does is post an update on your wall whenever I post a new blog. And if you go to MY wall, then you can see the posts of people that I follow. I think that's how it works. But again, let me remind you of the dial-up fiasco that almost happened last night...so I could be wrong. Also let me remind you that the number of followers I have is directly tied to my self-esteem...soo.....

Even though it's only Thursday, I am super duper looking forward to the beautiful weekend ahead of us. The sun is shining, it's almost lunchtime...so get off of your computer (after you follow me) and go outside and play!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Last weekend, Sam's first time playing baseball. She was an excellant first baseman, Fonz had shortstop and most of the outfield covered. She's a natural.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sad, Devasting News...At Least for Me

I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Which I think I do every. single. morning. (Maybe I should start sleeping on the other side of the bed.) My mom isn’t a morning person, so I never really thought much of the fact that I don’t think I ever once have jumped out of bed, excited for my day. Even on my wedding day, I wanted to push snooze. Just a few more minutes! I feel like I’ve been sleep-deprived my whole life, although if I started eating healthy and exercising, that might help things. Or not.

This morning started off with a Charley Horse. OH THE PAIN! I rolled around in bed for a minute and then got up. I think that was God’s way of telling me that I went to bed in a bad mood last night, and to straighten up today. But does He understand why I was in a bad mood??? Let me attempt to explain.

I’ve never been comfortable in social situations. I never knew what to talk to kids my own age about, and whatever conversation I tried to make wound up being boring and awkward. (Strangely enough, I never really had that problem with adults.) Even when I was a kid, I never knew what to do with kids littler than me. Still really don’t. Anyway, as a teenager I discovered the joys of alcohol. Alcohol was great because it lowered your inhibitions, making you not care as much what other people thought about what you were saying, and honestly, they didn’t really care what you were saying either. It was my saving grace in high school & college.

I was telling my doctor once how I was not the type of person who could hang out with a bunch of people who were drinking and not drink. I would rather stay home alone than be the designated driver. She told me that was a “red flag.” Thanks Dr. B. On top of everyone else, I might have alcoholic tendencies. (although I've always comforted myself because I can't drink through a hangover, so I could never be a "real" alcoholic) I just can’t handle drunk people unless I am drunk, because in reality, I can’t handle people unless I am drunk. Red flag or not, my pregnancy is not helping my social phobias. Because I can’t medicate myself with alcohol, and I definitely can’t medicate myself with a Xanex.

This all came to a head last night, when I remembered something my parents and sister had told me over the weekend. My memory of college, my happiest times, were spent at the piano bar at the Neon Cactus with Bruce Barker. Some people were really into their Greek parties, others had killer house parties, I had my bar. I hung out with the same groups of people, who I only knew their first names, if at all. My friends were also there, as well as Workaholic. There were many nights when he had to drag me home. I would walk in, and the waitress who loved us would immediately come over and make sure of our drink order. And they kept coming all. night. long. Or I could walk up to a bar where people were four deep and get instant service. It was great times. When I moved to where I live now, I couldn’t understand how all the bars were the same boring thing…I had only ever been to college bars. You just sit and drink?? No entertainment?? I don’t get it. I would MUCH rather go see Bruce than go out to any bar in Chicago or any bar here at home. It’s a comfort thing. (like my food yesterday)

Over the weekend, I found out that my piano man Bruce is retiring. I remember him telling Workaholic and I that he had signed an 11 year contract, about that long ago. So I am guessing there is no contract extension, he is going to retire and raise his kids. I think he is in his mid-40s. (must be nice!) All I heard is that “this is his last year.”

What does that MEAN??? Is he going until December? Is he going until the end of the 2011 school year?? Will I EVER get to drink with him AGAIN?? Will I EVER have fun again??

A few weeks after I gave birth to Sam, I called up my best friend and just cried and cried and cried. I told her it felt like I would NEVER AGAIN have fun. Life was miserable, I didn’t sleep, and I would never again be able to enjoy myself. And life is a different kind of fun now. I laugh at my kid, but I don’t go to concerts, or bars, or any of the other stuff we used to do. (I’m just too tired!) That stuff takes planning, and going to see Bruce generally doesn’t. Well, it didn’t used to anyway. He is there Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, every weekend, except on holidays. And now he won’t be there anymore. And my main source of fun is gone. Forever.

