Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thought Vomit Wednesday

So you might not know this about me but I think about some really random crap. (I know! Hard to believe, right!) Most of the time I spare you guys the details but I have come across the perfect platform to spew my mind vomit all across the Internet. 

Thought Vomit Thursdays was brought to my attention by Josey over at “My Cheap Version of therapy”
 (Go ahead and click the link. She’s fun. The first link will bring you to her home page, the second will bring you to her first TVT post.)

Here goes…

So yeah, lot’s to talk about. It’s been a while and I think a Thought Vomit post is just about right for this mish-mash we need to discuss.

A)  Super Grandma keeps living up to her title. The mass on her pancreas was a fluid filled cyst and the surgeon who drained it yesterday said he didn’t think it looked cancerous. YAY! But we still have to get the pathology results back so we are sitting tight on the celebration. She also has a few more hurdles to overcome before she can go home. (Her poop has been a hot topic of discussion in my family. We love you Super Grandma! You can do it! Give us a big ol’ poop we can be proud of!)

2)  A couple of weeks ago now I left you hanging on a weekend getaway for me and the husband. It went really well. We had a really great view of the lake from our hotel and rented some kayak’s and voiced big dreams as we paddled past all the beautiful lakefront cottages. It was a much needed getaway and it was definitely a good distraction.

III)  Speaking of the husband, I’d really like this roller coaster to be over now. The suckiest part, it’s my attitude and actions that are causing most of the bumps. We had a kind of breakthrough, or I should say , I did about myself, so figuring out a major issue is great, but I still don’t know how to get over it. Baby steps are one thing, these micro steps are frustrating.

D)  We went to visit my cousins on Long Island a couple of weekends ago. It was a fabulous weekend with a little surprise party for me and ended with Bud (and the rest of us) being covered in ticks. It was amazing! Oh, what? It’s not normal to end a fabulous weekend with ticks? Then obviously you haven’t had my cousin try to show you a fabulous weekend. (I love you Wench!) So this story could be a whole post of its own but you see how great I’ve been about posting. If I wait I fear it will never get posted. So, very long story short, we wanted to do one more thing before we left to go home so we decided to go to a historic house right on the ocean. It was pretty awesome. At the end we walked around the family cemetery plot and then got back in the car to head home. As we were backing out Bud said there were bugs on him. Being overly dramatic and scared of bugs I told him it was just dirt and to brush it off. His response? “But they are moving!!” So I took off my seat belt (I was in the 3rd row of my mom mobile) and looked to find THOUSANDS of ticks on him. I wish I was exaggerating. There were thousands!! So I tossed him out of the car, stripped him down in the middle of the parking lot (thankfully it was deserted) and started wiping him down with baby wipes. His car seat was also covered so Wench wiped that down for me. As I was frantically wiping Bud down, my husband grabbed Babe to check her over. She had a few on her too. My husband said his shoes were completely covered in them too. He cleaned them off before I saw but he said he couldn’t even see his white socks because they were covered with ticks. I had a bunch on me and Wench had some on her. Her fiancĂ© (it’s so fun to write that – they are recently engaged) didn’t get any because he didn’t walk around the cemetery like we did. Jerk! We stopped at CVS on the way home to buy some rubbing alcohol (apparently that kills them?) and we rubbed the kids down before throwing them in the tub. I can’t tell you how many times we have checked them (and ourselves) over but we seem to have escaped. I really don’t know how. Thank goodness Bud saw them pretty quickly, if not I can’t even imagine how many we all would have had!

5) I had my first master’s class yesterday. I was super prepared and read the first book a couple of weeks ago so I was all ready to intelligently discuss the boring as hell book. Until I found out that the professors switched which book we were reading first and I didn’t know. So instead I sat in the back with my head down and didn’t engage once. What a great way to start off my MA!!! Who rocks the house? Lily rocks the house!!

