Monday, May 31, 2004



I made cake. It's tasty but not what I want, so it's back to the drawing board. Basically, I found that the almond flour is competing too much with the lemon flavor. It's not bad, just different from what I'm looking for... it should remind me of lemonade. Lemonade you can take big bites out of, and then lick the sweet-and-sour off your lips.

I had retail therapy today. I took off for 3 hours. I returned some stuff at Target and picked up some stuff for the house, and then I hit the mall looking for t-shirts. Actually, I don't want plain t-shirts because the necklines are too high and my chest is completely flat now and the high neck just makes that worse. I must've tried on 3,000 horrible shirts. I was looking for a nice scoop-neck, couldn't find any -- although I did see some with 3/4 sleeves, but I don't want 3/4 sleeves for summer.

I went in NY Co for the first time ever. They have cute clothes but I didn't like their t's... got a long knit dress in a nice pink(!), though. Everyone was having sales, and the mall was packed. It was hot today (103) and being the holiday, I'm sure that had something to do with it... I quite literally went into 8 different stores before I found really nice quality v-neck t's at Eddie Bauer. Then I wandered around a little and loved everything, and picked up a natural color long linen skirt, a red hoodie, a beautiful openwork cotton cardigan, a black rib long sleeve sweater and green long sleeve v-neck t... plus 2 short sleeve t's, all for $118. Now I can purge some more of the old/ratty/stained stuff out of my closet. Yay!

So I was out for a while, I really needed that break. I kept wondering when DH was going to call me for something-or-other, but the cellphone never rang. I felt so much better after getting out for a few hours.

I cam home and baked the cake, then tried a new biscuit recipe (eh), and made coleslaw to go along with our bbq take-out. I wonder sometimes if the people at Joe's know we are regulars because they gave us so much extra... which is great because that's another night I don't have to cook! Hee!

After supper I taught the kids how to play Yahtzee. We had a blast, even though we did not finish the game, but they all wanted to finish it tomorrow, so we will. It is a good game to play with little ones (I keep score for everyone, it's simpler); each turn goes very quickly. They all root for each other, and the few times when someone was close to getting a yahtzee, they were so excited. It's really cute. It's also a stealthy way to teach math!

I told DH, times like that, playing a game with them when they are all happy and we are having a good time, then I feel like I am a good mom. We all get along very well, for now. I know there will most likely come a day when I'll suggest something and they'll all look at me and roll their eyes and say, "Mom, that is so lame!" For now I really enjoy spending close time with them like that. I know that just escaping for 2 or 3 hours every so often allows me to do that -- I just let go of all my frustrations and let everything dissipate, then I can come home and really be here again.

* * *

DD woke up around 11 with a headache and an earache, and sat up with me and watched "What Not To Wear", intermittently whimpering and feeling like she was going to throw up. I finally got her to lie down on the futon and she went right off to sleep, poor dear. Who knows what caused it? I suspect not enough to drink today, dehydration can do those things. The earache thing was a little odd, though -- not an inside-the-head earache, she said the outside of it, like the cartiledge, hurt... well now it is very late and I want to go to bed, so I'm off, hoping DD will be OK in the morning.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

at odds

This is one of those days when I feel like I'm at right-angles to the rest of reality. There's nothing really wrong, just a lot of little things going against the grain -- my grain -- as it were.

This morning laundry, then some errands, then over to friends' house so kids could swim. We were there from before 3 until 8. It was mostly uneventful and yet incredibly stressful at the same time. My kids are terrific, but DS2 got a bit whiny from time to time and ended up getting knocked down, but thankfully not run over, by the Silverado Power Wheels that is always a bone of contention whenever we go over there. He wasn't hurt, and was more annoyed by the fact that he didn't get to drive than anything else. Then DD had a (quiet) tantrum because she didn't get to drive, either. The fact that NO ONE got to drive after DS2 got knocked over was lost on her.

Anyway, came home, folded laundry, forgot to take the minocycline at 9:30 like I was supposed to, so now I can't take my iron yet again...I'm getting very annoyed with myself. I can't seem to get my act together with these meds. There are just too many to remember, including FOOD. I need to get up by a certain time so I can eat breakfast and take the minocycline in mid-morning, with enough time before lunch, when I take my first dose of calcium, etc etc etc

There is nothing I want to eat these days. I find it somewhat ironic that I appear to have lost 3 or 4 pounds over the last week while I was eating chocolate cake twice a day. I want sweets but not dairy, chocolate but only the good stuff, which is in short supply around here... oh, I don't know what I want. My tummy seems OK with green and leafy things, but not with tomatoes (uncooked) which is just killing me, because they're so beautiful right now. Meat is OK. Every day at lunch I think, "what should I eat?" and have trouble thinking of anything that even remotely interests me.

I want CAKE!

Hmmm... this could be hormonal (checking calendar...) yep. OK, that explains that. Tomorrow may be a baking day. I'm thinking about making a "lemonade cake", a rich lemon cake that you poke holes in when it comes out of the oven, then drizzle a lemon syrup over it to make a glaze, it's really phenomenal in its high-carb incarnation, and I'd like to (hee) make it low carb...

Friday, May 28, 2004

once more, into the breach

We made yet another attempt to upgrade our computer tonight. After much hemming and hawing (and 2 failed actual purchases: bought, brought home, set up, and then returned because of technical failures/recalls/other weirdness) we ordered a really kick-ass media pc from HP. It won't get here until, about, July. Oh well. It's only 6x faster than what I am currently typing on, so I'm looking forward to using it when I get back from vacation. DH will still be here when it arrives...

DH also bought another TiVO for upstairs (it was way cheap)... and I did a bunch more damage at Target. It was a spendy kind of day. I think it's because I got paid, LOL. That money is burning a hole in our pockets... actually that money is all spent now, but at least I won't have to pay taxes on it now.

Hoping to go to the zoo in the A.M. tomorrow, so I'm off to bed. I took my first minocycline this evening. I'm hoping it goes well but at the same time not hopeful. Does that make sense? I'm at the verge of just saying, screw it, and stopping taking EVERYTHING for a while (well, except the thyroid meds) just to see how I feel when I don't take this labs came back from the g/e dr all fine. I think I'm going to call on Tues and have them fax the results over to me, I'd like to take a look at 'em.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is on USA. What a great movie. It really sucks that you can't just buy a Raiders DVD, you have to buy the whole set. Frankly, the other 2 films are not worth owning, IMO. But then again, I just bought the kids 3 DVD this afternoon: Larry Boy and the Rumor Weed,Spy Kids 2, and another Kipper DVD, this one, "Water Play." It has my favorite "The Rainbow Puddle" on it. I'm psyched. It doesn't take much to make me happy some days. Hee!

old bad habits

Stayed up way too late the other night hammering out the June column for LCL Mag. I like it, but I really can't stay up until 3AM writing, it's going to kill me.

So yesterday I was miserable from sheer exhaustion. Went to get the stitches out of my leg, and I'm concerned because there may be a fragment of thread still in there. Plus the area around the incision is itching like crazy because of the various adhesives I've had on it for the past 2 weeks. Sigh.

Had a long conference call with the work guys yesterday, I have a ton of stuff to do for them but am waiting for more information... it is good I have my drop-dead date, because it has given them incentive to move along and get things wrapped up.

Well, have to run off to Target for various errands... I have been neglecting the kiddos by being on the phone and computer too much lately, but I don't get to see my friends so the phone is positively necessary, and as for the computer... I don't have the energy to do anything but sit around, so I may as well sit around on the 'puter, right? I'm sooooo bad.

More research on the minocycline treatment, trying to figure out when/how to take it, because there are so many restrictions: can't take it with food. Or iron, calcium, zinc... all of which I take! Arg. I need a schedule to keep up with it. I don't like to be noncompliant but I don't think my rheumatologist is quite up on this, since she prescribed for me 2x the dosage that is discussed typically online. I have to do more research... this being sick stuff is too much work. Well, let me do that now before I forget...

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

reliable signal


Unhappy children do not sing.


I have spent the past 2 and a half days reading and writing obsessively about The Sopranos and to a lesser extent, 24, also a few essay-ish things on why I support the War on Terror, and generally not doing anything I really should be doing.

I finally sent out an invoice over the weekend; got the check today. I do love that. In addition, my boss has called twice to check on my availability (ie, when I turn into a pumpkin), and to let me know when to expect my assignments: Friday, and Monday. I'm not holding my breath, but it would be good if they came when he says they will. I'd like to do some more work and I'd like to do it before things get too crazy.

