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Update on getting gutted

About two months ago, I went in for a hysterectomy.  At 43 (at the time) I was on the younger side for this surgery (at least I would like to think so!).  Since that time, women have been asking me often how it went, my opinion of the surgery, how painful it was, and whether it was worth it.  I figured I’d post my update to my last post on the surgery so I could answer some of those questions for those who were curious.  If you’re easily queasy, you may want to pass over this post.

The why.  As a woman with fibroids, VERY heavy bleeding, and pretty bad PMS, my doctor recommended the surgery, especially after a polyp appeared.  Originally, I was surprised when the dr. mentioned the idea.  It seemed so drastic.    Also, I was concerned about being out of commission for what she said could be 6-8 weeks.  How would I cope with 2 kids, a husband with an opposite schedule, and my own job? She said the alternative was to try meds to alleviate the symptoms I was having.  The meds lasted all of one round.  I was so miserable and cramped on them I immediately called the Doctor and said “let’s move forward with surgery”.

Surgery was scheduled for January 10th.  I was battling on getting my insurance situated until about 2 days before.  It was a tad stressful.  At the last minute, everything fell into place.  I arrived at the hospital anxious and kept getting teary.  My first worry was my kids.  I think once you’re a parent, any type of surgery makes you a bit anxious because now you have other people to be responsible for. I was also anxious about sharing a room.  I HATE sharing hospital rooms.  I did it once and it was such a bad experience that I ended up getting moved to a private room.  Luckily the dr soothed my fears by letting me know I would be on the women’s floor (aka childbirth and ladybit floor) and would have my own room. The women’s floor is probably the best floor to stay on.  The nurses are SPECTACULAR.  The dr warned me to take it easy after surgery, and not to put anything “up there” for at least 6 weeks.  She then proceeded to tell me that if I ignored that advice, I could have vaginal or INTESTINAL PROLAPSE.  In other words, my intestines could fall out of my snootch.  Talk about instilling fear into a girl.  I swear I had nightmares about that conversation for DAYS.

After surgery, I was a bit sore, but nothing too bad.  I was up and walking around the ward the next afternoon.  Mostly I got tired super quick.  I was released the day after surgery and came home to be a potato for a week.  I lived the potato life for a week and watched all the Downton Abbey.  Yep, every episode of every season. I walked around the house every hour or so, but otherwise took it super easy.  (It’s a rare day when I get to do absolutely nothing.)  After week two, I went back to work.  Everyone, including me, was a bit surprised, but a girl has to make that money, and frankly, the short term disability I could get wasn’t going to cover all the bills.  I am super fortunate that I can work from home and that my company is so supportive.  I started back on a full time work from home basis until I was about 4 weeks post op.  Then I went back to the office.

Since the surgery, I feel GREAT.  No longer am I taken down for 3-4 days each month.  No longer do I worry about bleeding through my clothes.  I no longer feel so stressed each month.  My PMS has subsided quite a bit.  I still have my ovaries, so luckily I am not going through menopause. I no longer get that awful bloating.   I feel like myself only way better. The surgery for me has been life changing in so many small ways.  I feel….awesome.

They say some women go through periods of depression after the surgery.  I didn’t, but I can see why some would.  I briefly went through a stage where I would see babies and think “I can’t have another now” and got sad for a moment.  Never mind the fact I am not prepared financially or even emotionally for another child, nor the fact that when I had my daughter almost 8 years ago I was considered high risk for “advanced maternal age”.  I know I wasn’t going to ever have another baby by choice, but perhaps knowing that I simply now could not physically do so even if I wanted to was a small shock to the senses.  For those women who wanted children and had no choice but to have the hysterectomy, I can see depression as being completely normal and somewhat devastating. I also know that there were days I felt a bit crappy and sore after surgery but realized I looked totally fine on the outside.  I had a laparoscopic hysterectomy.  This means that I had a few small incisions on my stomach, but otherwise looked totally fine.  My insides looked a bit like a dumpster fire, I’m sure.  Cut and stitched and repositioned.  There were sore days, but nothing I found unmanageable.  One odd feeling was that I sometimes got what felt like ligament pain from when I was pregnant.  It was the same sensation.  Lastly, my skin stuck together from one of the steri-strips and almost got infected at the incision.  Because I couldn’t see that well, I almost missed the issue. At first I thought it was the incision itself that looked like that, but instead it was my skin.  It was gross, y’all.