VI)  Babe is awesome. She routinely gets herself dressed in the morning before she even comes out of her bedroom. Reminder: she is 3. This morning I went in her room to shut off her A/C and this is what I found…

She even folded her underwear! Which means she actually CHANGED her underwear. I love this child. (We’ll work on getting the clothes in the hamper or back in her drawer but seriously, thank you dear Lord!) (And yes, she sleeps in a pink batman shirt. Have I mentioned that I love her?)

G)  Dudes, I turn 30 tomorrow. When did I get old enough to be 30? And what happened to my 20's? Seriously, it's a complete blur. 

Ok, I think this is enough vomit for one day. Huh, I missed blogging. I might have to do it more often.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Super Grandma

As I write this my Grandma, or Super Grandma as we affectionately call her, is laying in a hospital bed. She was brought into the hospital with severe stomach pains and vomiting. They found a mass on her pancreas. Apparently it is blocking her small intestines and is preventing her from digesting anything. After a very rough night she was stabilized and now it’s a waiting game for the next step.

We don’t know her prognosis yet, and won’t for another few days, but as I thought about her, and our family, and the legacy she will one day leave behind I knew I wanted, no, I needed to write about her.

The youngest of 10 children (and the only one born in America) her childhood was pretty normal for any Italian immigrant in the 1920’s. Her family’s story of success and triumph, mixed with sadness and pain, is similar to a lot of immigrant stories of people who came to America looking for a better life for themselves and for their families, and found what they were looking for.

She raised 6 children, six children who have all gone on to be smart, successful, good people. One can never count the number of things a mother teaches her children but one thing is for certain, she taught each of them compassion, love, the value of family, and mostly, the value of faith.

Anyone who knows Super Grandma knows how important her faith is. I tell everyone that she has a direct line to God. If you need prayers she’s the one to go to. God listens to her. She instilled her faith, and love of God in all of her children and grandchildren. It is proven every time one of us takes a car trip and recites “Our Lady of the Highway, pray for us” before we ever pull away from the curb. It is shown every time one of us repeats “leave it in God’s hands, God will provide.”

I have known for a long time how special my family is. A lot of my friends always had stories to tell about their crazy family and the latest feud or drama to infiltrate their lives. I couldn’t relate. I’ve had friends that didn’t want people to come visit because this family member or that would just embarrass them. I couldn’t relate. I had friends who didn’t know their grandparents, not because they had passed away, but because there had been a fight no one knew the reason for anymore and they refused to speak to each other. I couldn't relate.

I tell stories of our amazingly fun parties and get-togethers. I tell stories of the bond I have with my cousins, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles. I tell my friends that we all love each other and that is no exaggeration. How did we get so lucky? Well, we have something no one else in the whole wide world has. We have Super Grandma.

She is so full of love and goodness it makes me ache to know she is in pain. I’m going to visit her tomorrow but I already know what she will tell me. She will tell me that she has lived a good life and if this is God’s will then so be it. She’ll tell me she is leaving it in God’s hands. I don’t want Super Grandma to accept death so easily but I know she will do it the same way she does everything, with grace and humility. I certainly don’t want her to be in pain and I know she will be looking forward to seeing Grandpa again (probably playing the clarinet with St. Peter), I just don’t want it to happen so soon. She’s 89 years young. She still does an exercise tape and eats healthy food. She’s my idol! I’m not ready to let her go and I know the rest of my family feels the same way. Maybe it’s her time, maybe it’s not, but I know she has lived her life to the fullest and I know she has left her mark on this world. Her legacy will live on long after Super Grandma is gone. Lucky us.


Friday, August 10, 2012

If this were a book this chapter would be over by now

We are trying. It is hard (very hard) but we are trying. In our effort to do all that we can we are headed for a mini vacay to the Adirondacks. Just the two of us. We haven’t done that since our honeymoon. We’ll be staying at a lakeside hotel complete with a private balcony and canoes to rent. I pray to the rain gods that they go easy Sunday - Tuesday and let us get out and do. Getting out and doing helps. It gives us shared experiences to bond over. We need to bond. Maybe I’ll bring Monopoly. Doesn’t everyone bond over monopoly?

