Tuesday, February 26, 2013

36 Hours

My mother-in-law, Wanda, will be here in about 36 hours. Am I freaking out? Yes, but not why you would think. Elora and I both have had a stomach virus the past couple of days. In turn, my house has become a huge mess. I was hoping to have the house "perfect" for her arrival but it'll just look "lived in", I guess. I hope I can just get rid of the cooties by then.

Me and my sick Squishy

I am glad to have Wanda coming to stay with us. I love my MIL dearly and cannot wait until I have her company. Being alone over here has set my depression in to over drive. Hopefully having a familiar face will bring me out of my "funk".

The upside to the "funk" and sickness is that I'm now 1.5lbs away from my pre-baby weight. Definitely not the way I wanted to get there but non the less, I am there. Now I need to stop being lazy and actually exercise. I miss running and want to start back up. It is a great way to exercise and clear my head. Problem is that I have all these "plans" to exercise but, like I said, I'm lazy and make excuses. With more free time with Wanda being here, I will run out of excuses of not having time to workout so I MUST do this! It's time to stop complaining about my "too big" thighs and "c-section shelf" and do something about it.

Suggestions and encouragement are welcome!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Another Day in the Life

Thank goodness for social media and being able to sell random crap that you do not want anymore. No more do you have to wake up before dawn, set up tables, pull out junk you no longer want, and sit/stand all day in front of your house waiting for anyone willing to buy the things you no longer want/need. We have the Internet for that now!
Good news is that I've sold some things. Bad is news is that I've bought a few things. At least those things that I bought where clothes for Hayden as well as a two bed sets. Now my three year old, whom I swear has grown at least two inches since we moved here in December, has some thing to wear this coming summer. And my mother-in-law will have somewhere to sleep when she comes next week and I have another bed for any guests that decide to visit us.
Now, with it being said that I have been selling items from my home, I have a story about one transaction from today. All day long I have been online setting up meetings for people to come take things off my hands and, for the most part, I wrote down when they were coming and for what. I took a break to take a shower and no later 30 seconds after I turn on the water, there was a knock at the door. Hayden comes in the bathroom to tell me a lady is at the door. I figured it was the German Jehovah's Witness woman from a couple days ago coming to try to "save me" again and I told Hayden to ignore the door. *Another knock* Then it occurs to me that Germans ring the buzzer, not knock on the door. So I ring my hair and throw a towel on and peek out. Definitely not the Jehovah's Witness woman. I take my changes and open the door to find out who the younger woman at the door was and gave her a shock of seeing me in a towel. She shyly tells me who she is and says that she is here for my dress. After a couple apologies from both of us and her trying hard to not look at me while I'm dripping wet in a tiny towel, she's out the door with my old dress and I'm $10 richer.
I wish I could say this was the first time something like this happened, but as my luck goes, it wasn't. Probably won't be the last time either.

On another note, I saw something that I haven't seen in two years. My scale showed 128.5lbs! I'm FINALLY getting closer to my pre-baby weight, which took 14 months to get this far. After Michael pestering me for weeks to stop drinking soda so I would lose the weight I kept complaining about, I did. Well, I have had a couple drinks here and there in the past two months but not the 6 cans a day of Mt. Dew that I use to have. Maybe he was right...maybe...


Friday, February 15, 2013

My Dark Day

Most people have at least one "dark day". A date that a tragic event happened and the situations surrounding that event is forever stuck in your mind. Today is my dark day because two years ago today, my mother died.

My mother, Diana, age 19
Mom and me, 1984

People who know me well know that my mother and I always had a pretty strained relationship. And people who know me well know that I usually do not want to discuss the subject. If I am questioned about her, I usually bring up the warm and fuzzy feelings and stay far away from any talk about her death or hard times. On the anniversary of her death, I realize that not only is it good to remember the good times but to express bad feelings. Instead of holding them in, talking about it is better for your mental health than people think. I do not plan on going in to details but express some feelings and situations surrounding our lives together and that day, two years ago.

