Monthly Archives: July 2012

The kitten conundrum.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for animals. Every cat I’ve ever had started out as a stray. Well, with the exception of Roxy. She was a stray who made it to the SPCA and then I adopted her.

Another one has found me. We have several squirrels that live in our neighborhood and hang out in our front yard every day. I came home for lunch last week and thought one of them was laying by one of the trees. By the time I made it up the stairs to the front door, this “squirrel” had beat me to it. Said squirrel was actually a kitten. A really strange looking kitten. I told it to hang on and I would bring it some food. It ran in the house.

And in the house it stayed. Sam is very adamant about no more pets. I get it. When he came home, he was less than pleased to see the cat.

Roxy – the resident cat – is weird. When I adopted her, her card said she and her siblings were brought to the SPCA at around 3 to 4 weeks old and that the mother had died. They were immediately put on food and not bottle fed. When we got her, she was estimated to be 6 to 8 weeks old. She was very friendly for the first couple of months but now she’s turned into what I lovingly refer to as “strange” cat. She does not like to have her litter box cleaned, she does not like affection. She prefers Sam and is more affectionate with him but even that is limited.

Stray kitten is the total opposite. She loves to be loved. She follows me around like a puppy and has even managed to crawl up my leg to ride around on my shoulder when walking. The first day Roxy wanted nothing to do with her. By day 2 Roxy was captivated. She does not let stray kitten out of her sight. They lay near each other, purring. She follows her through the house with a strange look. When stray kitten plays, Roxy gets excited. I still separate them during feedings and if we aren’t home but they have free range together now and we haven’t had any fights.

Maybe Roxy needed a cat friend. Penny loves Roxy but I don’t think it’s the same.

I had been watching online for lost cat posts because I doubt she’s feral since she is so friendly. We do have a feral family in the alley with 3 kittens and she is around the same size so I suppose it is possible that she decided people weren’t half bad.

Poor girl will eat anything. ANYTHING. Coffee grounds? Yum. Dog food – excellent! Juice? Yay. Yogurt – more, more, more! Roxy has never acted interested in people food, nor have cats in my past. This is a whole new ball game for me!

I’m hopeful after she realizes that cat food comes regularly and in large quantities that she will stop scrounging around for food.

She likes to be held and rocked like a baby.

Sam and I haven’t discussed keeping her since she showed up Thursday and he said no. I think now he’s warming up to the idea as I’ve seen him loving on her occasionally (when he thinks we are not looking…)

I don’t want to be a cat lady, but I’m pretty sure this girl adopted me.

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How do you eat an elephant?

Apparently, one bite at a time.

So why, why, why do I feel like work is shoving the whole thing down my throat?

On one hand, having my awesomeness acknowledged not once but twice in the past few months is nice – it also means that I am first in line to take on large projects. Large media heavy projects.

Said project is something I just don’t think I have time for.

Not only am I gagging on more responsibility – I was LATE picking my child up. Late, late, late. Worst mom ever. I have not ever once been late. I drove fast. I ran down the hallway. I cried. She was fine. Mom fail.

To top that off – it’s the Daddy person’s birthday. Our present project failed miserably so it’s going to have to be late. And he has to work late today.

I got up early to make a special birthday breakfast. Waffles using his grandmother’s treasured recipe. He is normally in charge of waffles so I was apprehensive at best. K was not shy and not so politely told me “they are really yucky Mom!” I used a cookie cutter to cut them into hearts to make them seem a little bit more special than your average terrible waffles. We had to leave before Sam ate his so no idea if he liked them or not. I didn’t get to see him at lunch because I had to be out of town for work. And now he won’t be home until 8 (or later) and I have no energy to make dinner or any idea what he may even want for dinner.

So overwhelmed.

 

Edit: at least the dogs liked the waffles. They never let me down!

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Officially deaf. I think.

Went back to the PCP today for an ear re-check. I advised that although the majority of the pain has subsided it is still aching and throbbing and almost feels wet at times.

PCP takes a look – makes some interesting mmhmm sounds and advises that there is still infection, still blood and apparently some nice scar tissue developing. He sent me over to the hospital to have a hearing test. Right now I have 90 decibel loss right now. Not sure if it’s that significant but I do know I cannot hear out of that ear so we’ll assume it’s at the very least – not good.

Back to the ENT I go. I politely advised I will not be going to the ENT that did my surgery last year and got referred to a new one. Still waiting on the appointment date.

Autoimmune disease be damned. I’m pretty frustrated about this mess. So it’s another round of antibiotics and we’ll take it from there.

 

— Posts like these remind me that I lead a really boring life and that’s probably a good thing.