We didn’t have a good night last night. I’m still having such a hard time letting go of the bitterness and resentment. It doesn’t help that I don’t understand his feelings. He tries to share with me and I lash out at him for feeling the way that he does. I’m an awesome wife. Why is it that I can be so kind-hearted and understanding to a stranger but I’m unable to accept that my husband feels differently from me? I think we both want each other to be a different person then we are. How unfair is that? How does one get around that and make a marriage work despite never being able to change who we are. Should we even try to get around that? Leaving sounds so much easier. But then, what about this life we’ve built around us? I don’t want to lose that. We have a beautiful family, we have a work in progress beautiful house, should I throw that all away because I don’t want to put in the work? No, I don’t think so either. But how much longer can we go on like this? I don’t want to act like I am, yet I find that I can’t change it. Not yet anyway. I keep telling him that it seems like I’m not ready yet. Not ready to let go of the anger, bitterness, and resentment. But what will make me ready? I fear that by taking my sweet ass time I’m doing more damage than can be overcome. I don’t want to do that! So why am I? (Seriously, can someone answer that because I have no idea?)

Things had been getting better. But I guess they weren’t really. I would really like someone to tell me exactly how long this is going to take. I’d like it to be better right this second but I’d settle for just knowing how long it’s going to take. Is that so unreasonable?

Husband – if you are reading this, please know that I do love you and you’re doing all the right things. I’m proud of you for trying so hard to right all the wrongs. Please be patient with me. Please don’t give up on me. It took 8 years to get to this point and I hope like hell it won’t take 8 years to get out of it but I do need longer than just a few months. Just don’t give up on me, ok? You’re doing it right.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Conversations with Babe

(Babe - reminder, she is 3 - was lying on my chest trying to go to sleep when she pointed at my boob and the following conversation ensued)

Babe: Is this fake?

Me: (Looking at her finger on my boob and then at her) Uh, no (I’m very articulate)

Babe: Why?

Me: Uh, because (See, I told you)

Babe: What are they then?

Me: Uh, real.

Babe: Why?

Me: Because I want them to be?

Babe: Well, I want them to be fake.

Me: Good to know. Go to sleep.

And now I better start saving for more than just her college education. (You know, for her therapy bills when I refuse to let her have breast enlargement surgery when she is 16.)


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Conversations with Bud

(This conversation occurred in the grocery store as we cruised the aisles.)

Bud: Hey Mom

Me: Yes Bud?

Bud: You see this guy right here? (pointing to his bicep) Well, he’s got a brother and he lives right over here (pointing to his other bicep).

(I swear I feed this child. Please ignore his protruding ribs and resist the urge to contact CPS.) (Thank you.)


Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Flashback - Wall Building

Today’s flashback is a hindsight, a picture drawn with words if you will, rather than a real photo…sorry for the downer.

My Papa died in March 2000, my sister died April 5, 2000, I graduated from high school in May 2000, we moved to a different state in August 2000, 2 weeks after that I started college, a few months after that I broke up with my high school boyfriend and started “dating” someone else that was serving in the Air Force (he was an ex-boyfriend that I reconnected with). He came home from deployment shortly after we reconnected and I promptly fell in love with him and he promptly dumped me. I was so hurt, so pissed off, so utterly broken from all the change and stress that defined my life in that year.

I didn’t realize it at the time but looking back, that is when I started building walls. My childhood was relatively carefree and happy. I never dealt with any major issues (beyond which activity to play with my friends that day) so I didn’t know how to deal with all the stress and pain I found myself in. I’m a happy-go-lucky type of person, and I bet if you ask anyone who knew me then, they’d be shocked to hear I was having such a hard time. I smiled and sucked it up and went about my business. I even fooled myself. It’s only looking back now that I realize how traumatic that time really was. To make it through the day I ignored my problems. I didn’t analyze anything or give much attention to my feelings. And I started building walls. These walls kept me safe. How can anyone hurt you if you don’t let them close? I learned to keep them just far enough away that they think I’m letting them in but really there is a big, strong wall right in the middle. I was safe behind my walls. The best part, no one knew they were there…and I ignored the fact that they were. They just became part of me.