So, with that stuff pending, and the beginning of the month LOOMING, I really need to whip off at least one if not two MILC columns but I'm stuck in Soprano-land. How inappropriate.

Saw the g/e doctor yesterday, and told him that going off the Plaquenil has really helped a lot. He kindly ordered a bunch of tests to make sure my thyroid and adrenals have not kicked out on me (there are indications of such), agreed that much of my problem could be from stress, and suggested I take up swimming, or some sort of regular workout. I know it would help me a great deal but it's not practical at this point. So, aside from getting the lab results, I don't have to see him for another year, unless something happens.

Saw the rheumatologist today and she wrote me a script for minocycline... yay! I'm going to wean off Vioxx and see how it goes with just that, because I've been reading about Vioxx increasing the risk of heart disease by some huge scary number. Since both my parents had heart problems, I don't think I want to start courting them myself by using that drug long-term... I'm hopeful the minocycline will help because antibiotics usually do make me feel so good... oh, how wonderful it would be to feel *good* again.

The rheumatologist was funny when I brought up antibiotic treatment, initially very skeptical, but then she said there was ONE -- minocycline -- which is of course what I was about to ask for, as all my research said this is it! I did tell her, hey, they've been looking into this for 50 years and there is some research behind it -- she admitted, yeah, there is. For some reason she doesn't go this route very often, but I'm a headstrong patient and she's willing to let me try things. I've got 2 months to see if it's working for me. It either will or it won't. The Vioxx/Plaquenil didn't really help all that much.

The thing is, I could have a mycoplasma infection, and that could be the source of all these medical problems I've been dealing with forever, it seems... maybe. Maybe not. I kinda wish she had ordered a mycoplasma test but she didn't seem inclined to do so, just write the scrip and see if it works, and at that point I didn't want to argue. I don't think I'm susceptible to placebo effect here, since this is the fourth treatment protocol we're trying out here...

She also wrote me a scrip for PT for my sciatica (also neck and shoulders killing me!) so I have to schedule that somehow or other... that's always the tough part.

Tomorrow, stitches out of the leg. Hurrah!

I'm feeling very small these days. I haven't lost any weight but I just seem... smaller. Well, I actually am smaller: I actually measured and I've lost a half-inch off my hips and waist, each, and I have no idea why. The scale still says the same thing. Weird.

Monday, May 24, 2004

chocolate cake, laundry, Sopranos


There, that's my day in a nutshell.

I never even got dressed today. I'm in the same extra-long t-shirt I slept in last night, and I will indeed sleep in it again tonight. Don't care, I didn't do a thing to even remotely break a sweat today.

I did, however, bake a cake, do 3 loads of laundry, and have hour-long conversations with my bro in PA and my dear sis in Boston. Family stuff... Mom took a bad fall this week past, the result of dark glasses and walking down a dark-carpeted staircase without holding onto the handrail, because she was carrying stuff down to the pool. Face plant resulted. Luckily, no broken bones, just many bruises. This is when it sucks being across the continent, although there is very little I could do even if I were there.

Well, I will be there in a little more than a month, so that will be good.

Man, The Sopranos was totally mind-blowing tonight. I hope it doesn't give me nightmares.

Skipped the Plaquenil today and my innards have been a lot more calm. It's only one day, though. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. Should I feel like an idiot if it turns out the drugs were the cause of the rapid transit problem? Doesn't seem worth the effort, actually. There's no point in beating myself up over stuff like that. I've got enough stress happening in the rest of my life that I don't have to manufacture more to dump on myself.

Friday, May 21, 2004

fly by


Managed to do stuff today. Finally got everything packed and shipped (4 different packages). Went up to the mall with the kiddos and got some new undies for me, let them play in the play area for a while. (DD is getting too old, she got bored quickly. It was interesting to see that.) Finally sent off an invoice to my boss. That will be a nice check when it gets here.

Coincidentally, I got back in the mail today my Adrenal Fatigue book that I had loaned to an online friend. I spent a bunch of time with that today, taking the diagnostic quiz again, and came up with a diagnosis of moderate adrenal fatigue. I've been taking 5mg Cortef for a little more than a week now, and haven't noticed much improvement. In fact I feel pretty much the same. Reading through the rest of the book, Wilson dislikes using Cortef as he says it shuts down the adrenals. OTOH, Larrian Gillespie likes using Cortef as it shuts down the adrenals and lets them rest and heal. Honestly, I don't think these people know WTF they are talking about. But I tend more towards Larrian's view, because she specifically talks about how DHEA and Pregnelone affect women's hormonal cycles vs how they affect men. I'm pretty sure most of Wilson's research and advice is based on males... he doesn't even discuss their affects on women vs men, testosterone and the other androgyns... that is pretty important stuff, and should not be ignored.

All I know is, I have a few more symptoms than I had previously (scars turning brown, practically daily headaches, more fatigue) when my endo brushed me off. All she'll want to do is the ACTH stim test, which will demonstrably prove, once again, that I don't have Addison's (I know that already) and will not prove, once again, that my adrenals are struggling. Maybe I need to find another doctor? Sheesh. I don't think so.

Glad tomorrow is Friday, not that it makes that much difference. I am tired.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004


Busy day. Very little upheaval, for which I am thankful.

DS2 has this thing now. At just about 8AM he pad-pad-pads into my room and lurks at my bedside until I turn over and look at him (I sleep facing the other side of the bed). Then the conversation goes like this:

Me: Good morning, sweetie.
Him: Good morning, Mom. Will you make me breakfast?
Me: Sure. What do you want?
Him: Ummmm... toast and eggs!
Me: OK, give me a minute.
Him: OK!
(pad-pad-pad out of the bedroom again)

Now, keep in mind, DH is usually downstairs already, hanging around on the computer during this entire exchange. For the life of me, I have no idea why DS2 insists that I make him breakfast, because his dad is certainly equally capable of making his one piece of buttered toast and 2 fried egg whites.

So after about 2 or 3 minutes of wishing I could just go back to sleep, I haul my butt out of bed and take my thyroid meds, do my morning bathroom routine (which often involves sticking my head in the sink, because my hair is going in 16 different directions), throw on some clothes, and start the day.

Today we did breakfast then we went to story time which was OK but once again DS2 insists, very quietly, to me: "There are too many people here!" And all he'll do is sit very quietly, again, on my lap. Although because DD came with us today, that helped. There was a very cute baby there today that they both enjoyed playing with. The baby's mom didn't mind at all, she seemed a little relieved to have someone else making sure the infant didn't fuss -- I have BTDT! It's a nice break, sometimes. You still have to pay attention and all, but you don't have to perform.

The one thing I had going today was a menu. I put the sesame steak in to marinate before lunch, and made the cream scones (kind of like sweet biscuits) for strawberry shortcake after picking up DS1 from school. We all trekked over to the supermarket for some strawberries, and DS1 begged and pleaded for blackberries so I got him some to try. How can I say no? He's actually asking to try new things!

Dinner was awesome... I made a wilted spinach thing that's yum, to go along with the steak, which was fantastic. DD kicked up a fuss and wouldn't even try the spinach, so sorry, no strawberry shortcake for you! Both DS1 and DS2 totally devoured theirs. I was amazed; DS1 has never even strawberries before,and he ate the entire thing, including the biscuit part! What's up with that? I don't care, it was nice to see him actually eating something I baked. He's weird, he doesn't like many baked goods other than cookies.

It was kind of sad how DD went off the rails over the spinach. I didn't expect her to eat a huge serving. All we asked her to do was to take a single, tiny bite and just try it. She wouldn't do it and went into histrionics, so she had to spend a good part of the evening upstairs in her room.

Just now, DH called me upstairs to check them out. DD and DS2 were sleeping in her bed together, heads together like they were just whispering and giggling together and fell asleep that way. Of course that is probably what happened. They were adorable. Sneaky, but adorable. If DS1 wasn't still in school I wouldn't care a bit where they sleep and how much, but he still has a couple of weeks to go... it's too soon to get so silly! It's probably just as well that the 2 little ones left him alone to sleep. At least I hope they did!

The leg bothers me a lot when I stand. Lots of little skin-pulling ouches and itches, jeez louise this thing itches at the stitches and where the adhesive was, in spite of cortisone cream... the bruising finally seems to be fading, a little bit, at least.

