Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Three and A Half Horrors

I have this theory that kids hit the "terribles" at their half-year birthday mark. I think that they gain new levels of independence about that time, but with my kids, every half-birthday marks a major shift in behavior - emotionally, combined with a greater desire for independence from me. Sadie is further proof of the validity of my hypothesis.

I give you, for evidence, my last three weeks with Sadie:

  • The Cupcake Incident. The night before we needed cupcakes for our school St Patty's Day party, the assistant teacher at school got very sick. So, I ended up making last minute cupcakes. At midnight. Until 2 am. I left all 24 of them on the kitchen counter and stove overnight. This was a fatal error. In the morning I found 4 cupcakes. Upon further inspection I found a green child that looked somewhat like Sadie once had and an engorged pit-herd. I counted only 8 cupcake wrappers. The rest have yet to be found. And likely never will be.
  • Hair Cut. Apparently Sadie was tired of waiting for a haircut. So she did her own. Of course she couldn't be like every other child that does this. She took a big chunk of the top, back section of her head. Which means she will be wearing a pony tail for at least 2 years.
  • Potty Fun. Yesterday I got a call from school. It was the preschool teacher. Apparently Sadie had decided to go to the bathroom. While in there, she removed her shirt. And began to dip it in the toilet and drip it around. I asked what I should do. Without hesitation the teacher suggested a new shirt. Ummm, yeah.
  • Morning Rounds. Sadie has once again decided sleeping is for fools. So she wakes around 3. And again, for the day somewhere between 4:30-5:30 each morning. At which time she informs me she's hungry. Starving. So I give her food and go back to bed. She wakes me up 10 minutes later having devoured said food to exclaim she is once again hungry. Starving. So I feed her again, and try to sleep for another 15 minutes before... well, you get the drift.
I've been abnormally angry over her impish endeavors lately. I realize if I step back, I can laugh. It's just hair. It's only cupcakes. The shirt was likely dirty anyway. And we all know sleep is overrated.

Maybe it's the short temper from the stress I'm under (I won't bore you all with details). Maybe I'm just not a perfect mommy (say it isn't so?!?!). Or maybe this kid is driving me batshit with her shenanigans.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New PR for 10k

64.5. I'm bummed I didn't make my 61 minute goal, but what the heck, it's 7 minutes off of last year. And I'm totally not feeling well this morning, so that may have something to do with it.

Next year's goal - 54.5. Time to kick up the training and sign up for more races!

Mad love sent to the Amos and Reynolds families.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I'm having a hard time wrapping words around all the emotion I feel today. I'll try a bit, but it's not going to be pretty.

Two years ago, almost to the day, Amanda came by to drop off stuff so that I could run in my very first 10K. I'd never run before, but was doing so for another friend's daughter as a fundraiser. It turns out I was too late to register. Amanda encouraged me on, and suggested I take her bib, since she had been feeling bad for so long. When she and her husband stopped by to drop off the running packet I thought, my God, she looks gray. Cancer gray. But still, I never imagined that my childhood friend could be THAT sick.

The next night she collapsed in the shower, and a few days later the leukemia diagnosis was made.

Fast forward to last year, and it was time to run the race again. I remember training the weeks prior, running and crying, pissed as hell my friend was being taken away. Even more angry that she had to leave behind her gorgeous son who was only three. On March 25, one year ago today and two days before the 10K, Amanda passed. And I was devastated. I ran the race, pushing myself like never before and managed to take 10 minutes off of my time, but passing the finish line did not carry the same rush of joy over my accomplishment. It brought a rush of grief. Thankfully, a good friend had run with me, which helped me keep my emotions in check, but when I got to the car, alone? I lost it. Totally lost it.

One more year has passed. It's time for the 10K again, and this year I'm running, of course, to honor Amanda's memory, as well as the memory of a beautiful little girl, Charlotte, who entered and left  life way too briefly. I'm trying to do something Amanda would be proud of - beating my previous times, though I'm still nowhere near the runner she was.

This year running almost hurts more than last year. It provides time to think and feel, and the emotions of everything well up to a point where I feel like I will just fall to pieces. So I try to balance it with memories and snapshots in my head of the 20 years of friendship we shared. I am so thankful she was a part of my life - she was one of those friends that I could go months without talking to and then we could pick right back up where we left off. She could make me laugh and spill my deepest darkest secrets. She was someone I admired and looked up to - her example and friendship taught me how to be an individual and good friend. It is because of her I learned to be comfortable with who I was as a teen, that I ran my first race, that I wrote my first blog entry. And it's her loss that weighs on my heart so heavily today.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I'm on a bit of an emotional roller coaster these past two weeks or so - watching my ex-mother-in-law suffer so is terrible. Horrible. I wouldn't wish what she's going through on my worst enemy. I hate not being able to help - just having to sit and wait.

And the divorce thing is still a stress maker. I can't wait to move on it.

And the businesses. Ugh. The businesses. Some days I want to throw in the towel on them both and hit the reset button.

Yet despite it all, I've had some FANTASTIC days mixed in. Full of friends, my babies, life and spring, oh glorious spring. My forsythia in the back yard are in full bloom, surrounded by daffodils and I go out several times a day just to see them. My God, how I'd missed the sun.