I am hoping that I will be able to arrange a couple of trips down to see Bruce before he is finished. And maybe, now that he is released from weekly obligation, he’ll do random shows at bars…I know he used to go out to Vegas once a month or so. If not, I’ll always have my memories. I just feel sorry for the poor kids who will go to Purdue in the future (like my nephew!) and never get to know Piano Man Bruce.

I have to know though...am I the only one who feels this way? Am I the only one who loves their kid with all their heart but just wishes that a small part of me still could do all of those carefree (and stupid) things I used to do? How do I get past this???

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why, Yes, I Am Pregnant. Why Do You Ask?

Over the weekend, I got to travel back to my hometown to see my dad. (a whole, hour away) My mom used to stress out when I was coming into town because she wanted to make sure she had food in the house. When I told her I was coming this time, I made sure to tell her not to worry about food. Because there are a few restaurants that I have to hit up and there is just no need to make dinner when you can eat out!

The first is usually Arni’s. Ahhh….Arni’s. It was named after a guy named Arni. Kind of local legend, real nice guy who was really active in supporting the community. I’m pretty sure one of my childhood softball teams was sponsored by Arni’s. They hang the team pictures up on the wall, so everyone gets to see you. Arni’s is a pizza place, although it does have other things on the menu, I challenge you to find anything “healthy”. Poor Arni died when he was 69, and while I am not sure of the cause, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it was a heart attack. Besides the pizza and the Arni’s Junior salad, (yes, there is a Senior, but no one ever gets it) the best part about Arni’s is the d├ęcor. I think they redecorated in the 60s and decided they spent too much money then and vowed would never do it again. It’s a hideous brown and orange, and everything in the restaurant just screams “vintage”. It totally doesn’t matter, their sausage pizza and delicious salad make up for it.

Then there is MCL Cafeteria. Ahhh…MCL. This is where I worked all through high school, college, and in the time frame after I graduated from college and quit the job that I hated without having a new job and lived with my parents. This place fed me and sustained me, for free, also while giving me a paycheck. The food is full of MSG and I think I had fried chicken almost every day for 7 years straight. It smells like grease and old people, because like, 90% of their clientele is over the age of 70. But I love their fried chicken and chicken & noodles and stuffed chicken breast, and the desserts! Oh my, the desserts!! Their chocolate cake and Bavarian chocolate pie and strawberry shortcake! They make their own whipped cream! I could eat a dish of just the whipped cream. And I may or may not have actually done that. And the rolls are to die for. OK, maybe not, but they are really yummy, but only when you get them hot and they aren’t overdone. They are best with butter and dipped in the chicken & noodles sauce. They usually only serve the chicken & noodles on Sundays, and once, on a Saturday morning, my friend Jason, who was a cook, made a serving of them just for me. Because I was hung over, and that is the only thing that cures my hangovers. Yes, he was awesome.

While I am drooling over food, another of my favorite places is Redamaks. Yes, that’s right, Bite Into A Legend Redamaks. This place is so awesome, they are only open 8 months a year! They only take cash, don’t sell coffee (because they don’t want you lingering), and serve the best cheeseburgers ever. In less time than you will sit in a McDonald's drive-thru. Trust me, I’ve tested it. I also highly recommend a basket o’ fries with a side of cheese sauce. Sam first went to Redamaks when she was a couple of months old, and fortunately seems to love it as much as we do. She is always well-behaved there, and even if she wasn’t, the dinner only takes about 3 minutes to get to you, so you can scarf your food down before an all-out tantrum erupts. My friend went there on Sunday and it was full of kids post-prom. Because yes, it is good hang-over food. (I mean, post-prom food…b/c high school kids don’t drink at or after prom. BTW, is prom not the most highly overrated night of your entire high school career?? That’s a subject for whole ‘nother post)

I am not going to pretend that everyone should love Arni’s and MCL and Redamaks. They are just my comfort food. Food that I would miss dearly if I ever had to move far, far way. To another galaxy. But if you are every swinging through Indiana and Michigan, you should give them a try. I would probably be almost dead, and surely much skinnier, if it wasn’t for my faves.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Red-Headed Tale

My daughter is 16 months old. And she has red hair. And I was afraid of having a red-headed girl because of the "stereotype" they come with. You know what I am talking about...spunky would be a nice way of saying it, a handful would be a little more accurate, and firey or hot-tempered is the worst generalization. Of which I have made them all.