 

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Upheaval.

The one thing that never changes about where I work is that everything is always changing. Policy changes, turn over is high, morale is low.

Well, that last one may never change.

There are a lot of huge changes coming now though. Whole units are potentially losing their jobs as the State goes through “redesign.”

What that means for me unfortunately is even more responsibility. And the thought of more responsibility is making me cringe. I already have way too much going on.

So, what do I do? Start job shopping, naturally.

There are a few decent job prospects in Lubbock so I went ahead and submitted my resume. I doubt any of these places will wait months for us to move but perhaps it would be a good incentive to get on with it.

I am tired of my job dictating every aspect of my life. I’m tired of pacifying people. I’m tired of my phone ringing. And ringing. And ringing. Even when I’m too sick to even drag myself off of the couch e-mails are piling up, voice mail is full, and lives are crumbling. It’s an awesome responsibility and one I think I’m tired of having.

This has happened before and I haven’t been that directly affected by it. I’ve watched whole areas of programs crumble and people get shuffled around – some willing, most not.

I refuse to be shuffled. And I refuse to have extra responsibilities thrown at me when I can’t even keep up with my own.

I may be changing the world one child at a time – but maybe the children I’ve already helped is enough.

I don’t want to feel like I’m on the verge of a panic attack every day. It just isn’t worth it.

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Perforation.

Shortly after K was born I started having a lot of weird symptoms. I lost all of the baby weight and then some within 2 weeks of her birth. I started having headaches and strange tremors, hair loss and the list went on. Ultimately after lots of doctors and lab work it was determined that I have some type of autoimmune disease. In order to be diagnosed with Lupus you have to meet a specific criteria and I’m one short on that list. After arthritis was discovered on my spine and another test called the HLA-B-27 was positive it was termed Ankylosis Spondylitis. Try saying that three times fast. I was put on a prescription that literally wiped out my white blood cell  count thus making me sicker than normal, more of the time.  I went to a couple of Rheumotologists for awhile before deciding the only way I was going to feel better was if I was better to myself. And for the most part it’s worked out okay. I transferred from one stressful position to another that at the time was less stressful. I got on a sleep schedule. I started eating better. My immune system started recovering from the meds I had been on.

Unfortunately, the stress of the past few months has finally caught up with me in a big way. I’ve had fairly consistent ear infections since K was born. They got so bad I ended up having “sinus” surgery to try and reduce the severity of them. I really want my money back. I started getting congested over the weekend but figured that was due to traveling and playing out in the rain. My ears never even felt like they were jumping in on the action until I woke up at 3 am Wednesday morning with the most awful, stabbing pain in my right jaw and ear. I paced the house for awhile, tried several of my favorite go to home remedies and finally fell back asleep in the recliner on a heating pad at 5 am. Had to be up at 6:30 to travel for court hearings and the morning was less than pleasant. I managed to get out of court early enough to make it back in town to my PCP. Not only did I have an ear infection but my ear drum had in fact decided this would be a good time to rupture.

A shot and a prescription for pain meds and antibiotic and I was starting to feel pretty optimistic about this whole mess. My ear has been displaying an impressive show of sounds. Clicking, banging, ringing, beeping and my favorite I’ve termed “boat motor.” I woke up Thursday and felt something coming out of my ear onto my face and was excited thinking the fluid was draining and I would be on the road to recovery only to go to clean it up and discover that it was blood. Straight blood. Coming out of my ear.

Momentary freak out.

Now I can’t hear anything from my ear aside from the before mentioned sounds. I have laid around the house for 2 days doped up, dried out and it has been glorious. I think it’s so unfortunate that the only break I can get from my job is when I’m too sick to function. My phone has been ringing and I’ve been politely ignoring it. I can’t hear the people on the other end very well anyway.

I’ve slept a lot. Watched a lot of crappy TV and even caught up on my DVR list without interruptions for Dora, or Max and Ruby or Tosh.0.

I’ve also been dizzy and sick to my stomach but that’s a small price to pay for a little peace and quiet.

Yay sick days!

(though I won’t be saying that by Monday if the vertigo is gone. I’m going to literally be drowning when I get back.)

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Putting my past in a box.

Literally.

A long time ago there was a boy named Jeremy. I was smitten with him. Unfortunately he lived 1100 miles away. There were lots of letters, phone calls, and flights back and forth. A vacation in Florida. A Friday night football game. I applied and was accepted to two colleges near him. I just couldn’t make myself go.  I never even told him that I had applied. I don’t know what would have happened if we had ever had the opportunity to live near each other. I used to like to think it would have worked out. But alas, it was not meant to be.