Got another call from the girlfriend with the horrible gossip story, and have come to the realization that this story is pretty horrifying and she needs to talk about it to process it. I can understand that, I just wish she hadn't picked me. So I just let her talk and don't say much. I really don't have anything to contribute other than the occasional,"That's too bad," and "You really have to talk to her to find out what's going on." I just kind of let it wash over me and try not to let it affect me. Otherwise, ick.

I was really tired and still feel it a little, but true to my stressed-adrenal form, I'm getting my midnight surge of energy. So I need to haul my ass up to bed before I end up staying awake until 2AM. I've got stuff I should do tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Just like me


DD's preschool has pecan trees. They are humongous, easily 30 feet tall, and drop tons of pecans every spring. For the third year in a row now (I started her there when she was 2), I have had to deal with pecans coming into the house, every day she had school. She is obsessive about them, and it makes me a little bit crazy, because she doesn't even like to eat pecans! And these are quite good! No, she just likes to have them.

It made no sense to me, until something flipped a memory switch and I remember being exactly her age, and obsessively collecting chestnuts from the huge chestnut tree that grew near our neighborhood. We didn't go by it all that often, but whenever we did, I would always bring home handfuls of chestnuts. We never ate them, but I really liked them a lot. I just wanted to have them. They were pretty, they bounced, they were from nature... there was just something about them I loved.

I vividly recall bringing home piles of them, and I have no memory whatsoever of throwing them away. I'm sure my mom, or my older sister, was forever throwing away my stupid chestnuts, because I certainly never came upon them later. Maybe I did throw them out myself, and I just don't remember doing it? It doesn't really matter at all. I just felt very connected to DD through this memory of being little and in love with the world and the things in it.

It makes me so happy that we have flowers (lantana) in the backyard that she can pick to her heart's content. She mixes up little potions ("soup" she calls it, although it's always just pretend and they never, ever eat it!) of bits of lantana and grass and rosemary, bougainvillea bracts and whatever else she finds... she has made some quite beautiful collages out of these unfortunately fragile ingredients. They never last, but there are always more flowers to pick tomorrow.

I remember when I was little how much I loved flowers, and we had
no flowers at all around our house. My mom was not into gardening or landscaping at all. We had a green privet hedge and a little patch of grass, that was it. The hedge was no consolation at all when it bloomed in the spring, because I really detested (still do) the smell of the privet blossoms. They were pretty enough, little white flowers, but -- ewwww. Stinky!

Here, the citrus trees bloom twice a year and the smell of them is quite overpowering. DD's nose is incredible. She will come in and say, "I smell celery," after I have finished chopping some for a salad or something. So she is always asking me, what is that smell, what is that? Half the time I have to tell her I don't know, and I'm not sure she believes me. But she loves the smell of the citrus trees, and I am happy that we have beautiful flowers for her to enjoy and nice smells for her to notice. I didn't have those things, and I longed for them so much.

It is really extraordinary to remember those feelings that are, what, 35 years old? around there, yeah -- so clearly. I have always been a bit separated from DD until now, she has always been alien, other, in little ways. I could never understand her. And now I can see so many ways that she is just like me, she has always been like me and I just refused to see it.

On her last day of school, one of the teachers remarked to me as we were walking out, hand-in-hand, that I must have looked just like her when I was little. I usually balk at the suggestion, and indeed there are subtle differences between us: she has blue eyes, and I think she'll end up with her father's eyebrows instead of mine, and she certainly doesn't have my mop of hair. But overall, yes, she is my mini-me. She is beautiful and always has been, although she is quite thin -- when I was her age I wasn't (bad teeth, bad hair...), I never have been beautiful. But we do look very much alike, our bodies are put together the same way, the structure of our faces...

DD doesn't play with dolls much at all, really. I didn't either, although I do recall wanting "Baby Tender Luv" for Christmas, and getting two of them! I don't know that I ever actually played with them, though. I loved my stuffed animals, just as DD loves hers. The more I look, the more similarities between us I can see. It's really amazing.

Another one? DD can happily spend all day on the computer... oh, Lord, have I created a monster?! For now, it's OK that she plays the games on or another computer game. Later, it may become a source of concern, but for now? It's fine.

For her entire life, I have felt a much stronger emotional connection to her older brother, who physically is just like his father, but emotionally and mentally is very much like me. Even DH will say, "You are just like your mother, always thinking in science fiction terms," which is so true! (Someday I should put together all of his Fire Newts In Space story/pictures, they are quite extraordinary. You wouldn't think that Fire Newts would be a space-going race, but they are to him.) Also, DH totally nailed me one day on the fact that DS1 is my favorite. That's not quite true because I love them all, I just love them in different ways. I honestly don't believe that anyone can be "fair" about love. It just doesn't work that way. We have different relationships with every individual. I do try to be fair with respect to rules and behavior, though, although I'm quite sure that DS2 is more spoiled than the older ones!

At any rate, I have always understood DS1's finicky reactions to food and clothes and whatnot, because they resonated with me. I was just like that when I was younger, I remember those feelings so well: liking pasta, but only certain shapes, because the other shapes just tasted weird... DH does not get that at all, but I do, so when DS1 doesn't want bow ties or shells but will eat penne, I completely understand.

It was something similar that finally opened the doors I had closed off to DD: she was complaining about her socks being uncomfortable. Her feet are so long and narrow, it's really hard to find socks that fit her well. They need to be stretchy so they are not too baggy, but they also need to be long enough. I started out being annoyed with her but then I realized that in the past I have bought dozens of different socks to try before I finally settled on the Keds I like. It sounds stupid, but they are the right amount of stretchiness so they don't twist around on my foot or give me blisters. How could I blame her for wanting comfy socks after the expense I had gone through to find decent socks for myself? She was just like me.

That was the beginning of the revelations, but it wasn't until I made the connections between pecans and chestnuts, which in itself was triggered by the teacher's comment, that I realized how many similarities we have. It sounds shallow but I am finding it much easier to love her -- that's not quite right: much easier to show her how much I love her. To be kind when I speak to her, to nourish those connections that are so new. She has such a kind heart, she deserves kindness, especially from me.

I think about my life and what I have managed to accomplish, and I see her and think, she can do anything. All of the things that I longed for, she has. No one has messed her up, nothing holds her back. She can do anything, I'll make sure she knows that, believes it down to her soul. She's just like me.

Monday, May 17, 2004



I was a complete slug today. I spent the entire day on the computer reading analysis of yesterday's Sopranos episode. Every time I stand up, my leg kills me. I even had to switch bandages at mid-day because the adhesive on the patch bandage was really getting to me... Now I have a fabric bandaid on there and I hope it will do, because at least it's not making me itch on top of everything.

Yesterday was a fairly dreadful day. The stiff neck and shoulders with accompanying headache returned, to a lesser degree but still thumping and making me grumpy... one of my girlfriends had a birthday party for her son at the Bounce Zone, so I took the 3 kids. DH stayed home to pay the bills... I did not begrudge him the time alone, he never gets any. The Bounce Zone is pretty cool but there were just too many kids and too much noise for DS2 to want to do anything except cling to me. He wouldn't go on any of the bouncers -- they had a sport court, a big slide, an obstacle course, and an enclosed bouncer, like the kind we have rented for birthday parties. DS2 wouldn't even go with me down the slide! *sigh* DD and DS1 had a good time, although DS1 had a couple of minor meltdowns. He did a good job of getting over them, though, so it was OK.

I just don't like that kind of party. Too much chaos, too many presents no one needs... maybe I am just an old grump but I'm sorry, no 6-year-old should be allowed to invite their entire class to a birthday party, plus other friends! That just doesn't make sense to me. Who needs 30 kids at a party? Yeesh.

I really am a grump! Ha!

I was so wiped out when we got home - even though it was only 5 minutes away - that DH immediately said, "Let's get takeout for dinner," and we got BBQ from Joe's and it was awesome. So awesome in fact that we had enough leftover for tonight's dinner, which enabled me to be the complete slug that I was today. Hey, I made coleslaw both days...

I need to bake, clean, do laundry, and shop.

When I was not on the computer, I was on the phone. Everyone called me today and I needed to make some calls myself. The same girlfriend who hosted the party called me to tell me a nasty gossipy story about people I don't know and don't want to know. Really, it was horrible, and there was no way I could shut her up that I could see, so I just let her ramble on about it. It really upset me, which I guess is stupid: I just didn't know how to tell her I wasn't interested in this "news" she thought was so juicy. Her priorities are so different from mine. She's all about appearance and money even though she'll deny that to her grave, she can't see herself for what she is. I really need to limit my exposure to that woman.