This really worked great for me. That is until I met my husband. We fell in love very quickly (we were engaged after 6 months and got married about 9 months after that). Yet, I still had my walls. I knew I wasn’t giving my husband the love he needed or deserved. I knew it but I had forgotten about my walls (they were so deeply ingrained that I didn’t see them as separate from me) so neither of us could see what the problem was. I don’t want to say I regret marrying him, because I don’t. He really is a wonderful person and a great father to our children. But my walls were causing hell. And then he got stuck in a job that sucked the rest of the life out of him and he changed. He became miserable and all the little negative parts of his personality became amplified. I’ll sum it up by saying our marriage sucked.

We almost divorced a couple of times but neither of us really wanted to. I knew it was mostly his job that was making him miserable but all that misery just reinforced my walls. I would not let him hurt me. I would not let him bring me down. He needed love and affection and would push hard for that, all the while being miserable in every other way. I worked under the premise that he can go on and be miserable but I am going to keep smiling and I’ll just do whatever I want to do with little regard to him. That worked splendidly for about zero seconds. Yet, we continued on like that for that entire time. It was a vicious cycle of him pushing for what he needed and me running as fast as I could in the other direction with my walls safely between us.

In October of last year he FINALLY got a new job. The hours weren’t great and the pay sucked but he was out of that hell hole that was his previous job! Things started to look up. Especially when he was offered an even better job a few months later, with better pay and MUCH better hours. Things were good.

And then they were not good. I will not go into detail here but I’ll just say that even my walls weren’t protecting me anymore. It was all just too much. I became miserable. I found myself driving home slowly because I didn’t want to be there. I stopped smiling. I started being mean because I didn’t care to make an effort not to be. I fell out of love.

With my walls no longer being effective and my realization that they really weren’t helping me anyway I decided I couldn’t pretend anymore. I couldn’t go on as we were, just pretending everything was ok. Everything was not ok. But now what? How do I cope when every coping mechanism I’ve ever used has failed me? I didn’t know what to do, what to think, how to act. Then the anxiety attacks started. I didn’t know what it was at first but after a couple of times I realized that’s what was happening. At that point I knew we hit bottom.

During my…breakdown (I guess you would call it that, although that sounds awfully dramatic) my husband had his own transformation. From what he’s tells me, he realized how good he has really had it, realized how miserable and horrible he was to us all and he is now looking at things in a whole new way. He’s happy. Don’t get me wrong, he is under no illusion that everything is ok, but he’s going forward with a positive attitude.

That brings me to my next problem. I don’t know how to handle this new, excited, optimistic person. At first I figured it was his way of trying to cheer me up and get me out of my funk. I appreciated his efforts but I just kept waiting for the old husband to come back so it wasn’t having too much effect on me. Then yesterday he responded to a chain of emails between me and my cousins (planning our upcoming trip to their house) and his response was cheery, upbeat, and completely frightening for me. That’s when I realized, not only do I have to get over the hurt and all of our past issues, but I also have to figure out who this new guy is. I feel myself trying to build more walls to guard myself against this unknown man trying to get me to love him. While part of me is enjoying this new guy, with his upbeat attitude, great suggestions for fun things to do on the weekends, helping around the house, the other part is reeling from the absolute change of direction. Who is this man and what has he done with my husband?? I have the urge to poke him with a stick (think the large poking device that the “Friends” gang fashioned so that they could see if Ugly Naked Guy was really dead or not) to see if he’s real or not. I just do not know how to cope.

The good thing is I’m facing the issues now. Really facing them. I don’t know where it will lead or how bumpy the road will be but that is where I am coming from and this is where I am now. Part of me can’t wait to see how it turns out, the other part…scared to death!


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