Last night, Workaholic had finished cleaning up our office and reorganzing the drawers in one of our desks. Before Sam saw him do this, it was like she didn't realize those handles meant a drawer came behind it. And drawers are FUN! There is STUFF in drawers. That you can pull out and throw all over the place!!

Workaholic was watching her, and she opened the drawer and stood up on her little tippy-toes to look inside. As she was reaching up to grab something, he told her, "Sam, no." And she looked at him, and looked back in the drawer and reached again. Again, he firmly told her, "Sam, NO." She looked back at him, squinted her eyes, and reached into the drawer and grabbed a package of erasers. And threw them. Across the room. And was in the process of looking back at him like, "HA! See what I did!" when he clapped his hands together, very loudly. It made me jump from the other room.

And of course, her poor little feelings are hurt, or he scared her, and she came running to me, crying, arms all up in the air for me to hold her and save her. Of which I did, by taking her back and making her put away the erasers and close the drawer. She still wouldn't go to daddy, though.

And she is only 16 months old. She won't be 2 for another 8 months. She won't be 16 for another 14 + years. Of course, I simply can't imagine where her attitude comes from!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mission Monkey & Staying Sane

I’m not going to lie, on a normal day, I have no problem dropping Samantha off at daycare. And especially when she was still in the infant room, all they really had to do was turn her away from me and I could leave and that would be that. I like to say that she has a memory of a gnat, so if you distract her, she promptly forgets why she was upset. I’m not saying some days she didn’t cry, and would watch me from the window as I got in my car and drove away, but I knew that within a minute or two, out of sight meant out of mind.

Now that she is a little older, (16 months to be exact) I know in my head that a couple of minutes is all it really takes for her to get over the fact that I have once again ditched her for the day. But now, she anticipates me leaving. My mother-in-law is watching her today, and I swear, when grandma walked in the door, Sam knew that I was leaving her. Up until then, it’s like she had hope that I wouldn’t. And she didn’t want grandma, she wanted me. Which is not usually the case. She wanted to be held, and hugged and kissed, and it broke my heart to have to walk out the door with her crying and whining, knowing that it was me who caused it. I hate the fact that I spend so little time with my daughter. A couple of hours at night, most of which is spent making or eating dinner and getting ready for bed.

Fast-forward 45 minutes to when I sat down at my desk and clicked on one of the blogs I read every day. And she has a link to another blog. A mommy blogger named Michelle who is raising money. Because her daughter, her 16 month old daughter, has cancer. Brain cancer. What is terrifying about this is that her daughter had a small lump on her neck which they thought was an inflamed lymph node, and then they got the real diagnosis. And I can’t help but think of my little girl, and would I even notice a lump on the back of the neck? When was the last time I squeezed her chubby little thighs? When was the last time I smelled her sweaty head after she threw a tantrum? Michelle calls her baby Monkey on her blog, and Workaholic and I always ask Sam what a monkey says and she will whisper oo-oo-oo. What is terrifying is that my dad just had 2 brain surgeries and a little girl the same age as mine has neuroblastoma.

I am not the type of person who likes to dwell on negative things. I don’t like to think about the fact that our plan was to sell our house 4 years ago, and had we done that, things would look much different financially today than they do. I don’t like to think about the fact that while my dad is home from the hospital and rehab center, he is still having trouble with his left hand. I don’t like to think about the fact that I am bringing another baby into this world and am not sure if I can handle it. I don’t like to think about the fact that my little girl could come down any day with a lump on her neck. So I will turn to my Target list, and try to just not think.