I once read a book that describes this phase as the Phoenix process - a time of death and rebirth, burning to ashes and waking up or opening to a new reality. The author of that book said that you can choose two things - to ignore it and continue to smolder into nothing, or embrace it and take the lesson that life is giving you to create something new, bold and beautiful. That analogy seems all the more poignant at the moment. I'm not sure when the burning stops - it's still in full force, but I'm already beginning to sift through the ashes of what was to figure out what the lesson was. What I can take from it. How I can grow. I'm getting bits of it, but I know I've got a long way to go before this process is over.

"Tears are words the heart can not express"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Other Mother

Most people can't stand their mother-in-laws. But my mother-in-law, well, she's great. She's was a second mother to me for more than 15 years, and even as my marriage to her son ended, has been a steadfast friend and constant in my life.

I love this woman.

Unfortunately, she had a tumor in her head. Which required surgery. Which led to complications, leaving her in critical condition. She's now got clots throughout her body, and I just found out moments ago that there is now a second infection in her head, requiring immediate surgery again. I won't get into details, but it's serious.

Please pray, send good mojo and all of that. This morning has not been a good morning.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Effing Dog

Lucy continues to perform acts that would astound Houdini on a regular basis. Last Saturday I thought it was all over - she'd run away on Friday, and my sister realized that her name tag had fallen off her collar. I thought, darn, even though she had the worst behavioral issues ever, she was a sweet dog. And I figured she'd find her way back.

Sunday passes, no Lucy. I call the pound. She's not there.

Monday I don't call the pound because it's the worst day of my life (ok, not the WORST, I have fantastic friends who made it bearable - thanks Molly and Tina), so I don't feel like playing "Where's Lucy?". Yes, bad pet owner. That night I have a terrible nightmare about her dragging herself back to the house from 295, hind legs mutilated from being hit by a car. I wake up and throw up. My dreams have been insane lately.

Needless to say, I called the pound the minute they opened on Tuesday. They say they don't have her. Again I describe her in explicit detail. The receptionist doesn't care. I explain she's microchipped and ask if they check that. Oh, sure they do, but she doesn't take my microchip number when I ask if she wants it. I say she's got a bright pink, sparkly collar. She puts me on hold five seconds then picks back up - nope, she doesn't think she's there.

On a whim I call again Tuesday afternoon, and this time actually get an animal control officer. She goes back, says she doesn't see the dog I describe. I ask if I can submit a picture and report, because no one has asked me to do that when I've called. She's shocked, takes more info, and then mentions... (drumroll...) there's a part of the website hidden in there that shows photos of all the strays. I follow the 30 links to get there and, first dog on the page? Yep, Lucy. In a pink collar. With her microchip number beside her name. Seriously.

So I drive out to far Hanover to pick her up. She reaks and the conditions are appalling. Concrete floors, no beds, no food and water bowls in the cages. I know they get fed and the county does the best it can - but they view it, quite obviously, as a short stop between return to the owner, release to a rescue group or euthanisation. I walk in holding back tears and identify Lucy. Forty dollars and an hour later she's on her way home with me, once again cowering and submissive peeing all over my car. She was terrified, and I felt HORRIBLE for her.

When I got her home she started to pee everywhere again. The dog pees on my floor about 5 times a day on average. She's also eaten the edge of my remaining untouched couch. (Carly ate the other one). And she wouldn't come to me. I'd call, she'd go the opposite direction. Just like when I got her. I spent extra time yesterday with her all day, trying to re-establish trust and retrain what I'd taught her. Her response? Pee, cower, run against her leash so hard she escaped my grip twice in the back yard. I finally caught her 20 minutes after the first escape attempt and 10 minutes after the second (she hadn't gotten out of the yard yet).

This morning I'm exhausted. Total insomnia all night, for the third night in a row. I just can't sleep at night, but that's another story entirely. Sadie gets up at 5:10 and I give her breakfast, set her on the couch in front of the TV and go back to bed with the alarm set for 20 minutes. Bad parent.

Twenty minutes later I wake up, and Lucy is gone from her crate. A quick search and I ask Sadie where she is. Sadie has let her outside. And she's nowhere to be found. And guess what's on the porch? Her name tag. WTF. How does the dog manage to get it's name tag off? This time I used pliers to make sure the new ring holding it on was tighter than the last.

I. Officially. Give. Up. On. The. Dog.

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Davis Family

Three years ago, about this time of year, I was coming up for air a bit from the trauma of Sadie's birth and whirlwind medical circus. Mostly, I was dealing with bills that had accumulated from a million different providers under a trillion different umbrellas. Medical bills suck. But during that time, I found a wonderful resource and friend - Christy - who helped me to navigate the insurance waters. She, quite literally, saved us thousands of dollars. Thousands. I've never been able to repay that kindness - probably never will be able to in any significant way. And I'm not the only person she helped. In our tiny community of CHD folks in Richmond, Christy leads the way through her involvement with Mended Little Hearts and her steadfast support for families in crisis. Her husband, Steve, rounds up men with kids with CHDs for support and friendship. This family is awesome and an inspiration to many. Yes, I have mad love for the Davis family.

Christy's daughter, Sydney, is the reason she became such an advocate in this community. Sydney is three, and has Tricuspid Valve Atresia (TA) ---meaning her tricuspid valve did not form and she essentially has a three chambered heart. You wouldn't know it by looking at her most of the time - she's full of energy and OH SO Cute.

Today Sydney's family got some news that was definitely not what they had hoped for. The answers aren't in yet - a catheterization will provide more information on Thursday, but suffice it to say it has left the family reeling. And everyone in our community who loves Sydney. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers, send good mojo, or whatever you do to send love her family's way. Thursday seems like forever when you need answers yesterday.