In fact, limiting my exposure to her was a contributing factor to my decision to make my Southern Living at Home party a catalog party, because then I won't have to actually be a hostess and get the house all spiffed up for visitors. Besides, I have a pathological fear that I will give a party and no one will come. Also, as soon as that party is scheduled, my boss will call and tell me that's the time he wants to fly me out to NY, you can bet on it. Actually that time would be the prime candidate for the all-day meeting, so I'm glad I cleared the day.

I did accomplish one thing: I weighed and measured all the paintings for my friend who wants them. It will be nice to get them out of the closets here, off to their new home where they will be cherished.

My head hurts again. Maybe I'll go take some Tylenol. Maybe I should get off the computer, ya think? Nah...

Saturday, May 15, 2004



Not much going on, really, just life as usual... running around with the kids, dealing with the leg, and my neck and shoulders have tranmogrified into solid rock, giving me a blasting headache. I can't take any more ibuprofen-oid stuff, either, since I'm on the Vioxx. Extra-strength tylenol takes the edge off, and heat packs and stretching help, but it's still pretty brutal.

The kids were great today. They splashed around in the little pool for hours. DS2 became quite grumpy in the evening, any little "no" sent him into a shrieking fit. It's getting quite old, this overly-sensitive phase of his... but now I remember it from when the other 2 went through it, and so it's easier to deal with.

Can't type for anything tonight -- I think the little surgery has caused a flare, my fingers are a bit swollen, and that's probably why my neck and shoulders are such a mess, too. Although if the fibromyalgia is going to start attacking there on a regular basis, I will be so hosed. This headache is approaching migraine proportions... ick. Well, we'll see what happens.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

peaceful house

It's almost 9PM and totally quiet. I like it. DH is still out at the DBacks came, probably won't be home for another hour, at least. There is nothing I have to do. That's cool.

After picking up DS1 from school, I barely supervised him doing his math homework -- they're doing fractions, which he just "gets" -- and then they all went back to watching Spy Kids 3D, the actual 3-D version which gives me a headache. The movie got totally panned but I honestly didn't think it was that bad. I think most reviewers fell asleep before realizing that the revenge plot was not going to play out the way they expected it to. Yes, it was stupid. But fun for the kids, and once again nicely emphasizing how important family is. I like that.

We went for an early dinner at Chili's which was actually really nice for a change. We were all in the bathroom for a "last call" before going over to DD's cheer practice when one of the other cheer moms called me to say that there was a problem, there was some event going on in the gym. We were only about 5 minutes away so I told her we would be right there. When we got there, she was there with her daughter, and one other mom & girl from my squad, plus one of the coaches -- no sign of anyone else. We decided to bail. It was too hot to do it outside, and they were only going to review this evening, anyway. It was the last practice! Harumph. I was ticked. This has been too disorganized by far, but still, DD enjoyed herself quite a bit when she decided to make the effort.

So, it was about 6:10 and I had a bit of wanderlust, and decided to take the kids for dessert. We went to AJ's, which is this really swank grocery store that has an incredible bakery: all these gorgeous things, very pricey of course. But they do have luscious and quite reasonable chocolate croissants. The kids were freaking out over all the really expensive pastries. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to buy them $5 napoleans which I know they will not eat. I bought 2 chocolate croissants ($1.39 each)and 1 huge butterfly-shaped, beautifully frosted sugar cookie ($2.50!). We ate at the tables they have outside by their fountains. It was quite pleasant, but seriously, $2.50 for one cookie? Please. However, I have to say it was the best-tasting really expensive cookie I have ever had. Usually when they look that good they taste nasty, because they are just made for show. The chocolate croissant? mmmmmm I can't have them without thinking of my high school trip to Monaco, when I practically lived on pain au chocolat and orangina, because both were tasty, cheap, and widely available. Monaco was incredibly expensive, at least to me back then, and I could really only afford to eat one good meal a day. Plus, of course, infinite amounts of cafe-au-lait, with tons of sugar, which was life-sustaining. And amaretto. Or Grand Marnier. Never mind...

It's odd. That was a high school trip and we did things with our teacher and whoever the other chaperone was (I can't even remember!), but nearly all of my memories are of me and my girl friends hanging out with no adult supervision. How is that possible? Miss K trusted us, I suppose. Well, we all came back alive and disease-free, so no harm done. In this day and age? No way would 4 teen-age girls be allowed to roam around Monaco at all hours without a grown-up along! Course it was nearly 25 years ago that I went.

Enough nostalgia... had dessert, came home, got the kids in the bath and to bed. I was going to skip the baths but DS1 had field day today and he was all sweaty and dusty, definitely in need of a good scrub. Amazingly, they were all tucked in by 8:15. Days like today make me sure I'll be able to manage them when we are in MA for all those weeks without DH!

I was thinking, I have to ask my bro & SIL if there are any feasts in the North End while we are there... I would love to take my kids to one, it would really be fun, and there apartment is right there so we could go there and escape the craziness if it got to be too much. Now I am really starting to look forward to the trip. Only 3 more weeks of school for DS1!


I'm exhausted and it's only 3PM.

Got up early and got the two little ones to IHOP for DD's preschool breakfast. What a zoo -- actually, the restaurant was quite accomodating. Both DD and DS2 ate very well but DS2 does not deal with chaotic, noisy restaurants very well and he was pretty grumpy.

Then, got to DD's school and hung out for a while and supervised a couple of rounds of Jenga for her and some friends. Today was "bring your favorite game day", so she brought Jenga. The kids who played really liked it, even though it says "ages 8 and up", my kids have been playing since around 2 with no problem. They cheat a little here and there, but not to the point of invalidating the game, and it's very good for hand-eye-coordination, etc.

After a sugar-laden breakfast of pancakes, the kids both got ice cream with toppings -- including new humungous, Shrek m&ms, at snack time, and then had otter pops which the K class was selling! Yikes. A totally sugared-out morning. I did well, although I did eat probably 8-10 of those big M&Ms. They were good. I have no regrets.

After DD's school, DH came and took the kids down to McD's so I could get the cyst removed from my leg. The procedure left me literally shaky, and I'm not sure why. The dr was digging in there for a while (maybe five minutes), but I was well-doped and didn't feel it a bit. I've got 3 big ugly stitches on my inner left thigh now, though. I don't get the wobbly business: I even ate beforehand this time -- got a new LC flatbread sandwich from Quiznos, which was really tasty. But still, I'm a bit shaky.

So,picked up the kids from DH, filled up the gas tank, and more or less crashed at home until it's (now!) time to get DS1...

Still to come today, dinner, cheer practice, getting the kids into bed, all with this stupid pressure bandage on my leg, which is KILLING ME!

Sucks being me sometimes! ;)
I'll get over it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

still employed!


And likely to be busy as all-get-out starting in a week or so, straight up until the time I go on vacation.

Yes, yes, I finally screwed up my nerves enough to actually call the guy I'm working for and ask him what's going on, after encouragement from my older sister, on top of everyone else I asked about it. He has been head-down getting the patent application in (tomorrow by 5pm, all done). He assures me, "there is no loop you have been left out of," basically because there has been no loop.

So he wants to fly me in for an all-day (or, "until we're finished") meeting. I told him that shouldn't be a problem (cha-ching!). Also, it would be good to attach faces to these people's voices. He would like to have things wrapped up before I head out at the end of June, so it looks like I will be very busy, busy, busy! Or, things could lapse once again and I'll get a few dribs and drabs here and there and then I'll leave for vacation and come home again and eventually it will all get done, or not. I just have to not-stress about it.

Not-stressing is not one of my strong points. Yes, I know that it is a double-negative, and it says exactly what it is supposed to say... I'm a world-class stress obsessor, which probably is a factor in the weakened state of my adrenals.

Oh, yeah, I can send an invoice! Whee!

Today was a better day. Even though it was really busy (TJs and Sam's, Smart&Final, Chick-fil-A, 3 loads of laundry...), I am not feeling wiped out, which is nice. I feel tired but not dead. I'm not sure whether to chalk that up to the fact that I went to bed at midnight and slept till 8, or the Cortef I took after lunch. I'm sure they both contributed. Have to get to bed early tonight, too, as I'm having the cyst removed from my leg tomorrow, DD has cheer practice, and DH is going to the baseball game so I have to bring the boys with me... It's going to be a crazy day.

so much for gluten free

I've been thinking the past few days about certain things that have been happening with me, and finally reviewed some research I had done previously, and I'm thinking that my current crop of problems (including the rapid transit) may be related to my adrenals kicking out again.