For those women considering the surgery….I can tell you it’s one of the best decisions I have made.  I feel great, aside from some lingering fatigue.  Yes, you will get tired easily.  There will be some soreness.  You might get a bit sad about the loss of the parts.  But at the end of the day, I feel good.  There is a lot of cancer in my family, and while I had the genetic testing and came back fine, it’s one less organ to worry about, if that makes sense.  The pros outweigh the cons for me.  2 months in and I feel so much better.  It’s not for everyone, but for those worrying, I can say my experience was a good one!




The Day to Day

During football season last year, I used to think to myself “it’ll be nice once football ends and things calm down a bit”.  Then the holidays rolled around, and I thought “imagine all the things I can accomplish once the holidays are over with and thinks calm down!”.  The fact is, things never really calm down for me for very long.  Even the mundane, day to day stuff keeps me pretty busy.  Currently I have the little on in gymnastics one night a week, tutoring one day a week, but aside from that, I still find myself wondering when “quiet time” will be available.  Life is just always so BUSY FEELING.   I can’t say it’s a bad thing, but some nights I must say I wish for a little bit of piece and quiet.  In the past few weeks alone, I have had major car issues, unwanted drama, have been on a hunt for another car, have been in the process to change my citizenship, and oh yes, did I mention balance all that with being a wife, mother and working full time?  So here’s how my life on the daily has been going.

For starters, our brakes on our family car started making a grinding noise.  At first it would grind for a minute or two, then stop and not reoccur.  Then one day, my husband drove the car and reported the brakes were grinding full time.  Our usual mechanic was out of town, so I drove it to another shop who works on our cars.  $600 bucks later, we had new brakes, new rotors, replaced bulbs, had had the car smoke tested, and a  cracked part replaced that the mechanic believed was causing the check engine light to come on.  Our car is due for emissions/registration, so I needed the check engine light issue resolved.  3 days later, the light was back on.  A scan of the codes indicated the right catalytic converter and 02 sensor were bad.  $1100 later, the car was fine.  Until the light came back on, this time indicating the OTHER catalytic converter was bad.  I have never seen pity in a mechanic’s face before.  He cleared the codes and told me to wait until the monitors set.  The next day, the monitors had set…no light.  He came and picked up my car and took it for emissions.  It passed!  A week later, husband drives it and the damned light comes back on.  I drive it, the light goes off.  I am chalking it up to the car doesn’t like the husband.

After all the car issues, we decided since the car is almost paid off that it might be time to look for another car.  Y’all…car shopping SUCKS.  Dealers sack you with hidden fees, and if you’re a woman, you can often also get the pleasure of being talked to like you are mentally impaired.  Did you hear the sarcasm there?  Yes?  Good.  Trying to find a car with something that every member of the family wanted was important.  We finally found a car, but dealing with the dealer has been a nightmare.  I had to turn into a difficult asshole and demand everything in writing.  I’m still unsure if the deal will go through, but I will find out in a few days.  Luckily we aren’t in a rush, so if it doesn’t go through, we have time to wait and keep hunting for what we want. Also, apparently if you speak to any dealer about a car, they will call you, daily, forever.

In the midst of all this, I had to travel an hour away for my immigration appointment.  I have been in the US legally as a permanent resident for most of my life.  I got my permanent residency as a child and never switched over due to a few factors. My dad got his US citizenship a few years ago and recommended I get mine.  Frankly, I didn’t have the money to do it.  He offered to pay for it for my birthday, so I decided to move forward with the process early last year.  Needless to say, my time here in the US, the fact I married an American 12 years ago and have 2 children make me a pretty easy case.  People think that becoming a citizen is a quick and easy process.  I can tell you, it’s not cheap, and for most people, it’s not easy nor quick.  Some people wait years.  I am lucky, as mine processed earlier than the government’s website even projected, and my case is really one of the easier ones.  I waited all of last year to get my interview appointment, and as luck would have it, it was scheduled for January 11th….the day after my hysterectomy.  I had to reschedule, which is typically a big no-no, but I couldn’t reschedule my surgery.  I called to reschedule, was told it was sorted, only to get a letter a couple of weeks later saying I couldn’t reschedule over the phone.  I frantically wrote a letter and mailed it off the same day with the form.  Then I berated myself for being a dummy and not sending it certified. I finally got a new date and time, and off I went.  If I’m REALLY honest, part of the reason I waited so long to apply is because I was afraid I would fail the civics test portion of the process.  They have 100 questions and ask you 10.  You have to get 6 right to pass.  I got the first 6 right, so the interviewer wasn’t going to ask me any more.  I said “can you ask me the other 4? I need to prove to my husband I studied and am not a dummy!”.  We had a good laugh.  I got all 10 right! This week I go for my oath ceremony, and then I am officially a US citizen.  It’s exciting. Apparently I can apply for a passport right at the oath ceremony, and I believe I can also register to vote as well.  I never had much desire to vote throughout my life, but now I can’t wait!

