Friday, September 21, 2012

My funny is gone

I can’t bring myself to write about happy things right now. I usually love to write about the little moments in my kids lives that make me chuckle or something in my life that makes me laugh. I just can’t do that right now. It’s not where my head is (believe me, I know that’s where it should be but reality isn’t always what we want). I’m not saying I don’t enjoy these moments still, because I do. It’s just that when I try to write about them I sound sullen and sad. (Hmm, much like this post.)

So, I’m thinking I’ll make it official and say I’m taking a little break from blogging. My heart is not in it and writing crap is fun for no one. I may come back and use you all to get some thought vomit out now and again but for the most part, I think taking a break is best.

I’ll still be reading your blogs (I need something to keep me sane) and I will try my best to comment as often as possible but even if I don’t please know I’m in the background living vicariously through you.

Until next time…


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reason #52 why Smidge is my great friend - A guest post

(Update: I'm stupid and can't successfully schedule a post. So this was supposed to be posted on Sunday...but you'll have to settle for it now)

Hello everyone! I’m still in sunny Seattle (I feel it’s important to note that this is me being optimistic. I am writing this intro on Thursday morning at my desk in New York, and from what I’ve heard, Seattle doesn’t do “sunny” very often. Here’s hoping!) [I think I should quit my job and become a was totally sunny the entire time I was there. Winning!] Anyway, I’m still in Seattle where I ran away from all responsibility with my mom visiting my aunt. I imagine I am having a great time. As I said in Friday’s post, I’m sure you can expect a big photo dump when I return on Tuesday or Wednesday when I actually get around to downloading all the pictures. In the meantime, please enjoy this word from our resident Smidge…

Reason #52 Why Small Towns Can Be Great

I was born in a small town, and I live in a small town  (and from that start you might be able to figure out where that small town is) [comment from Lily: Bruuuuuuuce] and I’ve always thought that although it comes with some disadvantages (like EVERYONE knowing your business before it even happens), the good out weights the bad.

After college Lily did something crazy! She moved to the smallest of small towns 4 and half hours away in the middle of nowhere! For those of you who think I’m over exaggerating, directions to her house included “turn left at the only stop light in the county” and “right at the red barn”.  I’ve spent a lot of time making fun of her for this move. [comment from Lily: She really has] Now thanks to modern technology I’m still able to e-mail her every day, which is wonderful, but sometimes that’s just not enough and I need to take that extra step and send her something thru regular old US snail mail.

For example, this year was her big b-day!!! You know the one no girl wants to think about too much…30!!! (pssst…LILY you can totally make that number lower before you post this if you want, I won’t tell anyone) I couldn’t be there for it but I knew that I had to send her a fun care package with as many goodies as I could think of that she could eat, and lots of notes so she knew that even though I’m over 4 hours away, and we are both older then we’d like to admit, I’m still me and she’s still her. 

SO after a good hour in the store reading labels, another hour writing fun notes (without the help of spell check which always makes things interesting) and an e-mail to one of our other friends to confirm the address, my b-day surprise was packed and ready to ship. I sent it out so that it would deliver on her B-day and then waited for the fun phone call I would get when she got her surprise.

Four days later I was sitting in my house going through old mail when I found a letter from Lily with a return address that was NOT the one that I just sent her package to. After a text to her to confirm, I discovered I had sent the gift to an old address [comment from Lily: we've lived waaay too many places in the last 8 years]. I was devastated, not only did she know it was coming now but because of my mistake it would take weeks to get to her, if she got it at all. 

Lily suggested that I call the post office to see if they could do anything, I didn’t think they would be able to help but I figured why not, I had nothing to lose. So the next morning I called the Post office and told my story to the nice lady who worked there. She asked what the name was on the package, and after I told her she said “oh I have that right here”.  As you can imagine my jaw dropped “WHAT” I said “REALLY!! That’s AMAZING…oh my gosh you just totally made my week!!!” [comment from Lily: those of you that know Smidge in person, I'm betting you can totally hear her saying exactly that in her excited voice.] she giggled at that and asked for the real address. There was no checking the computer, or asking for tracking numbers I didn’t have, she just had it on her desk. Seems it came in a few days ago and since no one knew the person on the address she was waiting for more information.  Only in a small town would something like this happen, anywhere else a package comes in with the wrong address it gets lost in the back somewhere, or returned to sender, not many people would have “waiting for more information”.