I noticed a few weeks ago that my dark spot (velvety patch on my left ankle) is back in full force. It was gone for a very long time, and now it's back. This says to me that my system is very much out of whack, and the only thing that makes it go away is going back on the Cortef. So as of today I'm back on it. I'll give this a week to see if it helps.

My research linked "rapid transit" and absorption problems to adrenal dysfunction as well. Since every other test is coming back negative, is it so unreasonable to think that maybe this old problem has surfaced again?

So I took some Cortef with lunch and we'll see how it goes. Lunch was a club sandwich from Chick-Fil-A. I have never been there before. It was quite good, actually, but I can't believe I ate all that bread. Or that they put HFCS in their mayo. Bastards! Anyway, next time I know to ask for extra lettuce and I'll be able to eat it protein style (ala In-n-Out Burger). I thought for probably an entire minute about eating the bread. It appeared to be whole-wheat-ish, not that that really matters. I just decided, my gut has been as bad as it has ever been (if not worse) over the past 4 days so it really isn't going to make things worse eating this bread, is it? So I ate it.

The moms from DD's class are getting together for a happy hour tonight at 5. That just so does not work for me. Tomorrow the teachers are meeting whoever wants to attend for breakfast at 8AM. These days I am still in bed at 8, but I will get up early tomorrow and bring DD... she will really enjoy it, and it is her last day at her pre-school. Not mine, though, as DS2 still has 2 years ahead of him, there.

I'm not ready for it to be summer yet.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

not much of a day

Sciatica still a problem, and it's interfering with my sleep most of all, which totally screws me over every which way. I realize now (of course, much too late) that assembling bookcases and moving a bunch of stuff around in the house yesterday was pretty stupid, considering my back was bothering me before. However, at the time of the assembly/rearranging, I wasn't in any pain at all. It didn't kick back in until around dinner.

Of course after yesterday today just totally sucked, it has been bothering me a lot more. Why am I so stupid?

Took DD to school, then DS2 to storytime. Brought DD home from school. Picked up DS1 from school. Made dinner. There, that was my day.

I think my adrenals have kicked out again. I think I still have some Cortef around, I'll give it a whirl and see if it helps.

I'm freaked out that Thursday is DD's last day of TK (transitional kindergarden, sort of a super pre-school, not quite kindergarden). I thought she had a couple more weeks. I'm doomed... I have nothing planned for her to do for an entire MONTH. I would love to work on her room with her, and hopefully we will, but with the way my back/sciatica is going right now, I have no idea, realistically, when I will be able to do any kind of physical work.

I am an idiot.

Monday, May 10, 2004

busy busy busy


This morning I was so exhausted that I actually drove right past DD's school on the way to drop to her off. Didn't even realize it, either, until she piped up with, "Um, Mom?" When DS1 got home from school today she gleefully informed him of my lapse.

I was so zoned all day I didn't think I'd accomplish anything, but for some reason or other I decided to get off my butt this afternoon, and I put together the two new bookcases for the kitchen, then I reorganized the hall closet and rearranged some other stuff, too. There was a good bit of shuffling things around and a minor amount of cleaning. The upshot is we have a neater hallway, two more cabinets in the kitchen that we can use for kitchen stuff instead of kid stuff and books, and a convenient place to put stuff that doesn't fit nicely on the table while we're eating (the new bookcases). It's nice.

And now I'm really, really exhausted.

Today was day one with my new underthings. The bra is definitely fine -- I had some concerns that the band size would be too small -- and very comfy, and the new "tanga" undies will be fine, too, they just take some getting used to... hee! Now I'm trying to figure out if I should just go back and buy more at the mall, or order them online. I think I may do the online order just because I know they'll have the sizes and colors I want. I feel bizarre spending so much on underwear but I haven't bought any new in a couple of years and it's all falling apart. My experience is if you buy cheap stuff it just falls apart more quickly, so you end up spending the same amount of money. Besides, it's nice to have nice underwear on, even if no one else ever sees it.

Taking responsibility.


I read several women's journals over at TLC. The past few days, there have been a couple of entries that have kind of piqued me. I even went to the effort of composing a lengthy comment to one but I decided not to send it, since it was pretty clear to me that the writer might not be very receptive to the idea.

The central theme that keeps coming is that people refuse to take responsibility for their own happiness, and continue to behave like children -- or, in fashionable psychobabble, "engage in passive-aggressive behavior."

One woman was upset because she didn't get any special treatment on Mother's Day. She recounted that her husband left on an all-day trip on Saturday. She knew that would leave him very busy on Sunday, and yet she still let him go. It's hard to say exactly what did happen, but given the facts she presented, it's her own fault she had a miserable day Sunday. She knows that her DH isn't very keen on "Hallmark holidays", but she has been going through a really rough time lately. Would it have killed her to tell her DH, "look, I could use some pampering on Sunday"? When presented with the all-day trip, couldn't she have said, "Well, that will just screw over the whole weekend. How about a half-day?" Maybe her DH would've ignored her anyway, but then she could justifiably be pissed at him. As it is (or seems), she told him that it was OK to go, so IMO the only one she should blame is herself.

The second birthday I had after DH and I got married was a disaster. He had no idea what I wanted or expected, and so he did pretty much nothing. I'm sure there was a gift, but I don't remember what is was. But he didn't do anything else, it was kind of like, "Happy Birthday, I've got a ton of stuff to do this weekend, see ya Sunday night." Not that he physically left, but he just DID have so much to do, I felt abandoned.

Of course we had a huge fight but we really learned something: if one or the other of us has some expectations or even impulses about what we want to happen, we need to bring it up and talk about it. Now, years and years later, we're in a really good routine. About mid-week, we ask, "Hey, what's going on this weekend?" At the end of the weekend, we review what's coming up during the week -- dr's appointments, special things going on at school, etc. It really helps keep us on the same page.

Of course, since we figured this out and it is working well for us, I don't see why everyone else who has this problem can't try it, too. It really does work -- but you have to be willing to make it work. When one partner brings something up, the other one has to be willing to listen.

That's why last week, one source of my frustration was my irritation with myself, for letting my bad feelings just fester instead of discussing them with DH right away. I consciously decided to hold on to my anger for days longer than I should have. It accomplished nothing.

It has taken me years to believe that DH really loves me and wants me to be happy (residual damage from previous relationships...). At this point, though, he has put up with so much crap from me, and has never once even spoken the word "divorce" even though when we fight I always tell him I have the urge to run away -- I believe he'll be here for me. That trust lets me reveal to him everything that's making me miserable, and sometimes he just listens and that helps, and sometimes he works with me to try and figure out a way to help me feel better.

The main thing is, though, if I feel horrible, I have to tell him. He's not going to guess. And I can't go around the house acting all mopey and stupid like a teenager, I have too many responsibilities, and that's such a waste of energy, anyway. That's the thing with my DH: since I'm always talking to him about other stuff, he figures that I will tell him what he needs to know. If I don't bring something up, it's because I have decided it's not important, and that's my decision and he respects it.

I'm sure if I couldn't get out of bed in the morning or something similarly serious, he'd ask what was going on. But if I am apparently functioning normally, he's going to trust that I'm capable and leave it at that. Too many times, people get overly involved in other people's lives, and decide for them what they should share. Each of us needs to make that decision for himself...

Similarly, if I actually bring something up or talk about how I'm feeling, DH is going to take that at face value. He simply refuses to play the passive-aggressive game. You know, the one where you say, "No, really, I'm fine," with pronounced sniffles, which is supposed to elicit the "Tell me what's wrong!" reaction. If I'm miserable, I'll say I'm miserable. If I say I'm fine, even if I'm still upset, it means I would really like to deal with it myself, thankyouverymuch.

The worst game like that people play? "Oh, it's OK, you can go on without me..." sounding wistful, and really wanting him to stay. If you want him to stay, SAY SO! I hate that manipulative bullshit, and I'm working very hard with our kids to see that they don't engage in it. At least DH and I give them a very good example of clear communication in a marriage.

