Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I've been feeling pretty good about what I've accomplished in my life lately. Most of these victories are superficial, or just plain stupid, but I'm still going to give myself a pat on the back.

- When I first started straightening my hair I had to focus and it took me at least 35 minutes. On Monday I straightened my hair, ate an English muffin and told my husband what laundry could be dried ALL AT ONCE. That's me multi-tasking at my best.

- My husband would be upset with me if he knew I was putting this up here, but he doesn't read this so it's all good. In the winter Jonathan gets dandruff and he's always used Head and Shoulders to control the problem. However, it doesn't work because it covers up the symptoms. This year I made him shampoo from essential oils and it's working!! Lately I have learned that the recommended treatment is not always the right treatment. This of course can apply to any and all aspects of my life.

- I have been working out and I've been enjoying it! I would like to lose 5, or 10 lbs, but just getting toned would be all right with me too.

- I sold my old car for $900.00!! I bought it 5 years ago for $2,000.00. The oil leaks, the air conditioning does not work and the check engine light has been on for at least a year. And yet, 3 hours after my husband posted the notice on CraigsList, we sold the car. I was so worried we would be stuck with it forever.

- Jonathan and I have decided when we are going to try to have children. This is a HUGE step for me, but now that I know we are going to try and when we are going to try I can relax. And just to be clear, trying is not going to happen NOW or in the near future.

Tomorrow we are doing Inventory at the store so I need to have a piece of peanut butter toast and go to bed. I realize eating peanut butter toast at 8:30 pm is not going to help me lost weight or get toned, but some nights it's necessary. I have to get up before 6:00 am tomorrow. In all honesty, I can't remember the last time I did that.

Enjoy the small, and large, victories in your own life!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


In our house the laundry area is in the basement. When I do laundry, which is a lot since Jonathan goes through at least two outfits a day, I try my hardest to bring the laundry upstairs when it is dry. If I don't bring it up it stays downstairs in baskets or the dryer and that corner of the basement becomes our closet. Jonathan does not mind this nearly as much as I do. For the past few days he has been heading downstairs every night to get scrubs for the next morning. Why he doesn't bring everything up at once I will never understand.

Since I don't have a pajama-like uniform to wear to work every day I have to think about what I am going to wear. I absolutely hate going down to the basement in the morning. The entire house is freezing because we turn the heat off at night and the basement is about 10 degrees cooler. I have started sending Jonathan to the basement to fetch clothes for me. You would think all these trips up and down our hellish basement stairs (they are not built to code) would cause him to bring all the laundry up at once. But no, it continues to languish in the basement day after day.

I would like to do an experiment wherein I leave all our clean clothes downstairs and see how long it takes before he gets frustrated and asks why he has to go downstairs to get dressed or find clothes. However, he would probably stop fetching my clothes long before he got tired of retrieving his.

When I do laundry this weekend I know I am going to have to bring it upstairs and fold it. But it's been fun to watch my husband approach his basket of scrubs with confusion each night this week. (I let him keep his scrubs on top of the dresser because it's easier for him when he's on call and I realized I had other battles to fight.) Here is our nightly conversation:
"Hey babe? I need scrubs."
I keep reading.
"Are there scrubs in the dryer downstairs?"
I shrug.
"I guess I will go check downstairs. You haven't done laundry recently?"
I shake my head.

He goes downstairs and returns with a pair of scrubs and a triumphant look on his face. Perhaps it's the glory of the search that keeps him from bringing the laundry up.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A bit of a whine fest

I've spent the past five days feeling awful. Today I stayed in bed and read from 8-10. Then I went upstairs, curled up on the floor in a pile of blankets next to the heater and watched an Ace of Cakes marathon on the Food Network.

I didn't sleep very much last night and I feel horrible. My energy level is super low and my right hand tremor has returned with a vengeance, but my heart rate is way lower than it usually is. When my thyroid levels go off balance my heart rate is usually the first thing to alert me to a change. Since that's not happening, I'm not sure if the reason I'm feeling ill is because of the usual culprit, or if it's something else.

I walk a fine line between being well enough to function and too ill to do much besides sleep. With medication I've been able to stay fairly healthy for the past 3 years, but I haven't felt completely well for about 6 years now.

This week is going to be a good one and I don't want the good parts to be ruined by a lack of appetite, nausea or general malaise. On Sunday I spent time with good friends who moved to Seattle a while back. On Wednesday I am having dinner with an old co-worker and on Thursday I hope to have lunch with a friend from university.

However, my excitement about all of this is overshadowed by how I've been feeling lately. And it's not just a physical feeling either; I've been feeling out of sync emotionally as well. There's a few things I am very, very frustrated about right now and I know there's nothing I can do to change those feelings of frustration. I'm also feeling very bitter and angry about some events that happened recently, but to mention my feelings would be pointless and I know to do so would be petty.