I have several items of his that I have had for years. They’ve moved from Ft. Stockton to Lubbock and here with me now. They are the type of things you want to show your own children. I know he needed to have them back but after I decided to go to college in Lubbock and met a boy there, he literally stopped communicating with me. I haven’t talked to him in nearly 10 years. I had no clue where he ended up or how he was doing. I still keep in touch with a few of his friends and finally after unearthing a jacket for the 30th time decided I better get his address. A few days later and I now have locating information.

My heart sank last night when I got it. He was always my “what if.” For years and years. The what if, what might have been. A place far away from home I could run to when I needed to run. At some point I grew up and stopped running.  I have no desire to ever see him again. I love Sam and I’m happy. But letting go of objects that have been with me for so long is proving more difficult than I anticipated. I’ve had a jersey since the 8th grade. These things have been with me for over half of my life and that feels so significant in such an insignificant way. His letter jacket is hanging on a chair in our dining room tonight. Tomorrow I’ll take it to be dry cleaned and eventually when I’m not stuck at a courthouse this week it will make it’s way to Alabama.

Sending these last few things will be the end. The end of a huge chapter in my life. A chapter that feels like it’s been stalled. There was another boy during those years that was closer to home who I might have considered my first love…. But in retrospect I think he was a place filler. Jeremy was too far away.  He was the person I thought I’d spend my life with. It’s funny how things work out. Or how they don’t.

I wonder if he would be okay with me keeping the jersey. It is just a practice one after all.

And faded.

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Sunday Secrets.

Every Sunday (well, almost every Sunday) since 2005 I start Sunday off with reading PostSecret. I was utterly fascinated for awhile and told everyone I knew about it. Now that I’m mom I sneak up earlier than usual to enjoy my coffee and secrets in quiet. In all this time, there have been many secrets that me me realize my life could be better and that it could also be way worse.  I’ve laughed, I’ve been angry, I’ve been inspired. All these pieces of paper, items, etc are magic.

I don’t know why I’ve never sent in in a secret. I’m sure I have some secrets that are interesting enough to tell. Or maybe none are that exciting which makes me feel like I really need to be living more.

The lack of secrets may be a good thing, but the lack of self fulfillment is clearly not.

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Baby fever.

My baby will be 4 in less than a month. I did okay when she turned 1, panicked when she turned 2, 3 was no big deal, and now 4 is making me want to have an anxiety attack. I guess the even years will be the hard years for me.  Some days when we are having a real grown up conversation it still creeps me out. I cannot believe I am the mom of a child in the group that comes after toddler. What is that group anyway? Pre-schooler? Little adult? 4 going on 24?!

I’ve been cautioned by not one, but two doctors to not have another baby. Between endometriosis, my strange autoimmune disease, pre-e history and now high blood pressure it just doesn’t sound like a good plan. And then there was that time a radiologist had me literally sign a waiver understanding I might be frying my reproductive organs for some weird imaging scan that would distinguish what fun issues I was really having. My poor ovaries might really be half dead.

But much like the I need a new tattoo right.now itch I get occasionally – baby fever sets in.

K has been so amazing and being a mom is awesome and all of that sappy stuff.  Sometimes I look at her and I think it’s just a genetic waste for Sam and I to not have another baby. I mean she is gorgeous, and intelligent and pretty perfect. I also don’t want to push my luck and leave Katelyn momless because I’m being selfish either.

Sam’s cousin has an 18 month old that was crawling all over him a couple of days ago and it was nice to see him with a toddler again.

And then reality hits. A fit is thrown, a mess is made, I get to sleep for 8 hours uninterrupted and I realize I don’t necessarily need a baby around. I mean who wants to breastfeed around the clock, not get more than 30 minutes of sleep at a time and start over with potty-training. People who have baby after baby are crazy. Right?

I’m an only child. Sam had a brother that died in infancy so he was more or less an only child. We both survived. And we haven’t killed each other yet. I dread when our parents are elderly and need assistance and we are the only option that they have. I don’t want Katelyn to shoulder than burden by herself either when we are old and annoying.  She has friends at Pre-K that have siblings, pregnant moms etc and she asks us a lot when she is going to be a sister. I try to dash her hopes quickly by reminding her that a baby would take up a lot of mom’s time and attention and she shrugs and says “I’ll share.”  I don’t think she fully grasps just how much sharing that would mean however.

It’s so ironic to help kids find forever homes for a living and yet not be jumping to adopt our own. I guess some day we’ll cross that bridge. I get asked a lot when we will have another baby. It’s hard to explain that for the past 10 years my reproductive organs have been non-compliant assholes and post pregnancy my whole body has decided to suck. It’s even harder to explain that I had the world’s worst pregnancy and the thought of it being half that bad another time while taking care of a child is enough to make me cry just thinking about it. I read a “response” once to tell annoying people who ask when you will have another baby: We stopped at perfection. I haven’t actually used it yet but I plan to try it some day.