Another side of this same problem came up in another woman's journal. Her mother, now widowed and living alone, is a master control freak and complainer. Everything has to be done just as she says, but she's constantly preventing people from doing things ("not today!") so she can complain about nothing ever getting done. So this woman went with her own children and grandchildren on Mother's Day to her mother's house, and they did major cleaning and work that needed to be done. Her mother was having fits all day.

I feel a great deal of pity for the mother. The only control and happiness she has in her life is her ability to inflict guilt on her children and grandchildren, and they just handed that back to her on a platter. They all met her at her church and spoke, in company, about what they were going to do -- so the entire congregation got to see what a loving, supportive family they really are. Then they went and did major work on her house, even though she protested, because these things really needed to be done for keeping the house safe and livable (not to mention, nice). So they took all the woman's power away from her, at least for that day, and she was miserable.

People like that are deserving of pity. Imagine how much love and joy she could feel, seeing her children and grandchildren all working together to make her house nicer. Imagine how proud she could feel, how happy to see them all working together as a team, how nice it is that they are all productive members of society. But no, all she can see is the negative. What a miserable way to live.

I have a ton of admiration for the daughter who arranged all of it, the one who wrote about it in her journal -- what an accomplishment. But how sad, too. To make such a huge gesture, to arrange such a wonderful gift of love and honor, knowing in advance that it was going to be spurned, disrespected, unappreciated? Wow. In an ideal world (or made-for-tv movie), this would mark a turning point, the mother would begin to recognize her negative world view is poisoning everything around her. But this isn't a Charles Dickens story, and sometimes Scrooge never reforms.

We can always hope and pray for people like that, and let them serve as a reminder to us that our happiness is our sole responsibility. We can choose, we do choose, how we respond to our lives' events.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

In recovery


Friday night I finally worked up the nerve to talk to DH about everything that was bothering me. I always feel guilty about subjecting him to this even before I start, because a lot of my issues are stupid and I've been dealing with them for years and they keep coming back. Still, it's easier for me to deal with them now and they don't constantly plague me the way they used to.

The main thing is, as I explained to DH, I feel completely betrayed by my body these days. It just doesn't work the way it's supposed to, and that's frustrating. Then there are the various fears relating to all my syndromes, plus just the psychological baggage I'm carrying around all the time because of them. Sometimes, I just wig out.

Anyway... we had a good long discussion and didn't get to bed until 2AM but it was exactly what I needed and I do feel a lot better.

Saturday, major work on DD's furniture, as I cut the moldings for the tops of benches, to hold the cushions in place. Then I saw that I had mismeasured the boards for the bottom of the cushions, they are too big... I think I will dispense with the boards all together, and just finish the cushions nicely so they can be removed. It will be OK, and probably easier in the long run.

Saturday evening we went to Rainforest Cafe and then to Dairy Queen for desert. I don't think I'll go to Rainforest Cafe again. It is really pricey and I get a bit skeeved by all that stuff they have hanging on the ceiling and the walls. How do they clean it? Do they clean it? I mean, my fake plants get dusty and grimy, and there are only 5 people living in my house and we mostly keep our windows closed. At that place, they're in a mall, there's food everywhere, and hundreds of people coming and going every day. I don't want to even think about what's living up inside all those fake plants etc.

Dairy Queen was crazy because we hit it at peak desert time on Saturday night, but it was fun. I totally splurged and got a pecan mudslide, but they make it differently here than they did in Falmouth last time I got it there, anyway. In Falmouth they use the chocolate shell (dip) and hot fudge, here they use carmel sauce instead of the shell. Eh. Give me the chocolate any day. Hee! I ate it all anyway. Now, in Falmouth I can never finish my DQs because the high school and college kids who work there are ridiculously generous with the portions. Here, they are much more controlled and reasonable -- like the kids can actually finish their kids' size cones.

DS1 was textbook in his reaction to all the sugar, though. Before we even got out to the parking lot, he was really silly and giddy. Fifteen, twenty minutes later, he was crashing hard. His whole world was black, everything was horrible, several attempts at cheering him up resulted in him crying. It was astonishing. If he's going to have sugar, he has to have it closer to his dinner so he's not so affected by it. It probably didn't help that it was pretty late when we got the ice cream in the first place.

Watched Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. Meh. It was pretty, but I don't really like being whapped over the head about how evil the US was in its dealings with the Native Americans, and then with modernizing Japan. I'm not sure how much was based on fact (I'm sure there was a Samurai uprising, I just don't know anything about it), but the post-massacre guilt that Cruise's character was suffering played better the first time when Kevin Costner did it in Dances With Wolves.

So today was no-plans day, we went out last night specifically to avoid the crowds and whatnot of Mother's Day. DH bought a basket of flowers and a cute card for me, neither of which I would've picked out myself, but that is so not the point. I know the kids helped him pick out the flowers (they are DD's favorite colors), and they were just very sweet. I managed to get up before they could make me breakfast in bed (whew), but DH offered to make me breakfast and I said no, thanks, just some coffee? His coffee always tastes better than mine... hee.

DH ended up mopping the tile today since DS1 spilled his oj at breakfast this morning, and that turned into the late morning, early afternoon project. I made the kids a picnic lunch in the playroom, they thought that was great. I made DH and I caprese salad for lunch... mmmmmm. Then I took off for the entire afternoon (got home about 5:45) to do a bunch of errands and have some peace.

I went to Target and found the perfect bookcases for the kitchen! Unbelievable, I can't believe I never noticed them before, and they were on sale, too. So I got those. I also got new beach towels to send to the Cape, I'm sick of having to scrounge around for beach towels down there. These are the humongous ones and they are really cute and were only $8.88 a piece, so I got 6. And I got a little paddling pool to send to my mom's for those days when we don't feel like going to the beach, or I have to do something at home and the kids want to splash around.

Then I went to the Mall and went to Victoria's Secret and got a new bra (gasp) to try, it seems tight around the chest but I just have to wear it and see how it goes. Also some new underwear, totally different style, they feel weird, we'll also have to see how that goes!

And then I looked in about a million different stores for some new sandals but honestly did not see anything I wanted to buy. I saw these adorable strappy green sandals with a little heel a while ago at Nordstrom's, I should've bought them then, but I was with the kids... either they don't have them anymore, or I am mis-remembering, or else I saw them and I just don't think they are so cute anymore, because I couldn't find them. I just want cute little green sandals. Sound bizarre, I know. I actually saw a pair of thongs from Liz Claiburn that had green rhinestone dragonflies on them (impossible to describe) for a very good price, and they were comfy, but I don't know about that jewelry... could get very hot if worn out in the sun here. I wouldn't want to get burned by my sandals. Maybe I will check back later in the week and get them if they are still there, they were very cute... sheesh.

I've come to the conclusion that the world is full of hideous and expensive clothes. Seriously, skirts cut to fit to the hip, and then flare, so that every one looks like they have huge thighs... what is with that? I went up to the sportswear dept at Nordstrom's and almost died: a simple white cotton scoopneck t-shirt, the spitting image of the one I paid $9 for at Mervyn's, was $50! Who spends that kind of money on a white t-shirt? Not me.

Still, when I complained to DH about not wanting to spend $60 on cute sandals, he said "Well, you just might have to," and he seemed to think if I wanted to spend $60 on cute sandals I should just go right ahead and do it. Is it any wonder I love the guy?

I did un-spend about $75 at Home Depot today, returning the little power tools I thought I might use, but didn't, and now realize I won't. That was a good thing, too.

Dinner... surf & turf, plus salad. I had shrimp scampi last night at Rainforest Cafe,and they were good but I honestly thought I could match it, and I did. It was a nice dinner, but I was really grumpy by the time we sat down. I was really tired, and every single time I asked the kids to do something, they either ignored me or hassled me about it... I felt like I was constantly yelling at someone.

Then The Sopranos was about anger management, and I was kind of cracking up about it, because I may get a little loud when I'm ticked but at least I don't go off capping people. Plus that whole line, "They're your feelings, and you're entitled to them, but you don't have to act on them..." is something I'm constantly saying to my kids. Kids are the ones who need anger management the most. Something tells me none of the Soprano kids ever learned it, growing up...(yes, yes, I know these are fictional characters).

So I'm tired but it was a good day, anyway. It was a good weekend because I finally opened my mouth to say to DH, I need to talk to you, I need some help, I'm struggling here... he listened. I even did some writing, answering another question in the Mailbag. I can look back at this weekend and feel like I finally got out of that rut, I'm not stuck anymore... that's a good feeling. And now I can get to bed at a decent hour!

