Thursday, November 27, 2008


Emily thinks my Blog is Fabulous! THAT'S SO COOL!!!!
I'd like to pass the Fabulousness on to:
  1. Lori
  2. Luna
  3. Mel
  4. Flicka
  5. Chicklet
And my 5 Fabulous Addictions:
  1. Sex and the City
  2. Christmas ornaments
  3. Twitter
  4. Coffee with French Vanilla Cream
  5. Belgian Pool (this is what Grumpy's family has always called the game, but Google doesn't seem to know what that is. In the link I provided, our table is kind of a hybrid of English, French, and Italian tables pictured.)

Here are the rules:

  1. You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous blogs in a post.
  2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.
  3. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.Instructions: On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well. To add the award to your post, simply right-click, save image, then “add image” it in your post as a picture so your winners can save it as well. To add it to your sidebar, add the “picture” gidget. Also, don’t forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by emailing them or leaving a comment on their blog.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Mother of All Thankful Thursdays

I figured it was about damn time to resurrect Thankful Thursdays around here, and what better time to do that then Thanksgiving week? Yes, I am feeling awfully cliche` today, thanks for asking! So, here we go... All the things I'm currently thankful for:

  • The Grumps: Even though he can push all my buttons (in all the wrong ways), after almost 12 years, he still manages to push all my buttons (in all the RIGHT ways). That man has been my rock, has been by my side through some incredibly difficult times. He was Johnny on the Spot with anything I needed during the Dad saga, he's my sounding board when I need to scream, my safety net when I break down, and always always always tries to make me smile.
  • My family and friends: In this crazy year that I've had, I've always known that people are there for me, and for us. I've had offers for anything from dog-sitting and meal cooking to witnessing legal documentation and destinations I can run away to. Life hasn't been the best this year, but the people in it have been amazing.
  • My home: It certainly wasn't the house I'd have picked if I'd had the opportunity to go house shopping. But our little bungalow is safe, and cozy, and affordable... and it's home.
  • My job: It's about as safe and secure as a person can hope for in the craptasticness that is the current Detroit economy. And it's flexible... as long as I'm getting my work done, I can sneak out any time I need to.
  • This blog: This has been my place to unload, my dumping grounds when I've needed to get things off my chest, or put them in some kind of perspective. And, it's allowed me to meet some pretty amazing people, and get lots and lots of support.
  • The Grumps former boss: Thank you, asshole, for "laying off" my husband. It's made for some interesting financial juggling, but because of your shittiness, my husband has been given the opportunity to follow his dream.
  • Dad's illness: It sounds horrible, but Dad's extended illness allowed me to reconnect with my sisters. I wish he didn't have to go the way that he did, that he'd just have gone to sleep in his apartment and never woken up. But, if it had happened that way, I'd have lost my Dad. The way it did happen, I still lost my Dad, but I gained 2 sisters. And I'm fairly confident that that would make Dad happy.

So, that's my list. Tell me, what would be on your list?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Is it possible?

Could I actually be working my way to being comfortable - gasp - in my own skin?!?!

I've spent a LOT of years putting on a show, for family, for friends, for co-workers, and for strangers. The Grumps knows ME, as do a handful of really trusted friends. But all too often, I find myself trying to be the version of me that _____ would want me to be.

Worse... when I haven't had it in me to be that version, I've just completely disengaged.

I've certainly made some mistakes over the years, and I KNOW that I've made choices that my family didn't approve of. And for a long time, that really bothered me, and I felt the need to make up for it, to earn their approval.

***Let me pause here, and say that all of that disapproval was ALL ME... my family, even when they don't agree with the things I do, are always (or at least most of them) supportive of me.***

But somehow, over the last few weeks/months, I've noticed a change. When before, I was absolutely terrified to have people over (my house is too small, not clean enough, the furniture is old, the carpet is stained, blah blah blah), recently I've welcomed unexpected visitors with open arms, and without panic.

