Friday, January 29, 2010

Warm Heart

This past Christmas my Aunt Jean sent Gracie a gift in the mail.

I was overwhelmed by the kind gesture, but groaned at the dubious on the inside.

She sent a movie sized box of Raisinete’s and a gift card. The candy worked out well for me because Gracie lost interest in them after they got stuck in her teeth. Mmmm... well I like chocolate covered fruit. But gift cards are a pain in the ass to someplace where you can’t use the remaining $2.46 towards diapers.

So say hello to Gracie's Build-A-Bear gift card. Matt and I broke and took her to the mall last weekend.

And you know what? It was great. She loved it. LOVED IT. She painstakingly examined every. Single. Animal. And settled on the frog.

~She warmed a little plush heart to put in her creature between her palms and gently placed it in its chest.
~She thanked and hugged after the stuffing process was over.
~She took great pride in giving her newborn a ‘bath’ in the compressed air tub.
~She squealed in delight over the house box it was packaged into.
~She has slept with it every night since it became hers.

So what does all this mean?

That apparently I know nothing about how my child will react in certain situations. I presumed chaos would ensue instead of delight. I was correct; however, about the remaining balance on the card. She wanted her frog sans clothing, so now we have $9.21 left of the card.

I guess it won’t be so bad to go back and pay the difference for a Build-A-Bear cohort sometime in the future though. Thank you Aunt Jean!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The world is funny. Friends are funny. Wavelengths and our connection over things that are un-connect-ably random are funny.

My partner in crime wrote this post yesterday. I saw it as I was putting the finishing touches on this one. Despite the polar opposition of the 'yes or no' nesting questions, the wavelength is there. No worries NES, I think my actions yesterday is enough for the both of us.


This weekend I found: 2 pairs of underwear, 6 socks (none matching), rain boots that have been missing for 4 months, 3 gloves, my pruning sheers, ½ roll of paper towels, glue and enough dust bunnies to start a farm. Not that there would be any buyers.

Nesting is a funny thing. Especially when you don’t realize what is happening until it is over. I think I could embrace the irrational urge to clean spaces that have gone neglected for years much better if I understood at the time why I was doing it.

It started with our laundry room.

When I was pregnant with Gracie, they powers that be still suggested you drink bottled water. (Lord only knows what is floating around in tap water!) We bought into the recommendations, and therefore bought a giant water bottle dispenser. It has been sitting in our laundry room unused for 1.5 years, with a half fully bottle still on top, an empty one at its side and an unopened full one across the way. It was time for it to go.

What I didn’t take into consideration was the amount of crap I would find piled up behind it. That led to 2 full bags of garbage, organizing and labeling boxes on the top shelves, washing the rug 3 times, sweeping the random garage dirt that keeps getting tracked in AND scrubbing both the washer and dryer. I must say, I am pretty impressed with how it looks now.

Did you notice the ‘random garage dirt’ portion? That turned into phase two. Besides the random garage miscellany that tends to build up, a nice portion of our desk construction took place in the garage this summer – and never was cleaned up. Hence: random chunks of treated wood, sawdust galore, a wheelbarrow full of tools thrown along side other pieces of summer that never really found it way home.

It wasn’t until my back started spasming with the last few broom sweeps in the garage that I realized what I was doing. The warm spring-like weather combined with my 6 month pregnant belly combined to form the perfect little burst of nesting. I would kill for before and after pictures, but I guess I will just settle for my feet not getting dirty.

Today though, I am spent. I wish ‘But I cleaned 2 years with of clutter this weekend!’ was a valid reason for napping during meetings come the work week.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


It is over. He ended today. Rest in Peace.

I hope Grandma smacks him across the face and then is able to forgive him.

If anyone can, it is her.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

No Grey, Just Black and White

The saga continues…

He is dying. I’m still OK with it. My mom, on the other hand, is falling apart.

On an intellectual level, I understand. The death of a parent must be hard. My mom has a tendency to remember things the way she wishes they happened, so the last 14 years has been filled with wonderful times.

On an emotional level, I just don’t get it. He didn’t just abandon us, he abandoned YOU. His child. He choose a life that didn’t involve you unless you came to him, and then during those visits he still preferred the company of whatever biddy was at his side more than 48 hours with his daughter.

He is old. You got the phone call last week that he wasn’t doing well. You’re an accomplished nurse, you know how these things and the fragile human body work. When you get old, you shut down. When you are dying, sometimes things improve right before they go down hill again. Why are you shocked that a man who has smoked for 75 years is coughing up globs of blood after being told he has blood clots in his lungs?