Friday, May 07, 2004

Losing my wits

Hip is still killing me today. Ironically, I got a flyer in the mail from my Physical therapist's office announcing their new expanded services, blah blah blah. They have a little "muscle corner" explaining the function of one particular muscle or set of muscles, and guess which one they highlighted? Yep, the piriformis, the one I screwed up which is causing my sciatica. Was that a cosmic message for me to give them a call, or just a freaky coincidence?

I hate everything today, just about. Especially me.

So so grumpy but tried hard not to bite the kids' heads off. DS2 ... never mind. Could've strangled him at one point. He's still sick. I have the feeling he has strep, every time his Motrin wore off today, he just screamed, he was in so much pain. In between times, though, he was pretty much normal, even starting to pick up his appetite again.

DD spent most of today on She is exactly like me and would've spent all day on the computer (which is what I did, with absolutely nothing to show for it), if I had not shoo'd her away eventually.

We missed DS1's concert this evening, as the timing just did not work; DS2's meds wore off and he was miserable, waiting for the new round to kick in. So DH took DS1 over and videotaped the proceedings.

At one point, DH asked me I wanted to go out for brunch on Sunday. I said I didn't know. I don't want to go out with them and be annoyed or concerned because DS2 is still not well. Frankly, I just don't want to go out to some over-priced meal at an over-crowded restaurant just because the calendar says it's Mother's Day. What I really want is a little more respect around here... even the 3yo gives the "No" treatment when I tell him to do something as simple as "put away your shoes". It's ridiculous. Of course he catches holy hell when he does that, but I'm really tired of fighting the same battles over and over.

I'm just really tired. My stomach is totally f'ed up today. Could be from nerves, exhaustion, bad eating: for lunch today, a handful of pecans, 2 baby bel cheeses, 3 dried apricots, a bottle of Propel. Seriously, how bad is that? Killed me. Oh, wait, I had about 5 or 6 little chocolate eggs (Hershey Special Dark) after that. Maybe that's what killed me? Could be. It didn't seem excessive at the time, really. Those eggs are quite small. Dinner: tuna with mayo, a handful of tortilla chips (TJ's organic mini white corn rounds). Not LC, but wheat-free and good. The kids ate pizza. It was a totally screwed up evening because of the concert and DS2 being sick and all, we were planning on picnicking then that didn't work out...

Did manage to get to TJ's and re-stock eggs, bread, milk, cream, veggies, the basics. That was good, now we actually have food for a few days.

Today I feel hideous and useless and like I will never be well, so what's the point. Ick.

My Dear Sister (DS) sent me a beautiful card wishing me a happy mother's day. Yeah, I know, I'm not her mother, although for a good long while she was mine -- our Mom, absent while present, long story, major issues we're still discovering and working through together -- but it was such a beautiful card and a sweet thought it was a great bright spot in the day. Another was DS1's fun foam photo frame he made for me, with little foam hearts glued all around it. He's such a sweet boy, in the true sense of that word, I love how little ones can be so sweet. I wish I could've seen him sing. At least we have the tape.

The kids have all been in bed for about a half hour now and I have no idea where DH is. Probably upstairs watching the DBacks game. You know, I enjoy sports, but I don't feel compelled to watch every single minute of every single game that is happening while I am at home. Too many sacrifices are made to sports around here, I think. Fortunately, football is the worst but that has the fewest games. Basketball is only nutso around March Madness, we very rarely watch NBA games. Hockey? Depends on how the 'Yotes are doing, and besides, I like it, but we don't watch it all that much... Baseball, I really do love it but there are just so MANY GAMES! And we have to watch the DBacks, and the Red Sox, and the Yankees because we hate them and want them to lose... it's ridiculous.

I still need attitude adjustment. I am (as Bok Choy says to Larry Boy) "holding on to my anger", but you know, I'm feeling like this anger is justified and it doesn't seem to be affecting any one else, or even me, for that matter, because nothing is different. No one even notices... What is the point? I could get up, walk out, go for a drive, go somewhere, but there's no place I want to go, how pathetic is that?

Don't want to be here, don't want to be anywhere.


Thursday, May 06, 2004

Spending spree fends off imminent depression

The photography rep came by this evening with all the digitals from the kids' recent photo shoot... Oh. My. God. These pictures were gorgeous, and DH agreed. We spent a fortune getting copies for everyone. It has been a really long time since we got portraits done for the two little ones, and these just came out amazingly good. Even DS1 managed to look relaxed and happy, whereas usually whenever you point a camera at him he starts tensing up and making goofy faces.

DS2 is feeling much better this afternoon, after starting the day puking. More laundry! Yay! Eh. After a few episodes this morning he just slept and slept, and I took him to the dr at 11:15, where we observed that his little tonsils are hugely inflamed. The rapid strep came back negative, so we'll wait for Saturday until the culture comes back before treating -- esp as he seemed so much better this afternoon, after sleeping all morning.

My hip is killing me. I'm not sure if it's from working with DS1 on his gymnastics stuff (I had him up in a handstand today, several times, helping him to feel how to hold himself, starting to balance, etc.). He is really making such good progress, and he was actually enthusiastic about it today. I envy him so much that if he just tries a little bit, he improves so rapidly...

Cheer has been cancelled for this weekend -- half the squad will be out of town, and the three remaining girls are the tiniest, so we'll just regroup on Thursday at practice. I'm glad this is drawing to a close.

Still no word from my employers. It's making me antsy. I'm going to try and get a hold of someone on the phone tomorrow morning, since I don't have to take anyone to school. I'll give them till next Friday to get their acts (at least where I am concerned), then bill 'em and resign. This just isn't acceptable.

Last, I heard back from my dr's on my serum Immunoglobulin panel: everything came back well within the normal range. Sigh. This is what I expected, but when I actually heard the results, I was so crushed. I just want an explanation for what is happening to me, just to know the "why" of everything that has gone wrong, that keeps going wrong. I really try to take care of my body (except for the sleep thing, I know I'm bad on that), but I eat well and take great supplements and yet I'm still on 6 different prescriptions and honestly do not feel all that great. I'm sprouting new weird spots daily, it would seem -- I've still got odd ab pains -- achey joints and muscles -- killer hip pain...

I told my sister, I am at odds with my body these days. It has betrayed me, continues to betray me. I don't understand what I need to do, to feel better? Then I try to think, did I ever feel better? This crap has been going on so long that I can't remember. Then I'll have a good day and think, why can't every day be like this, or days like this be the rule, not the exception? And I don't know the answer. First I thought getting the adrenals in shape would fix everything. Nope, although that did help with getting the thyroid up to snuff. Then I thought that getting the thyroid meds optimized, that would clear up everything else, the RA and fibro. Nope, those just seem to be getting worse if anything, even though I am on meds. Or maybe the meds help enough that I'm doing more, which causes more damage so I feel more pain? Who knows. My ever-patient doc tested me for hemochromatosis, and lately for the IgA deficiency. He's a good guy and doesn't mind investigating these blind alleys, but I'm tired of always coming up empty.

On the plus side, I've been good about no wheat since the colonoscopy, and the rapid transit problem is definitely not as bad as it has been in the past, so maybe I do have a wheat sensitivity, even though the celiac serum test came back negative. I should hear on the biopsies tomorrow.

Anyway, I was very disturbed by the latest test results and only felt a little better when DH made me a sf margarita with dinner. At dinner my hip was hurting me so much and I was so grumpy and upset it was all I could do not to cry.

And to top it all off, one of my girl friend's is getting partial nude photos of herself taken to give to her husband for his birthday. She suggested I do the same thing, "You have a great body..." I should be complimented, but it really squicked me out. It made me very uncomfortable to have someone else discussing my different body parts like that. Frankly, I don't want to know if she's checking me out that closely. Very weird vibe. Plus I do not want to explain to her that I'm getting very close to HATING my body right now, it's not the kind of thing I would share with this woman. She wouldn't get it. I look really good in clothes (esp with a Vicky's Secret add-a-cup-size bra) and all this girl thinks about is looks. It's not about looks, it's about being able to do what you want to do. I want to play with my kids, should that be so hard?

Ick. Ick. Ick.