I'm PLANNING ways to have friends and family come visit at MY house... dinner parties, out of town house guests, girls sleep-over with some of my younger cousins... and I'm EXCITED, about people BEING IN MY HOUSE.

If I stop to think too much about it, I get a little panicky. But, if I can stay focused on going with the flow, the flow seems a whole lot less terrifying than it used to.

Very strange indeed, this maturity thing. Perhaps I'm getting used to it?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Have you Creme'd yet?

Our fantabulous and fearless leader Mel is at it again!

It's that time of year when the stores put out the ornaments, the radio starts playing caroles, we all dread the 10 lbs we're about to gain, and Mel does the Creme de la Creme!

Are you on it?


  • ARGH! If you're part of the ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) blogosphere, then click the link and GET ON IT!
  • If you're not part of the ALI community, then SAVE the link, and come back on January 1 to read the best the community has to offer for 2008! Meet some new bloggers, gain some new perspective, and share the bloggy love!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The "Have You Ever" Meme

Stolen from Sunday Stealing, who admits to having stolen it from Minnesota Mom.

Have you ever…

  1. gone on a blind date? Never!
  2. skipped school? yep
  3. watched someone die? Dad
  4. been to Canada? yep, Ontario (Windsor, Toronto, London)
  5. been to Mexico? yep, Cozumel
  6. been to Florida? yep, Orlando, Tampa, Miami (well, thru Miami)
  7. been on a plane? yep
  8. been lost? yep
  9. been on the opposite side of the country? yep, to San Francisco & San Jose, CA
  10. swam in the ocean? yep, on a cruise in high school
  11. had your booze taken away by the cops? umm, no
  12. lettered in high school sport? I believe I got an academic honors letter, but wasn't a sports player
  13. cried yourself to sleep? more than I want to try to count
  14. played cops and robbers? Of course.
  15. played dolls? That, too.
  16. sung karaoke? never on stage, but definitely from the crowd!
  17. paid for a meal with coins only? yeah...gotta love a dollar menu
  18. done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? oh yeah
  19. cheated on an exam? probably
  20. made prank phone calls? yep
  21. laughed until some sort of beverage came out of your nose? many, many times. and let me just say that Vernors HURTS!
  22. caught a snowflake on your tounge? yep
  23. danced in the rain? yep
  24. written a letter to Santa Claus? yep
  25. watched the sunrise with someone you care about?yep
  26. been kissed under the misteltoe? Yep
  27. ever been arrested? nope
  28. blown bubbles? yep
  29. gone ice skating? Yes, but I renamed it ice-sitting.
  30. been skinny dipping outdoors? yep
  31. had a nickname? Yep.
  32. been to Africa? nope
  33. eaten cookies for dinner? many times (maybe that's why my jeans don't fit....)
  34. been on TV? yep
  35. been in a car accident? 1 bad one, and a couple of fender benders

What is your…

  1. mother’s name? we shall call her P
  2. favorite drink? wild cherry diet pepsi
  3. favorite alcohol? Mike's Hard Lemonade
  4. birthplace? Detroit
  5. favorite vacation spot? someplace warm
  6. favorite salad dressing? creamy italian
  7. favorite pie? Bakers Square Lemon Supeme, or pumpkin
  8. favorite number? 9
  9. favorite movie? Sexs & The City, or My Cousin Vinny
  10. favorite holiday? Christmas
  11. favorite food? too many to list
  12. favorite day of the week? Saturday
  13. favorite brand of body wash? Dove
  14. favorite toothpaste? sensodyne
  15. favorite smell? Grumpy, fresh from the shower

Do you have any…

  1. tattoos? Nope.
  2. body piercings? nope.
  3. Do you drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle? 4
  4. What do you do to relax? read, veg in front of tv, hang with friends, nap
  5. How do you see yourself in 10 years? wife, mom.... not sure what else

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still Waiting

It's strange to me, but over the last few months, I've been so wrapped up in all that was Dad's illness and death, and all that was the struggles of an unemployed turned soon-to-be-first-time-college-student spouse, that I kind of forgot about the struggles of infertility.