In the midst of all the happenings, I also had 2 birthdays in our house and drama as well.  Thankfully the drama has gone away, and it’s peaceful.  I had originally said I would move my blog, and I still might, but I’d prefer not to.  I see no reason to stop what I enjoy (writing) because of someone being a dildo.

My birthday was rough this year.  Two kids with the flu, everyone feeling a bit down, expensive car repairs, etc.  I ended up having to make some really tough decisions that day.  My husband sent me off for a pedicure and some down time, which was much appreciated and extremely needed.  Even though the day was rough, I entered 44 feeling pretty grown up, hopeful, and happy that so far I hadn’t caught the flu. I consider it a win.  Within two days of my birthday I woke up feeling light and happy.  It was like a weight had been lifted.  It was fabulous.

My Husband got us tickets to see the Dropkick Murphys, a favorite band.  He ended up staying home with the poor kiddos who were still sick, but sent me and a friend.  We had general admission, and spent the show 2nd row center, partying our asses off.  We dodged moshers and crowd servers, and even got up on stage for the last song.  I can’t explain just how awesome it is being on stage in a huge arena with a fantastic band, but it’s exhilarating!  It was exactly what I needed, and I got home feeling incredibly happy.

My son’s birthday was a couple of days ago.  I can’t believe he is 12.  He was born during the best and worst time of my life.  In the span of a few months, I married my soulmate and love of my life, had my son, lost my mother to cancer, found out my dad had cancer, moved house, went back to work, and had a bunch of other life changes.  My son was a primary factor in me getting through the tough times.  I can’t say I would have managed nearly as well had he not been born.  He gave me focus, a reason to get up each day and he taught me how to woman up and handle myself better than I ever had before.  Now he’s almost as tall as me, smarter than me, and an all round awesome kid, if I do say so myself.  I’m so lucky to be his mom.  For his birthday, he wanted some quiet time to play video games, then wanted lunch, to play mini golf (outside in the cold no less) and then to play laser tag.  Luckily our local sport place has both mini gold and laser tag, so off we went.  I had such a great time I am looking forward to going back again.  I left laser tag sweaty, red faced, and a little winded, but happy as could be.  My son was thrilled his parents jumped in and played, and a good time was had by all.  We got home and his neighbor friend came over to play video games with him.  A good time was had by all.  The next day the extended family took him out for dinner and cake.  He was thrilled.

It’s been a busy year so far. I started it by getting a major body part removed, and have been trucking along since.  People ask me all the time about the hysterectomy.  It’s honestly the best thing I have done in a while.  While I had a few tiny issues, the end result is that I feel fantastic. I went back to work 2 weeks later (working from home) full time, and haven’t looked back.

While I was in the citizenship appointment, the interviewer asked me a series of questions about whether I had been a part of a terror organization, or a drug cartel, among other crazy scenarios.  I burst out laughing and said “I’m a football/gymnastic mom of two, married to a man with an opposite schedule than mine, and I work full time. I wouldn’t even have time nor energy for that stuff!”. My life on the daily is not super exciting.  It’s not really all that interesting.  Last night I spent 3 hours trying to unclog a toilet, for instance.  Not exactly exciting stuff.  Still, my little life keeps me super busy, and happy.  Sometimes it’s about perspective.  When times get bad, there are always silver linings.  When people are jerks, there are always amazing people to be there for you.  When life gets too busy, a snowstorm will slow you down.  When luck isn’t on your side, know that better times are around the bend.  I’m looking forward to new experiences and changes!


Mission Possible, and Turd Minefields

I know, it’s been  ages since I wrote. Then all of a sudden you get 2 posts!  Life gets in the way, and with a husband, two kids, a full time job, kids activities, the holidays and all the PEOPLE-ING, this introvert is spent.  That being said,a few weeks ago was Christmas, which means more chaos, money, and stress than usual.  So, it’s been a little hectic, to say the least.  Especially because in true fashion, I gave myself extra jobs, one of which being to try to be less of an asshole, and to teach my kids how not to be assholes.