Overall, I would classify myself as grumpy.

My husband is married to his X-Box which drives me crazy. And it's made worse by the fact that he plays online with his friends. If I hear him scream "You watch the windows! Watch my back, man!" one more time, I just may lose my mind and destroy his X-Box. Plus I get snapped at whenever I venture upstairs to ask a question. His life is at stake! How dare I interrupt him?!

I know life is a series of ups and downs, but I feel like I've been down for most of 2009. As I mentioned in a previous post, January is a hard, hard month for me. And at this point, February isn't shaping up to be much better.

Grumpy and whiny has been my m.o for most of '09 thus far. I hope I snap out of it soon, because I'm starting to get tired of myself.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's the small things

Yesterday I went up to Portland to visit my sister and nephew. My sister had to run some errands and one involved seriously complicated directions so I went with her instead of staying at home with Ryan. After our first errand was completed (picking up Ryan's new motorbike in North Portland!) we headed to Emanuel hospital so my sister could pick up some of Ryan's records.

The motorbike didn't fit perfectly, the gate was ajar a little bit, so my sister wanted me to stay in the car and wait for her. Ryan and I played 'camera' and chatted about life and his new bike. He still has at least a year before he can ride it but he likes to touch the wheel and say biiiiiike.

The records my sister needed cost around $50.00 and she forgot her checkbook at home so I had to write one for her. Once we were done at Emanuel we headed to the bank so my sister could pay me back. While she ran into the bank Ryan and I once again guarded the bike.

I was sitting up front, listening to the radio my sister had left on and thinking about all the housework we still needed to do when we returned home. From the backseat Ryan said "Annee" (he still has a hard time with the g) so I turned around to see what he needed. He was leaning forward in his car seat and holding his hand out. I reached back and my fingers in his palm. He wrapped his hand around my fingers and started caressing my palm with his thumb. I have no idea what was going through his mind as we sat there listening to the radio and holding hands. It was such a simple moment, it lasted for about a minute, but I don't think I will ever forget how calm and at peace I felt.

It's hard for me to believe Ryan will be 3 in September. Soon he won't want to hold his Annee's hand; he'll be too busy with his own independent life. I love that little boy so much; I cannot fathom how much I will care for my own children. Every moment we have with Ryan is precious and I think we are more aware of the hours we spend with him because of his cancer. I cherish each second we have together, but I will remember holding hands with him in my sister's car while a soft song played on the radio forever.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Sad Month

I disappeared for a while there. This is going to be a short post to say I am ready to start writing again. January is a notoriously bad month for me. I get in a funk and I stay in a funk for most of the month. What's funny is every January I wonder why I'm in such a bad mood all the time and why I just want to sleep, sleep, sleep. Year, to year, I conveniently forget how dreadful January is for me.

We did go on a vacation this January which helped me wallow a bit less. The reason for my sad month is something I am going to keep to myself for now. For me January is a time for reflection, a time for remembrance and a time for sadness. Now I have wiped away all my pathetic tears and I am ready for 2009. And I am ready to stop typing January.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Open Mouth - Insert Foot

This past Sunday I made the colossal mistake of saying I wasn't sure I wanted children to my sister when my mother was in my house. I didn't think she was in hearing range, but the conversation (it was more of a lecture, actually) that occurred the following Thursday reminded me that mothers are always in hearing range.

On Thursday I took my mother out to lunch because she was going to drive me to Vancouver, WA to pick up our new car. It's a 2008 Subaru and I am unashamedly in love with it. I took her out to Burgerville because it's local-ish and if you're going to eat fast food you might as well eat the best you can find.

As soon as we sat down my mother said, "Are you sure you don't want to have children?" Oh, Lord I thought. She's been stewing over this since Sunday. That means she's had days to come up with arguments and reasons why I should have children. After that opening volley a 40 minute conversation, of sorts, was had. She did most of the talking while I threw in as much defending as I could. At one point my mother even said, "I'm not telling you what to do - I'm just telling you what to do."

I feel more blindsided than angry. My mother has always been so good about not interfering. She's always let me do what I need to do and if I need her she's always been there. Yes, there have been some judgmental comments over the years, but for the most part she has let me live my life as I see fit.

I know this conversation probably stems from the fact that my sister is moving to Idaho with my nephew for her husband's job. My mother bonded with my nephew from day one. He started sleeping over at her house when he was two weeks old and when he was diagnosed with kidney disease (false diagnosis!) and then cancer she was with my sister every step of the way. She still goes to most hospital visits with them and she still watches him a lot. She has 3 other grandchildren besides him though. I don't see why I need to add to the crowd.