(please visit Michelle's blog, and also here, where the fundraiser was announced. every little bit helps another baby not get cancer)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Writer's Workshop-Letter to New Moms

1.) Open letter to new moms.

OK, this week’s prompt was meant to be, because I just started reading the book “
A Three Martini Playdate.” I’ve wanted it since before I had kids, and I just acquired it from another new mom, who had never cracked it open. And I mean this wholeheartedly, even though I have read all of about the first 30 pages, all new moms should read this book. It’s got common sense, laughs, and best of all, it does not ask you to be a super-mom.

The whole premise is that when we were kids, we couldn’t wait to be grown-ups, so we could be in charge. And now that we are grown-ups, we have handed complete control of our lives over to our kids. We coddle them all the time, allow them to do whatever they want, and don’t believe that they should get hurt. Ever. I am all for a kid not breaking her neck, but how is she supposed to learn what “hot” is if you don’t ever allow her to feel heat? And if she falls over and hits her head on a wall, and you get all emotional and clingy and she cries, do you think she is hurt, or she is just reacting to your actions?

When I was pregnant, the number one thing that people told me to do was just relax, and enjoy my time with my baby. And now, almost 16 months later, I cannot say I have heard truer advice. Just chill out! Rock your child and play with her. When she is sleeping, let her sleep! It’s OK to have a blanket to keep her warm; she probably will not die of SIDS. (Hey…I can’t guarantee anything.) When she cries, try not to cry with her, try to figure out what the hell she wants. Food, diaper, more or less clothes, tiredness, or boredom are usually the case with new babies. (Of course, there are the cases out there where kids have chronic belly-aches, but that may not be your kid! And if it is, they make medicine for it.) I am not kidding when I say that as an infant, Sam slept around 16 hours a day. Sometimes more. So little babies require lots of sleep, you just have to figure out how to get them to do it. I am a big fan of the swaddle/straightjacket. My mom always told me she felt mean strapping her down, but Sam slept like a lamb with that thing on. If nothing else, read a book by
The Baby Whisperer. I heart her.

Try not to think about the fact that you and your husband are solely responsible for turning this little person into a productive member of society. Just try to get through the day. If you are relaxed, there is a good chance that you kid will feed off of your energy. (I also believe this with dogs.) Of course, I only have one. (kid and dog)

Here is my disclaimer: This is a letter to NEW moms, most likely with one kid. I can’t help you if you have twins or, oh my…triplets. And of course, it’s easier said than done. But even so, just try to relax, even if it goes against every fiber of your being. Which, fortunately for me, it does not. I have a PhD in relaxing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Retribution...Fonz Style

Last week, I made a grooming appointment for The Fonz. I knew I couldn’t drop him off, and so I asked my mother-in-law to do it. And I promptly got made fun of by one of my friends at work…who the very next day had to ask her dad to take her dog to the vet! (Ahh…the life of working moms.) So I was a tad bit antsy because Fonz’s regular groomer no longer worked at the place, and he was to use a new groomer.

I HATE using new groomers. They always screw something up.
Colby’s mom once cried when she picked him up because the dumbass who cut him had literally shaved him one length! A Golden Retriever! She even shaved his tail!!!! He didn’t even look like the same dog. So I wrote out a whole bunch of instructions and gave her 3 pictures. And gave her two phone numbers in case she had any questions. And then made my MIL drop him off.

And let me just tell you, he looks FABULOUS. We shave him every summer because trying to dry off a Golden Retriever with a full coat after a day full of swimming at 10 o’clock at night is NOT my idea of fun. And he rarely gets out of the lake until dark, which is around 10 in Michigan. And yes, we have tried to keep him out of the lake, but it just. doesn’t. work. It’s like telling little kids that they can’t have candy when you put it on their dinner plate.

The other thing about getting Fonz shaved is that inevitably, throughout the winter and spring, everyone tells me how FAT he is getting. “Oh Gail,” they say, “Fonz is just plain fat. He needs to lose weight.” Or they try to be nice and are all, “Umm…he’s looking a bit bigger than I remember.” And I have given up on telling everyone that no, he is just FLUFFY, because they roll their eyes and laugh at me.