So a funeral is imminent. Last night’s declaration was hours, maybe a week. You took a late night flight to sit vigil next to him.

Apparently, he has made funeral arrangements in Florida. He has pre-paid for everything and intends to be laid to rest next to the monster. This is his choice, though I doubt he has it spelled out in a will. You are not going to let him choose though, are you? Once he has lost his voice, you will impose your will once last time and have him buried in the cold Chicago air with Grandma.

You are wrong if you do that.

So my choice in the coming days: Do I attend? Do I attend the funeral for a man who died 14 years ago? Do I willingly walk into a room full of tears and mourners when I feel none of these things? Will I be able to hold my tongue if challenged on this lack of sorrow?

I do not know. On any of it.

Will I regret not seeing him again? No. Will I regret the amount of grief my absence will cause my mom? Yes. Will I bend to her wishes on this one last time? I don’t know.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


My days have been moving at the speed of light. My nights have turned to molasses.

Gracie is sick. Again.

She is breathing shallow and sounds like Darth Vader. Yesterday we fought this with an abundance of hot chocolate and she seemed better. Last night, she slept in 45 minute increments and sounded like she had a marble lodged into her airway. I slept, but only on the brink with an eye half open and both ears on alert. Normally I am not one to worry, but the rasping…

Today we are back to the speed of light again. I have a 9am meeting, where I am the meeting, followed by a full day of pokes and prods and a belly full of goo at John’s Hopkins to check on V2. I cannot miss it. Matt has some similar meeting at 10:30am. He cannot miss it.

So we sent our child to school. A little less raspy, but sporting a low grade fever. I feel horrible about it and am calling to get an afternoon sick appointment with Dr. H today.

She, on the other hand, seems absolutely fine with the arrangement. You see, she knows the game and finagled a bribe of 2 gummy bear vitamins, an M&M, part of my bagel and 4 mini pancakes all in exchange for taking a does of Tylenol.

Come to think of it, I think her bargaining attitude puts her well enough to attend school today.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Days

It snowed again last night. Nice, fluffy duster kind of snow that melts instantly when salt is added. Despite this fact, the local schools are still on two hour delay - but I guess I still have a few more years before I have to get worked up about that.

Due to this scene though, Gracie wanted to wear her brand new snow boots. Her polar bear boots that just came in the mail on Monday. Every day this week she goes home and wears them until her little feet start to sweat. Then they are shelved for 24 hours and repeat.

Today though, the legitimately got to wear them outside the house, through the snow and into school. Despite our conversations about how boots are 'outside shoes' and her emphatic promise to remove them once we got to school, as far as I know they are still on her feet. So much for the promises of 2 year olds.

They are pretty darn cute though.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I’m here. I’ve alive. Barely. Things have been, busy.

Opportunity is a funny thing.

Remember this rant? At least part of it null. I moved into a new job this week. And it turns out it was MY fault that it took so long.

Oh well, c'est la vie…. I still stand by the rest of that post though.

On day 4 of this new position though, I keep wondering if I’ve made the right decision. Matt is going to smack me for writing this, especially with all the work he has done to help me get here and stay here, but this job is…. Hard. I know, I know- every new job is hard. At least any job that is worth having. I was just so used to easy.

And it feels like my belly has grown an inch a day this week. I know she can feel my stress and at 5 ½ months my belly has turned into a hard ball of movement. Suddenly, I have gone from looking chubbier than usual to looking pregnant. When I sit, my boobs are almost resting on my belly already. I have to pee every time I move. Every. Freaking. Time.

And I am so tired.

I remember my pregnancy with Gracie as blissful once I got past the 1st trimester sickness stage and before I got to the 3rd trimester oh-my-god-my-belly-is-an-overripe-watermelon- waiting-to-burst stage. This time, not so much. Before I could concentrate on me; sleep 14 hours if I so choose; lay on the couch only to leave for more chocolate. Now I am dealing with the irrational daily tantrums of a 2 year old and her new obsession with Sesame Street.

Which brings me to my third rant, because Sesame Street is making diaper changing the bain of my existence because the freaking Pampers have Sesame Street characters on them. But does Gracie want Elmo who graces 2/3 of the package? Noooooo…. she wants Ernie. Ernie who is on one 1 out of every 10. Ernie who’s name she didn’t even know until I explained that he was the one who sings the Rubber Ducky song. And she wants to look at every diaper in the package of 88 before selecting the one she deems worthy for her bottom.

The synopsis of all this?

I have a new job. I am exhausted. I hate Sesame Street. And my blogging may be sporadic over the next few weeks. Please forgive me.
And if your child refuses to wear their size 5 Ernie's let me know and maybe we can work out an exchange.