Sure, I was still going in for my every 4 weeks Lupron injection, and taking my estrogen (when I remembered). And I'd have my rough moments here and there. But honestly, infertility was pretty far off the radar. Even moments like this one (as told from the perspective of my very good friend) brought joy and happiness, rather than the all too familiar emptiness.

But now - now that life is returning to calm, and the holidays are gearing up, I'm left here, still waiting, still hoping against hope to beat my own odds and manage to conceive naturally. And yet, I still haven't had my first post-Lupron period (43 days after my last shot, but who's counting?). I figure I'm pretty well now officially out of the running for one of those fairy tale Christmas morning announcements. Oh well, it's only the 5th consecutive one of those I've been out of the running for... I should be used to it by now, shouldn't I?

But, of course, I'm not. I'm pissed off at the universe, at God, at my broken body. Why is this our story? Why are we being punished in this way? What is wrong with us that nature, or the universe, or God, insists on working against us - on throwing us out of the gene pool?

It's infuriating, on so many levels. I've fought long and fucking hard for my marriage, my life, my family, to be in a place that is genuinely ready for children. I've accepted that there will never be as much financial security as we'd like, and that my house will never be Martha Stewart approved. We're working hard to better our financial big picture, have come together to finish projects that make our house feel more like our home. For fuck's sake, I'm READY!

And yet, here I am, still waiting.

Monday, November 17, 2008

And Who Are You?

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Grace!


You are a Grace -- "I need to understand the world."

Graces have a need for knowledge and are introverted, curious, analytical, and insightful.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be independent, not clingy

  • * Speak in a straightforward and brief manner

  • * I need time alone to process my feelings and thoughts

  • * Remember that If I seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be that I am feeling uncomfortable

  • * Make me feel welcome, but not too intensely, or I might doubt your sincerity

  • * If I become irritated when I have to repeat things, it may be because it was such an effort to get my thoughts out in the first place

  • * don't come on like a bulldozer

  • * Help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people's loud music, overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy

What I Like About Being a Grace
* standing back and viewing life objectively
* coming to a thorough understanding; perceiving causes and effects
* my sense of integrity: doing what I think is right and not being influenced by social pressure
* not being caught up in material possessions and status
* being calm in a crisis

What's Hard About Being a Grace

  • * being slow to put my knowledge and insights out in the world

  • * feeling bad when I act defensive or like a know-it-all

  • * being pressured to be with people when I don't want to be

  • * watching others with better social skills, but less intelligence or technical skill, do better professionally

Graces as Children Often

  • * spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on

  • * have a few special friends rather than many

  • * are very bright and curious and do well in school

  • * have independent minds and often question their parents and teachers

  • * watch events from a detached point of view, gathering information

  • * assume a poker face in order not to look afraid

  • * are sensitive; avoid interpersonal conflict

  • * feel intruded upon and controlled and/or ignored and neglected

Graces as Parents

  • * are often kind, perceptive, and devoted

  • * are sometimes authoritarian and demanding

  • * may expect more intellectual achievement than is developmentally appropriate

  • * may be intolerant of their children expressing strong emotions

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's normal?

ok, I fully admit to stealing this idea from Nancy, but I really liked it, so I'm creating a list of my own. And, although we do have several in common, I know we don't have ALL the same readers.

So, indulge me if you would, and tell me what YOU think is normal!

  1. Toothpaste: Squeeze from the middle or the bottom?
  2. If you're a bottom squeezer, do you roll up the tube as the paste gets used?
  3. How many times (on average) do you use a bath towel before washing it?