Maybe I’ll just wait to re-analyze and find a doctor crazy enough to agree with me when Katelyn is like 10 and can actually take care of a sibling.

That sounds like a better plan.

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Death and the little person.

K has been to one funeral in her almost 4 years. She attended a graveside service for my dear friend’s father back in December.

Today we said goodbye to her great grandmother. On the way to New Mexico yesterday I got a call from my mother that my great uncle had also passed away. It always happens in 3’s.

Sam’s mom and I have always had an interesting relationship. It’s not that she doesn’t like me, but I always feel like she doesn’t. She’s kind of a coarse person by nature and I still feel like I’m learning to navigate that at times. Last night, eating dinner at his aunt and uncle’s house she got me to come sit between her and Sam’s dad on the couch (a tiny fit) and for the first time since we met, I felt like family. Sam’s dad is always proud of us and likes to show us off and she shows Katelyn off but last night I could tell it was important to her to have me close and that was nice.

We didn’t attend the visitation because I didn’t want to freak out the kiddo with a body. She’s handling the concept of death well but I didn’t want to push our boundaries either. So instead we went to Pizza Hut (small towns have limited food options!) and bought fireworks.

We had planned on going to their local fireworks show but that was not to be.

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It got totally rained out. So we had our own mini show at home instead with the Daddy person running out into the rain. The lighting on top of fireworks was pretty amazing.

The funeral was hard. Sam’s grandparents have been married for 64 years. I went up to his grandfather to offer my condolences and he began to cry. He managed to tell me how beautiful Katelyn was. I rubbed his back. I don’t do death and grief well at all.

I thought the casket was going to be closed for the service so I decided to take K in to show her where we would be and she spotted Ila Jean quicker than I did. It really upset her so we went out. Thankfully they had it closed before we went back in.

The service was beautiful. Sam’s mom got up and spoke and I saw her in a totally new light. It was sweet and funny and heart warming. I was so proud of her and to be a part of his family.

The cemetary was a little more interesting. The pall bearers couldn’t get the casket to level very well and my 3 year old was marching around telling random people “She’s going to hit her head like that!”

My sweet, sweet girl.

When we got home I told Sam we need to get married. I don’t want to be at his funeral, or him at mine and the years to be much shorter than what they really are. I don’t want Katelyn to have to worry about that either. And more importantly I think I finally feel like part of his family and ready to take this step.

It’s strange even to me that that may have been what was holding me back.

I have a heavy heart tonight because we’re facing yet another funeral in the next few days. The older generations are getting older and I’m getting older too.

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Blood Pressure. Do better.

Apparently writing daily is proving to be therapeutic for me. Get ready people! Lots of aimless language ahead.

I had pre-ecclampsia when I was pregnant. It started around 20 weeks and ended with a nice emergency C-section, ankles the size of bowling balls, and 24 hours of magnesium. That stuff was no joke.

Now 4 years later I’ve been diagnosed with Stage 2 Hypertension. I’ve been told this is the “bad” kind. As in “you have the blood pressure of a very overweight, lazy, lard eating 75 year old man” except I’m none of those things.

Anyway, I started meds a couple of months ago. It makes me feel old taking a pill every day. And refilling them every month. On the plus side those pesky headaches stopped and I have a lot more energy and I’m probably not so much at risk for a stroke anymore. Anyway!

The past few days I’ve been kind of hazy which I attribute to the following: stress, exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, stress.

This morning I had court and I have to dress like a grown up, take an oath and testify. This too, dear readers (reader? anyone?) is serious business. Court is a frequent experience with my job and for the most part it’s not that bad.

Well. Today I kind of only half remember going to court. Eventually, I sent two e-mails thinking I had just thought about sending the first one. I checked later and I did, in fact, send two. Oops. At one point I wondered if someone slipped some marijuana or other goodies into my coffee though the likelihood of that happening is… well slim.

I mean – I remember being there. But it feels like a dream. Luckily I had a doctor’s appointment this afternoon and my I’m so stoned but not stoned situation became clear. 86/57. Hi low blood pressure!

Such a tricky situation. You don’t want high blood pressure. You don’t want super low pass out blood pressure either. I guess we’re going to have to tweak my meds.

Never the less I’ve had a Mute Math song stuck in my head for most of the day and it’s annoying and I might have to actually listen to it so that it will stop.

Be more, do more, check your blood pressure.

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