So thanks to this small town post office Lily got her package just a few days later!! And I got one more reason to love small towns. It might even make up for that time in 5th grade when I got in trouble for cutting across the railroad tracks on my way home from a friend’s house after a “concerned residence” (the stoolpigeon’s name remains a mystery to this day) called my mom to tattle on me…well then again maybe not, I did, after all, get grounded for 3 days for that!


If you follow me on Instagram (@momnextdoorblog) you may remember this picture from a few weeks ago.


I can’t even begin to tell you how excited getting this box o’ stuff made me! When my husband came home and saw it he said to me “You giggled the entire time reading all these notes, didn’t you?” Yes, yes I did! And then I called Smidge and we had an ear splitting conversation that went something like this…”OMG SMIDGE! THIS IS AWESOME!” “I KNOW RIGHT! I KNEW YOU’D LOVE IT!!!” “OMG IT”S THE BEST!!!!” “DID YOU LIKE THE TOY?” (because, according to Smidge, every birthday gift must contain a toy!) “OMG I LOVED THE TOY!!!” (the toy was an ity bity yellow ninja that was AWESOME and as soon as I said the word “toy” Bud’s ears perked up, he ran over to me, plucked the yellow ninja out of my hand and went off to play with it. I swear I didn’t call after him and say “Hey, that’s my toy!”)

So my birthday gift was a few days late but honestly, it was worth the wait! Smidge, as always, proved once again she is the best!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Marriage Is Hard Yo - A Guest Post

(Yeah, sooo...I guess I don't know how to schedule posts. Just found out this never posted on Friday. I'm sorry I suck, but here it is several days late.)
While I'm jet setting out West (does staying in the continental US count as jet setting?) (Please don't burst my bubble!) I'm going to keep you distracted with two guest posts (next one scheduled for Sunday). After that, I will most likely give you a big photo dump of Seattle. I'll say you're welcome in advance. You're Welcome!

One thing I love about the blogging community is it lets you know you are not alone. You are not the only one with crazy kids or a struggling marriage or a some crazy thoughts that you just need to share. I’ve been very fortunate to “meet” a lot of great bloggers who share their stories with me, some publicly, some privately. Today I’m opening my blog to someone who is also having marital problems and, like me, needs to write it out to sort through everything to try to make sense of the senseless. I recommend you click the two links at the beginning so you can catch up on the story.

Without further ado…


So by this point you've probably read up on me and mine here where a sordid tale begins and you may even have tracked over to here where I am awash with friendly advice. Go ahead and catch up.

So a lot of thinking has taken place and I'm left with two undeniable conclusions. One, a post about the dating life post separation and divorce is going to be depressing as hell and two, I still love her.
She's got plans, plans that can't seem to happen fast enough. I fully expect to be served with some sort of separation agreement in the next few days and there is little I can do about it. She would like nothing more than for the us that was us to be finished. Someone is talking her into it. It would be great if this was merely a man as men don't scare me! They are easily as screwed up as I am. Her fears are being played like a finely tuned golden fiddle. This is almost masterful in its execution. Almost.
I don't plan to do anything about it either. I won't... I can't.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I'm stupid. You're undoubtedly thinking it. How can you let her play you like this? Have you no backbone? Does she still hold your testicles in a satin lined box in her dresser? Well, here are your answers: neither she nor I is playing this game, I have all the backbone I need, and I don't require testicles for this.
Today, I read "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you." (Mark 11:24 NASB)
Folks, I'm not asking for a million dollars. I'm not asking for a Ferrari. I'm not asking to meet Ghandi. I'm asking for what is already mine. I have a ring on my finger that symbolizes it. I already received it once, nay twice and I am patiently waiting the outcome of a battle that has already been won.
Do I have work to do? Yes.
Is it going to be hard work? Undoubtedly.
I've got to wrestle with my pride, I've got to offer forgiveness. I've got to see her point of view.
I've got to stop acting defeated and become hopeful. Frankly, I've got to get my chin up and stopped acting like a sullen asshat. I've got to separate my feelings and my attitude.
At some point I have to lay my fears on the line and risk them coming true.
This is a giant thing to overcome. To that giant, I say...
I've got my sling and I've certainly got my rock and I'll see you outside.
Stay tuned... 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thought Vomit is all I'm capable of

Today is my sister’s birthday. Even though she’s been gone for 12 years it’s still her birthday. Always will be. I don’t feel particularly insightful today so I will leave it at that.