Plus my nephew's illness scares me half to death. My sister once told me the hardest thing she's had to face is that her child could die. When I asked her how she's managed to come to terms with that fact she said, "You just do." My sister has been a mother, a nurse, and a support system for her husband through this journey. I have no idea how she gets up day after day, but she does. The chances of me having a child with cancer are slim, but there is a chance because my nephew and cousin have the same type of cancer and they both got it as babies. When I look at my nephew and think of how sick he's been and how far we still have to go it breaks my heart. I love that little boy so much; I can only imagine how much I would love my own child.

I tried to explain all of the concerns Jonathan and I have about my health. She responded that that should make us try quicker because I may not be able to get pregnant. Being my mother she was quick to bring up my greatest fear.

"You don't want to be the 40-year-old mother dropping your child off at preschool do you?" she asked. Well, of course not! But I am only 25! I want to finish having kids by the time I am 30. Surely I don't have to start today?! Since I am so unsure on the matter I think it's better to wait instead of having a child I don't want.

There's also the matter of the spring of 2008 when my marriage was blown to pieces and I was left standing in the aftermath wondering what the hell had happened. Jonathan and I are doing much, much better now. With the help of friends, family and counseling we've been able to pick up most of the pieces, but I'm still frightened that adding something as stressful as a child to our lives will scatter the pieces all over again. I know we still need time as a couple without children to regain our footing and make sure we're on solid ground. We're so close, but I don't want to rush things.

I already spend so much of my time worrying about whether or not I want to be a mom. I don't need my mother weighing in on the matter. When I feel ready, we will try. And if I can't get pregnant, we will not look into infertility options as my mother suggested. If I am unable to get pregnant I am going to regard it as a sign from my body and the good Lord that it is not meant to happen.

Some days, I tell you. Some days.

We leave for Mt. Hood tomorrow. We rented a cabin near Zig-Zag for a few days and I am going to spend my time not thinking about children. I'm going to enjoy spending time with my husband and the dog (and our new car!). I'm going to read, watch a lot of movies and eat popcorn by the fire. I'm going to spend hours in the hot tub and I am going to sleep a lot.

Friday, January 2, 2009

How exciting!

Our Internet has been spotty for the past two weeks so I've been blogging from work on my lunch break. Fair warning: I've got lots to say.

First off - I watched Mamma Mia New Year's Eve and I LOVED it. It's not a very good movie, but at the same time it's too excellent to watch only once. I wish I would've watched it when my husband wasn't around so I could have the full experience, but I can (and will) watch it again. The DVD even has a sing along option!

I have to admit, I listened to a lot of ABBA in high school and this movie brought some old memories back. My best friend in high school loved the song Dancing Queen so much she wanted someone to wake her up on her 17th birthday with that song. So I did. We jumped on her bed and danced and sang until the song was over. We were both 17 and life was grand and rather uncomplicated. I haven't thought of that moment in YEARS, but as soon as that song started playing it all came rushing back.

One thing I did not like about the movie? Pierce Brosnan should not sing. Ever. The parts where he has to solo are painful and I recommend skipping them.

Jonathan and I are going up to the mountains the 2nd week of January for a much needed vacation. I wish it wouldn't have snowed so much before Christmas because we're both sick of the stuff now, but hopefully our vacation will still be fun. While it would be nice to go somewhere warm I am very, very excited to be going to the mountain. The only problem is that the mountain cabin has a hot tub and I have not bought a bathing suit since 2005. Or maybe 2004. It's been a long time.

I was out shopping for a few things yesterday and on a whim decided to try on a bathing suit. And not just any bathing suit, but a bikini. Well, it wasn't exactly a whim. I think my husband is tired of seeing me in the same bathing suit. But I only wear it once a year, at the most, so it's not like it's worn out.

Now, I have put on a bikini exactly zero times before in my life. I am just not comfortable exposing that much skin to the world. I don't even like V-neck t-shirts because they show a hint of cleavage. I place the blame for my modesty on being raised Baptist.

I was standing in the dressing room, glad no one could see me trying to get into a bikini, when I had a realization: the mystery 8 lbs I have gained this year are sitting on my thighs. I spent 11 months wondering where the hell I had gained the weight and two seconds after stuffing myself into a bikini, I had my answer.

I quickly divested myself of the bikini and got back into my layers of clothing. Let me just say - I LOVE WINTER! No need for skirts, shorts or tank tops. I can pile on 4 or 5 shirts and people don't give me a second glance. I am so glad we are vacationing in a cold spot. The only time I have to put on a bathing suit is if I choose to use the hot tub. I don't have to wear a bathing suit because we're vacationing in the tropics and it's too hot to wear anything else. Thank the Lord for cold weather. I'm already dreading June.


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