She had been sick for a  long time. Most of my life she showed signs of her illness. I think this is the main reason for our lack of a real relationship. We definitely did not have the typical "mother-daughter relationship" that most of my friends had. I was often teased by my peers because of the way she acted and how her and I interacted. The strange things is that even though we had a tough relationship, we were still close. My mother made me grow up as more of her friend than a daughter. She longed for friendships from others and I was the one to whom she clung to fill that void. In turn, we were close but not the relationship as I had always longed for. When I started to find my own friendships with my own age group, that's when things got tough between us. About that time, her illness started to take over as well. Needless to say, the correlation between my independence and her illness filled me with guilt for quite a long time.
Mom, me and John 1984

It took a long time for the doctors to put a name to her symptoms, other than the known diabetes. Around the age of 50, we were told my mother had Dementia from Alzheimer's and a few years later she was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease of the brain, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Both had the doctors confused since she was so young. Of course, our family took it hard and each of us dealt with it in our own ways. As for myself, I was afraid, depressed, and more than anything, mad! Not at God because I do understand that illness happens to every kind of person and it not truly not God's doing. At first, I was angry at my mom.. "Why can't she control her short temper? Why does she not remember the things I just told her? Why does she keep wondering off and forgetting how to get back home? Why doesn't she want to take care of herself better?" And so on, and so on. That anger is ridiculous to think about, now looking back. It was not my mother's fault, it was the diseases. When I realized this, I was mad at myself. I had a hard time staying patient around my mother and that would make me mad or guilty. I tried to go visit her and stay calm with the symptoms but most of the time I would leave in tears due to anger or depression. It just wasn't fair, not only to her but to all of us. Sometimes, I don't know who the disease is worse on, the patient or the loved ones. Both are helpless. She was in tremendous amounts of pain but usually forgot why and couldn't feel apathy for us. We did not experience the symptoms first hand but we were left to deal with seeing her crumble away, forget about us, and deal with the mix of emotions it caused for us.

Mom, dad, me and John around 1989.
I can recall almost every minute of the days surrounding her passing but I won't tell them at this time. I will just say that after hearing from my dad that my mother's health turned for the worst, both my small family and my brother's headed home. My brother arrived to our hometown from one of his tours to Iraq just in the nick of time. All four of us were finally back together, just as I knew my mother longed for. She was able to see the love of her life and her babies once more and I think she finally felt peace. Honestly, I think we all finally felt peace. I think that was just what she needed to let go. She fought so long and hard to keep going on but her body couldn't take the agony anymore. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I've had to do so far but the fact that she was out of pain helped. (As well as the overwhelming amount of love and support from family and friends.)
Dad, John, me and mom at John's high school graduation, 1998

Now, two years later, I take time to remember the grief as well the warm and fuzzies.... Today I wear purple, her favorite color. I think of her love of rainbows, butterflies, and lighthouses. I see her dressed as a clown in my my head. Think about how obsessed she was of Davy Jones and had his name on her guitar. Remember the drawing she made of her brother Bob playing his guitar. How she taught me how to knit and I still enjoy it to this day. How much she loved to write poems, stories, anything. (I wonder where I get my writing from :) That pen she always had around her neck so she could jot down whatever was floating around in her head. How my daughters have so much of their grandma in them (and Elora has her name). But mainly I remember that, even though it was tough for her to show it at times, she loved my dad, brother, and I more than any thing else in this world!

I love you, mom!

 PS: If you are a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, you are not alone. Help and support are here for you.

Merry Valentine's Day

First let me show you the freshly fallen snow we woke up to find today.

Yesterday's Valentine's Day was full of movies at home with the girls and searching the web. Michael came home from work with goodies for the girls and I. This was my first time tasting chocolate that didn't come from the states.

(The Toblerone makes me think of the Friends' London episodes)

 Both of the girls enjoyed their goodies from Daddy too.

One of the dishes we had for dinner was one of my own twists on Tuna Mac.

Baked Onion Tuna Mac:
  • 2 cans tuna fish-drained
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1/2 (10.75 ounce) can milk
  • 2 cups hot cooked shell-shaped pasta  
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine 
  • 1/4 cup French's Fried Onions 
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
 Mix tuna, soup, milk, pepper, salt, and pasta in baking dish.
Mix bread crumbs, friend onions, and butter and sprinkle over pasta mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 min. or until hot.