  4. Toilet paper: underhang or overhang?

  5. Quick trip on a lightly raining day: umbrella or no?
  6. Bed sheets (top sheet): fancy side up to the bedspread, or fancy side down to the fitted sheet?
  7. If you're the only one in the house that will drink something, is it ok to drink directly from the container?
  8. For you IFers: Do you think in abbreviations? (For example, when expecting your period, do you think to yourself "Where the hell is AF?" or "Where the hell is my period?"
  9. Does your spouse/significant other know about and read your blog?
  10. Do your IRL friends know about and read your blog?
  11. When watching live tv, do you watch commercials, channel surf during them, or do other things around the house (potty break, get a drink or snack, let the dog out, etc?).
  12. When do you put up Christmas or Holiday decoratons?
  13. When do you put dish soap in the dishwasher, just before running the load, or as soon as you start putting dirty dishes in?

OK, I think that's enough for now... I'll post my answers later today.

What's normal?

Monday, November 10, 2008

His Last Day

Monday, October 27, 2008

My phone rings at 5:30 in the morning. Startled awake, I have just enough time to think "this can't be good news" before I answer the call.

Dad has fallen, again. The fifth time in about two weeks. But this fall brought along the first injury. Seems as though he pulled his catheter when he fell. Not all the way out, but enough that the nursing staff had to remove it and try to reinsert it. Except that upon removal, they notice blood in his urine. Their first call was to the ambulance company, and the second call was to me.

Looking back on it now, I feel like a complete shit for what I'm about to admit. Instead of immediately getting dressed, or at least jumping in the shower, I went back to sleep. My alarm went off at 6:30, and I got up and had my morning coffee as usual. Debated the necessity of even GOING to the hospital... after all, they were just going to check him out, admit him for a few days, and then release him back to rehab. We've been down this road before. Do I really have to be there?

As it turns out, yes.

I got to the hospital around 7:30, but the door to Dad's ER triage room was closed. The nurses were in "cleaning him up". After a few minutes in the hall I was able to go in and see him.

But it wasn't Dad.

He was completely incoherent. Mumbling about needing his weapon (Dad was a wartime vet, serving during the Korean War both in Korea and in Germany), and about cleaning the lockers, and several other conversations that I couldn't make out details of. He didn't acknowledge my presence, at all. This was a first, and a painful one.

Doctors and nurses came and went, orderlies took him for x-rays and CT scans, blood was drawn and sent to the lab, and the decision was made to admit him.

I think it was around 11am when we finally got him up to the medical floor. The floor doctor and his RN were both incredibly kind, typical of the hospital staff we've encountered all along at this facility. The nurses had trouble getting his blood pressure on the digital machine, (not uncommon, especially when Dad was sick), so went off to find one of the old manual machines. And then another, and another. After 2 RNs, 3 LPNs, 6 machines, and at least 30 minutes, they finally got a reading.... 48/21.

Insert much hooplah and rushing around, including IV fluids and talk of a transfer to ICU. Dad seemed to respond to the IV fluids (his blood pressure came up to about 65/35), but it was still clear that he needed to be moved to ICU. The floor doctor pulled me out into the hall to ask how "aggressive" the family wanted to treat this situation. I mentioned the patient advocate form on file, naming me as decision maker, and clearly stating no CPR, no defibrillation, and no mechanical ventilation. The doctor seemed satisfied, and went off to do doctorly things.

I knew the transfer was going to take a little while, so I asked the nurse if it would be alright if I ran to the cafeteria to grab something to nibble on. She agreed that the timing was right, and that it was a good idea, stating I was likely "in for a long day". Upon returning to the floor after my quick lunch escape, I discovered the nurses getting him ready to move...

and off to the ICU we go.