I THOUGHT I was ahead of the game this year.  I started shopping in November, got the kids’ main gifts ordered and ready, and was trucking along.  After all, I had shows or trips planned every weekend through December, so I knew I had to plan ahead.  I could not procrastinate.  (Yeah, right). Things were going seemingly on schedule.  Then about 3-4 days before Christmas I got a call from a young woman I had met last year.  When I met her last year, I met her through facebook.  She had posted on a local tag sale facebook page that she and her long term boyfriend had both lost their jobs right before Christmas.  She was struggling to put together a Christmas for her kids, and asked if anyone had any gently used toys they could donate.  I saw the post and my usually cold little heart cracked a little.  I rounded up some toys, got a gift card from a store so she could pick out an item or two, and took them to her.  A few days later, my husband and I picked up one of the kids’ big Santa wishes, and we were able to give her son a bike.  She was beyond grateful and thanked us profusely.  For me, seeing a picture of her kids opening their presents and knowing those parents had one less stress, if just for a moment? Well, that’s what made MY Christmas special.  We became facebook friends, and while I didn’t see her in person again, I did see that they both got jobs after the holiday.  The kids were growing up, they were getting back on their feet.  It made me happy.  Then, a few weeks ago, right before Christmas, I saw on facebook she was hospitalized for over a week.

When she messaged me a few days before Christmas this year, she did so to ask if I knew of any organizations who would still accept families in need of toys etc for Christmas.  I didn’t know any, but as a mom, her question pierced my heart.  I told her to leave it with me.  I would see what I could find out.  I also found out she and the kids were currently in a women’s shelter after losing their apartment.  That made my heart break more.  She had worked so hard, come so far, only to have it slip away.  I got to work.

In a couple of days, between friends, family, some strangers, and ourselves, we were able to provide toys and needed items for the kids, gift cards for the grocery store and walmart, and some cash.  I had jumped into coordination mode, and thanks to the generosity of others, we made some magic happen.  The relief on her face was so evident, that after we hugged and I left, I cried for quite a while.  I saw pics later of her Christmas morning,  The kids had smiling faces, but I think my smile may have been even bigger for knowing that perhaps I had lightened another mom’s load just a little bit.

They say giving is often better than receiving, and I was on a high from the above.  Mainly because I try hard to show the kids about doing kind acts.  This is what moms are supposed to do, right? So I jumped into my second round of kindness, only it didn’t go as planned.  In fact, it went completely the opposite way.

So, I love Facebook.  Let me rephrase, I love Facebook, yet I think Facebook is the killer of person to person socializing. Maybe it’s because I am an introvert, but I love being able to keep up with friends and family from anywhere.  Anywho, I was on Facebook one day, and saw a post on our town’s women’s page from a woman who had had a medical issue and been rushed to the hospital.  She was in her 60’s, and said she had no friends or family.  Now being the cynical person I am, I thought “nobody?  perhaps she is a tiny bit of an asshole”.  Now I know that sounds harsh.  It is.  But if you’re 90 and you have nobody, I assume everyone you had died off at some point.  But 60’s seems too young for that.  She mentioned she had 2 cats, and that she was worried about them.  Her neighbor was feeding them, but hated cats.  She also mentioned she was worried about the litter boxes, as she had been hospitalized for a couple of days and therefore the boxes must be in pretty bad shape.  There was talk that she may have a tumor.  Cancer was mentioned.

Part of me felt like….something about this makes me feel like maybe I shouldn’t get involved.   But Cancer.  Cancer will get me every time.  Every Time.  I figured I could go change a litter box.  It would ease her worry.  I could show kindness.  So I volunteered.

Off I go.  I get the key from the neighbor.  Before I go into the house, the neighbor asks me to call the woman.  She wants to tell me a few things.  So, I call.  I learn the boxes are in the basement and that there are boxes of latex gloves, liners, and litter there. I think, great. Annnndddd that’s when she tells me she is not so good with the boxes. She plans to get better at it.  She tells me she has physical limitations and that there is  YEARS WORTH OF USED KITTY LITTER IN GARBAGE BAGS IN THE BASEMENT.   She also tells me that if she hasn’t changed the boxes in a bit the cats will go on the floor, but that there is a broom and dustpans to clean it up.  If you could have seen my face.