SO HA BITCHES!! Check him out!! I took this picture last night, after I picked him up from his grooming appointment. HE IS NOT FAT! HE WAS JUST FLUFFY! Look how handsome…

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Mother's Day...A Week Early

The past couple of weeks have been a bit stressful, and this past weekend involved a lot of driving. Which was totally my choice, I chose sleeping in a bed and seeing my kid, over staying the night at the hospital with my dad. But by Sunday night, my brain was just a tad bit fuddled.

You see, it’s about an hour and fifteen minute drive from my parent’s house to my house. Workaholic and I had driven separately down; he drove his work van loaded with tools to help our friends build a new deck for their hot tub, and I drove the minivan. The
red race car was already at my parents’ house, we had given it to my sister when she arrived in the country.

So after dinner, after dark, we are driving home. Workaholic in his van, me in my van, the red race car sitting in my parent’s driveway. About 25 minutes from home, something snapped in my head. I realized that I had left my laptop in the red race car, behind the seat. I had taken it out of the trunk, because I would totally forget it if I left it in the truck! If it was behind the seat, I would surely see it! (As it turns out, Workaholic had checked the trunk, only to find it empty, and figured that I had put the laptop in my van)

I swear, my heart just stopped. It was 8:30 on a Sunday night, we both had to work the next day, I was exhausted from the weekend, hell…the past couple of weeks, and I needed my laptop. It’s my work laptop. Filled with dread, I picked up the phone to explain to Workaholic why I was jerking into the right lane and exiting. I needed to turn around. And this is where I got my Mother’s Day present early. He told me to keep driving, get the girl to bed, and HE would turn around and go get my precious, stupid laptop. And then he did.

When he got home, he wasn’t angry or resentful or bitter or anything. He simply put the bag and my light jacket in my van so I wouldn’t forget them in the morning, and then came up and took a shower and we talked and went to sleep. Of course, he had to make the obligatory joke about how I can repay him *winkwink* (OK, so maybe it wasn’t a joke), but that was it. And that is why he is so wonderful. Maybe I should start calling him Wonderful Workaholic. (No…that’s waay too much to type.) He takes care of me. When I do stupid shit, when I say stupid shit, and when I fall apart…he is there. I’m going to need to think of something real good for Father’s Day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A New Level of Lazy

I'm writing this as I am sitting in my dad's hospital room. He's reading the paper, or pretending to. Because every once in a while, I look over, and he's asleep. And every once in a great while, whether he is awake or asleep, one of his monitors pings. PING! And I look over to make sure he take a breath, because it pings when he is only taking 4 breaths every 30 seconds, or something like that. The first time it happened, he was awake and was like, "Geez, breathe." My sister immediately quipped, "Yeah, do you want to get brain damage?" And we all laughed at him.

As I was driving down to Indianapolis last night, and again this morning, I was struck at just how lazy a driver I am. You see, my car has this great thing called "cruise control." Maybe you've heard of it...you press a button and you don't have to keep your foot on the gas? Greatest. car. invention. ever.

MY van has this great thing that I call "cruise control 2.0." It's an even better version of the usual cruise control. Because when I set it, and I am driving down the road, and I come up upon another, slower car, my car automatically slows down! By itself!! Which means I don't have to take my poor little foot off of the floor of the car and press down on the brake pedal. It's flippin' sweet. And my car then paces that car, until they move out of the way and I can resume my pre-determined cruise control speed. And I don't have to do a damn thing.

But the past 2 days, I haven't been driving my van. I've been driving our little red race car. Which does NOT have CC 2.0. Which means that when I am speeding down the interstate, and a car cuts me off, I have to PRESS THE BRAKE! Can you believe it?? How dare that little red race car make me work??! And every time I get annoyed, I think to myself, "Wow, you are lazy." Kind of like my dad forgetting to breathe, except he has an excuse. And then I just miss my flippin' awesome minivan a little bit more.