Super Grandma is hanging in there but she now under the care of hospice. Waiting to die, knowing it literally could come at any moment is just cruel. We are all doing our best to make her as comfortable as possible.

On to happy news so I don't break down into a puddle of tears. On Friday I am taking to the friendly skies traveling westward to visit my aunt in Seattle. I can’t wait! Just me and my mom are going for a long weekend. We have never taken a trip just the two of us. I get to leave behind responsibility for a few days (I hope my aunt doesn’t mind if I wipe her mouth if she gets a milk mustache) and just enjoy being with two fabulous ladies. It is a long needed break from the stress of life and while I will miss my kids and yes, Husband, even you, I really can’t wait to get away for a few days!

In the meantime, I’m going to have a couple of guest blogs while I am away. (Is it weird that I will have more frequent posts while I’m away then when I’m sitting at my computer all day?) I hope you enjoy.

In other news, the other day I read a hilarious post by Natalie. If you don’t know Natalie then you are not experiencing all the joy that you could be experiencing. I hope you’ll rectify that by clinking this link here to read about her toilet story. As I read it (and if you read the comments at the end of that post you’ll see I’m not lying) I couldn’t help but think of my very similar story. Really, get ready for the best day ever (assuming you also clicked on Natalie’s link) where you get TWO toilet stories for the price of one. You’re welcome.

A few weeks ago we went to visit my cousin on Long Island (remember the ticks?) and we had a really great party at her house. As fun parties do, it lasted all day and into the night. I’m no stranger to pooping wherever I have to but obviously I prefer a place away from large groups of people. (I’m considerate like that.) The urge hit and I wasn’t going to be able to hold it until everyone left. Thankfully my cousin’s house has a basement AND a bathroom in the basement. Lovelier words have never been spoken. So I slipped downstairs and did what I had to do. Relieved, I got up and flushed. And looked on as my waste swirled but did not descend into the wonders of indoor plumbing. It just swirled there, mocking me. As I stood there with my shoulders slumped and my head hanging, the water drained away leaving my offering to the porcelain gods half submerged in murky water. Despite the risks, I flushed again. Perhaps the fates would take pity on me and make the second time the charm. To no avail. This is a good time to mention that I am incapable of unclogging a toilet. I am an expert, nay, a savant when it comes to clogging it (ask my dad and husband) but the Lord has rendered me incapable of fixing my own problem, forcing me to drag others into my misfortune. I searched around, hoping to find a plunger so I could discreetly ask for my husband’s unrivaled magic unclogging powers but once again, I was not so lucky. I went upstairs and pulled my cousin aside so she could laugh in my face to ask for a plunger. It was downstairs (apparently she doesn’t have my issues and a plunger is not necessary in every bathroom just feet away from the toilet – please pronounce this as twa-lay as my co-worker does. It just makes it better.) so the three of us (me, her, and my husband…truly, he has magical unclogging powers) descended the stairs to my shame. She retrieved the plunger and scurried upstairs…with me on her heels, leaving my husband to force the porcelain gods to bend to his will and eradicate my indignity along with my pride. The moral of the story? Life can be shitty but everyone should have a husband who is willing to save you in your moment of shame.

I’ll leave you with that dear readers. You’re welcome.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Super Grandma - update

So the Super Grandma situation isn’t looking the best right now. She had a 6 hour surgery scheduled for this morning to remove parts of her pancreas, small intestines, and her gallbladder. They went in lapascopically (lathroscopically? Spell check doesn’t like either so you choose which you like better) and removed the gallbladder and in the meantime discovered that the cancer had spread more than they thought. So they closed her up and aborted the rest of the surgery. They are recommending chemo but she’s been pretty adamant that she doesn’t want chemo or radiation so we’ll see about that.