At least buying all those beautiful pictures of my kids -- mostly to send out to family and friends, but some to keep for us! -- was some great retail therapy, and pulled me out of my funk for a little while.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004



Three consecutive days up until 2AM eventually takes its toll. I haven't done much today except grump a bit too excessively at DS1. DS2 is still sick, although he seems to be holding fine for the moment on Motrin alone, after needed both Motrin and Tylenol for yesterday and earlier this morning. I hate being stuck at home when someone is sick. I hate being stuck at home, period.

grump grump grump

I drafted and re-drafted an e-mail to the guys I (supposedly) work for, telling them of my upcoming summer plans and letting them know I'm not comfortable about letting things drift along as they have been. I originally included a deadline of May 14 for getting my assignments nailed down, but eventually I took it out... it went something like this: "If we can't nail down my projects by May 14, I will submit a final invoice and respectfully withdraw my services." I wimped out and deleted that reference and anything like it. I'm not sure it would have done any good, anyway.

I'm in similar limbo with Princeton Review. Who knows when they will be ready with their training, and what my time requirements will be then? These people, they just leave you hanging on and on and on...

I am tired of listening to my own whining. I'm going to go fold laundry.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Nothing like a good hammer.

I am finally victorious over the molding on the dresser drawers. A flat head screwdriver, a few well-chosen blows with the hammer, and it was really pretty easy to pry it all off. Then of course I had to knock out the screws (in some cases) or pull out the finish nails (in others) that had attached the molding to the drawers in the first place. There was also a quantity of dried glue. There were 7 drawers altogether, and I'd say the job took about an hour and a half of non-constant work.

I am such a wimp, though, that now both hands, both wrists, and my left elbow are killing me.

That could also be from working on hand-stand training exercises with DS1. Surprisingly, I can support my own weight for a good 4 or 5 seconds before my arms turn to jelly. I had no idea. Anyway, DS1 is finally learning about balance and how to manage his body better. He gets frustrated but already today he did much better than yesterday. DH said he did very well at basketball practice; he actually made all 3 of the shots he took during their scrimmage game.

Went to the dermatologist's office today and had the stitches taken out by the PA. She was fine, it didn't even bother me a little bit. The lab report came back fine, too: compound nevus, nothing scary going on, the "wide margin of the biopsy site is free of involvement". "Free of Involvement," how I do love that phrase.

DS2 is still sick. His fever spiked a couple of times today, and he was completely miserable -- I had him on Motrin and Tylenol, as Motrin alone was not effective today. Once the Tylenol kicked in, he was very close to being his usual sunny self, and he ate a decent dinner, too. I do hope we're coming to the end of this illness. It has been a long few days.

I'm exhausted. I was up late last night updating MILC. I added two new entries to the mailbag:Beans and Corn, and one on Protein Powder. My responses are getting longer and longer. I need to learn to save those long responses for columns, and not toss them away as freebies like that. Still, the writing and research are great for me. I like writing about that stuff.

Then, for some reason, I got sucked into the black hole of FarscapeWeekly, going back and trying to figure out what has been reviewed and what hasn't, what has been posted and what hasn't, etc. Except I was just bouncing around all over the place, and it was more or less a complete waste of time. I need to clean that site up and just finish it, so it's pretty in time for the mini-series, which is looking like it might be broadcast in October now.

So I ended up not getting into bed until nearly 2AM for the second night in a row, but I did make one change to my routine which I am absolutely loving: I emptied the dishwasher before I went to bed. Some of the plastic cups are a little damp to put away, so I just put them on a dishtowel on the counter to finish air drying, but everything else goes right away, and it just makes my morning so much more pleasant not having to deal with it. And thinking about my pleasant morning puts a huge grin on my face while I'm unloading the dishwasher before bed... somehow I have turned my most detested chore into something I don't mind doing at all!

Speaking of detested chores, tomorrow is definitely a laundry day. DS1 has an early release, but with DS2 being ill we won't go out for lunch or anything like that. I may let them help me paint the furniture tomorrow... now, that would be a trip, huh? I still have to cut the molding for the tops of the benches and get that on before we paint, but I think I can do that in the morning while the 2 older kids are at school. I'm not sure where the motivation to get this stuff done is coming from, but I'm going with the flow, for now. I'll post pictures when I'm done, I've been taking digital snaps all throughout the process. I do hope it turns out the way I'm envisioning it!

OK, off to watch 24...

Monday, May 03, 2004



Cats fart. Who knew? yuck.

DS2 is slightly under the weather, so today was low-key. Although the morning was affected by my sleeping until 8:37, at which point DH decided to ask me, "Does DD have school today?" Yes, it's Monday, school starts at 9, just like it has all year... ***sigh***

Now, I was a little ticked at DH for letting me sleep so late, but on the other hand... I need to set the alarm. MOST days, I wake up around or before 8, which is just fine. But sometimes I just sleep and sleep and since when I do sleep, it's pretty lousy, I'll take all I can get... except it totally screws up the morning.

Got DD to school by 9:45, which must be some sort of record, at least since the last time I did it, LOL.

So then, home again, gave poor DS2 some Motrin. He just moped around all day.

I did some work with DS1 on his gymnastics homework, helping him find his center and learn to balance. He is so awkward in his own body, but once he figures something out, he gets good at it pretty quickly. He couldn't do a tripod at the beginning of our session, but he could at the end. He also learned how to balance on one foot without wavering all over the place, and how to stand on his tiptoes properly (yes, there is a right way to do it). He is just the type of kid that you have to explain this stuff to, in words. Seeing someone else do it just isn't enough for him. We used the big mirrors in my bathroom so he could see what he was doing and not doing, and I think it helped a lot. So we'll see if he'll do this homework with me again tomorrow. It was really nice to spend some time with him alone, as DS2 and DD were engrossed in playing upstairs - finally!

Need to get some work done, have questions to post to the Mailbag...

Sunday, May 02, 2004

this girl's on fire


Been cooking up a storm this weekend.

Yesterday, made an incredible lc chocolate cake, with the kids' help. It took like an hour to get it into the oven. I frosted it with a chocolate version of this frosting. It is insanely good -- as good as any high carb cake I've ever had. So good, in fact, that I'm thinking about ways to make it into a Sacher Torte and/or Black Forest Cake (with cherries).

Then for dinner I made a kind of turkey cacciatore. I adore Italian food (even though I very, very rarely eat pasta). It was actually a "clean out the fridge" recipe. I had turkey breast cutlets that I dipped in egg wash and then some parmesan cheese, which I browned in olive oil, a little butter, and some garlic. Then I took them out of the pan and added more butter and more garlic, then 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms, a diced tomato, and a diced roasted red pepper, then let that all cook for a few minutes... added about 1/2 cup white wine and about a tsp of Italian seasoning mix, let the wine cook off, and finally stirred in about a half cup of tomato sauce that was left in the bottom of the jar. It was insanely good. The kids didn't eat any of it, so DH and I got to really enjoy it.

Then for dinner tonight, I made a shrimp thing with julienned zucchini, red, yellow, and orange peppers... more garlic, red pepper flakes, white wine, butter... would've been even more awesome with just a little fresh grated ginger, I'll have to remember that next time. But the shrimp were fantastic. They are fresh water shrimp and last time I forgot to salt them so they tasted incredibly bland and flat, this time with the salt they were awesome, not too chewy or anything...

And then we had chocolate cake for dessert! Hee.

Other than cooking and a couple of random errands, didn't do much this weekend at all. Had cheer yesterday morning with DD, that went pretty well. Next week I expect sparse attendance, as 3 folks have already told me they are not coming because they have plans for Mother's Day weekend. We'll see. I'm not going to stress about it, it's not worth it.

I talked to a bunch of my family yesterday because my nephew's son was christened and they had a party. I really do hate that I miss all these family events, being so far away. It was nice to talk to everyone, though.

So 2 movies this weekend I actually enjoyed very much: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and The Cooler. My only complaints: for the first, some of the dialog was too murky for even me to discern, no matter how much we cranked up the volume -- it had to do with impenetrable accents more than anything, and for the second: I don't want see William H. Macy having sex with anyone, I don't care how beautiful Maria Bello is, I just don't want to see it. They were very different movies but I did enjoy them both very much.

In a fit of insanity, I have scheduled a Southern Living at Home party for June 5, the day after DS1 gets out of school. Again, I am going to try not to stress about it... I just want it to be fun. I really like the stuff they sell although it is a little on the expensive side, I don't care if anyone buys anything, it will just be nice to have friends over. This gives me incentive (and time) to get this place in order. I did buy some beautiful new frames for the kids' pictures, to put up on the new picture wall in the living room. I'm looking forward to getting that done, too!