More nurses, doctors, exams, blood work, paperwork. More incoherent mumbling from Dad, and still no sign that he's even aware of my presence. An hour or so passes, his blood pressure continues to fall, and the floor doctor comes in to see me. By this time it's clear that although the IV fluids are helping his blood pressure, it's worsening his congestive heart failure, and adding fluid to his already damaged lungs. I'm presented with 2 options:

  1. Move to "heavy-duty" heart medications, in hopes of stabilizing his blood pressure through means other than the fluids that are quite literally drowning him. I asked the doctor what this choice would mean, and was told that it would require a painful procedure to start a central line through Dad's groin, and that the medications may help to stabilize him for "a while". When I asked if it would make Dad better, the doctor was unable to even make eye-contact, let alone give me an answer.
  2. Do nothing, and call in hospice care.

I told the doctor that I needed some time to speak with my sisters, and that in the meantime I wanted them to do what they could to keep Dad comfortable, and hopefully keep his already precarious condition from slipping further downhill.

It's about 4 in the afternoon now, and after a few phone calls, Dad's 3 girls decided that he'd been through enough. The palliative care specialist had been to see him, and me, and said that she'd come back to see Sis1 upon her arrival at the hospital.

Less than an hour later we were in the little family conference room on the ICU. Talking of officially calling hospice, and whether or not we were looking at hours or days, and what kind of medications were recommended to try to keep Dad as comfortable as possible.

Sis1 sent Grumpy & I off to take a break & get some dinner around 5:30. She insisted, as I had been there for 10 hours already, and clearly needed a rest. By the time we returned around 7, all of the monitors and IVs had been removed, and we were just waiting on the transfer to a private room.

That transfer came around 8:45pm. Dad's breathing had gotten even more labored, so I requested a shot of morphine. He got his "good drugs" (as I call them), and off we went. By a little after 9pm, we were settled into the private room, Dad sleeping (or unconscious... probably the latter) and breathing heavily, me sitting and watching him.

At about 9:15, I noticed a change in his breathing. It switched from being labored and rattly, to almost... delayed. I remember there being enough time between breaths for me to think "was that it? is he gone?", and then he'd fight to take another breath.

At that point, I reached out to touch his leg, and my Dad & I had our last conversation. The details of that conversation are mine, and mine alone. But I will say that when I was done talking to him, Dad took one last breath, and was gone.

List Meme

Because I am desperately in need of some light-hearted blog content, I'm tagging myself, courtesy of Lori!

1. Where is your cell phone? good question... had to go find it - was in my jacket pocket
2. Where is your significant other? home
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? difficult
5. Your father? missed
6. Your favorite thing? lazy days @ home
7. Your dream last night? don't remember any
8. Your dream/goal? peace
9. The room you are in? office
10. Your hobby? relaxation
11. Your fear? never being a mom
12. Where do you want to be in six years? north, on property, debt free, with Grumps & kids
13. Where were you last night? cousin's birthday party
14. What you're not? motivated
15. One of your wish list items? win the lotto
16. Where you grew up? about a mile from where I am now
17. The last thing you did? work
18. What are you wearing? slacks & sweater
19. Your T.V.? Old-style (not flat).
20. Your pet? Kaylah (dog) & Paisano (cat)
21. Your computer? toshiba laptop @ home, compaq desktop @ work
22. Your mood? drained, emotionally, physically, and mentally
23. Missing someone? several someones
24. Your car? silver dodge stratus
25. Something you're not wearing? slippers
26. Favorite store? don't have one
27. Your Summer? too busy
28. Love someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? this morning
31. Last time you cried? last week

If you're so inclined, consider yourself tagged!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

and here I am

back to work for the first time since move day (way back on October 24). Feels a little strange, but in a good way. If you excuse the DESPERATE desire for a freaking NAP this afternoon.

There is lots that I want to write about here - Dad's last day, the service, all of the arrangements, the newly developed and VERY strong bond I have with my sisters - but all of that writing will require much more energy than I have this afternoon.

I just wanted to get something posted to let you all know that I'm working my way back to normal, and that I appreciate all of the kindness that each and every one of you has shown me over the last few months, and especially the last few days.

Thank you, very, very much.