When she woke up from the surgery she asked how it went and when they told her they didn’t continue her response was “Good, I’ll die faster.”

(Enter my family’s collective heart breaking here)

All of my reasons for wanting her to live longer are selfish. She’s 87 years old, she’s led a wonderful, full life. She has a huge family that love her more than we can ever express. Her faith has seen her though so much and is getting her through this now. I know death would be a relief for her but it’s the survivors that suffer. I don’t want to be a survivor again. I want her with us so we can gather at her house for our loud, happy, fun family get-togethers. I want her with us so I can call her and ask for her prayers and talk to her and have her tell me everything will work out the way it should. I want to hear her call me by the pet name that only she is allowed to call me. And yes, I know that I will be able to “talk” to her and pray to her after she I gone. But you know what? I want more than that. It’s selfish and childlike but I don’t care. I want to stomp my feet and hold my breath until she is better. I want her to laugh at my kids and say “God Bless you” as we pile in the car for our trip home. I want my Grandma.

Right now I have no idea how long they are expecting her to live. I have no idea if she will leave the hospital, if I’ll get to see her alive again, or if she’ll be around for Babe going to 1st grade (3 years away). I have no idea.

This whole thing has me feeling helpless. My family has been wonderful about keeping everyone posted and we are all weighing in with thoughts, suggestions, concerns. But, I feel way out of my league. Thankfully my mom and all of her sister’s and brother’s are running the show but I can’t help but think that someday I am going to be the person responsible for my parents. Right now they are all taking shifts staying in the hospital with her. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t spent a night alone yet. It has meant sleeping in uncomfortable chairs and eating cafeteria food for a few weeks but there is always someone there to take the next shift. Everyone is doing everything they can to make her comfortable and well cared for. She is so lucky.

Thinking of going through this with my parents (in a very long, long time, got that parents?!!) I can’t help but think I’m not going to be able to do this for my parents. It makes me incredibly sad.

Sorry about all this gloom and doom lately. I much prefer to do the happy upbeat routine but right now I can’t. Hopefully we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon!


Monday, September 3, 2012

You are my most favorite daughter I've ever had!

Dear Babe,

Ok, you can stop growing right now. I think you're perfect right here. You’ve officially outgrown your Terrible Two’s (can you hear the choir of angels signing joyously? I can!) and you are really starting to form your personality. I mean, you’ve been your own person for a while now but I don’t know, you are almost showing a maturity that I’m not used to in a 3 year old. Last night as you hung out with me while I was doing my homework (and by hung out I mean refusing to go to sleep, but not doing so in a mean way, just letting me know that you are not interested in going to bed until you absolutely have to – which means when I finally shut the light and go to bed myself) you really impressed me. You’ve been impressing me a lot lately.

For about a week now you’ve been waking up and getting yourself dressed before you even come out of your room. Not only do you dress yourself but you fold your pajamas and make your bed. I don’t even do that! When we called Super Grandma the other day you immediately remembered she wasn’t feeling well even though I hadn’t spoken to you about it in a few days and you asked her how she was feeling. It was incredibly sweet and I know it meant a lot to Super Grandma! And last night, after a few hours of refusing to stay in your bedroom you finally gave in. As you left my room you shut the door (to save us from feline mischief in the night) but burst back in just to say thank you for taking you to the NY State Fair and to tell me that you had a great time. Really, you’re three! Who does that at 3? I love you baby girl! I am proud of who you are becoming and I hope Dad and I do all the right things to nurture this wonderful little girl we see before us. You are thoughtful, so very thoughtful, and I’m not sure who you learned that from but I’m positive it’s not me. I’m so glad you picked it up and I pray you don’t lose it.

Don’t get me wrong, you can still be a terror (in the nicest possible way of course), I mean, you are still only 3. Sometimes you don’t like to share, and yesterday you bit Bud because he got in your way (WTF was that about?) but overall you are becoming a charming little girl and I am happy and proud to be your mama! I can't wait to see you grow and mature even more. We got a lot of miles to go kiddo and I'm looking forward to only the good ones all of it!

I love you for real life.

Love Mom