But I’m locked in.  I said I would do it, right?  So I tell her not to worry, and I hang up and enter the house.

The first thing I notice is that the basement light does not work.  Now, I went there the day after Christmas, and my husband had gotten me an Apple watch.  My phone was suffering from Apple’s battery issue, and as soon as I tried to turn on the flashlight, it died.  I find myself then going “hey siri, turn on a flashlight!” Nothing.  I am trying to get some sort of beacon of light to shine from this Apple watch and I have nothing.  I haven’t learned how to work it yet.  I glance into the basement darkness.  I feel like I am descending into murder.  Unsuccessful at finding any light source, I brave it down the stairs. I make it to the bottom, find another light that goes to an adjacent room, and flick the switch.

Behold, a turd minefield awaited.   Turds, everywhere.  The room had turd mines all over the floor.  The litter boxes had pee above the litter they were so soaked.  This wasn’t a case of the boxes not being cleaned for 5 days.  These boxes hadn’t been cleaned in a month and a half (as evidenced by the sticky note detailing the date I later noticed in the kitchen.)  Hork.

Part of me went “Oh hell NAW!”

And part of me said “you gave your word you would do it, now just do it”.

So I cleaned it all.  I cleaned the turds, I cleaned the floor.  I cleaned the boxes, and made everything nice.  I found one of the cats and coaxed it out of hiding and petted it for a while.  Then I went home and wanted to light myself on fire.

Now somehow, some way, and I’m not sure how, I got roped into daily cat duty.  There was a small group of women from town who banded together and worked magic.  I took over most of the cat duties, with another lady checking in once or twice to assist.  I shoveled her drive and deck in a snowstorm.  I got all the garbage bags of used listter removed from the house.  Another lady started a gofund me and raised enough money to fix the ill woman’s furnace and fill her oil tank (she had been living without heat for some time and it was BRUTALLY cold out.)  She had the furnace fixed and the house now had heat.  Another woman who has a cleaning agency came in and cleaned the house.  These women worked MAGIC, all while this woman was in the hospital. One lady started a meal train, where people in town would sign up to cook and bring meals to the woman (we’ll call her Sue) when she came home from hospital.  I was so happy.  My kids thought all this was so awesome and we were all warm and fuzzy from watching all the random acts of kindness!

And then, it turned.  Oh, did it turn.

A late night FB post by Sue, (the ill woman) about the meal train.  Saying she really ate fresh fish and veggies, all this fancy stuff, and that if people were going to cook meals they should cater specifically to her tastes otherwise it wasn’t really giving freely.  The post was so…..demanding and full of expectation.  I blinked.  I read it twice.  The line where she mentions she doesn’t eat a lot of pasta, I almost choked on.  Her garbage can was in her pantry and I had seen shelves of pasta in there where tossing out used paper towels etc.  I was shocked by the entitlement.  Was this due to her meds?  Nope, apparently it wasn’t.   This was her.  I found out later she is a bit of a “give an inch and she expects a mile” type of person.  People were furious at her posts.  The help dwindled and offers to help started to drop off immediately.  The meal train? Well, thanks to the recipient, it DERAILED.  I was still going to the house daily, often multiple times, looking after her cats.  The woman then messaged me saying “what a shame the cats aren’t up to date on their shots, or you could bring them to visit me in the hospital every day!  They also need their nails trimmed, here’s the name of my vet.”


I had to politely tell her no.  The cats were clearly frightened and while they would come out for me, would not appreciate being put in carriers and hoisted around town.  Not only that but I didn’t have the funds to pay her vet bill.

The issue I faced, however, was that my surgery was looming and I needed to find a replacement.  I had to leave the situation, and even though this woman was quickly alienating people, I didn’t want her cats to suffer. There was a small group of the women who were in a chat about the cats.  All were in rescue but me.  I told them we needed to find a replacement.  One posted on her rescue page looking for someone to volunteer, and two people did.  One seemed nice, although other people were iffy, and the other one seemed off to me.  There was a third person and the “off” woman went above and beyond to tell us all we should not pick the 3rd person as she was “too eager to get in the house” and too controlling.  The fact is, I needed someone, so I agreed to meet the two women at the house and show them in.  I showed them where the small group of us that had been in the house hid the key, I showed them the food donations, where the litter was, the cats’ favorite hiding spaces were.  The “off” one was rushing me saying she had to get home.  I left feeling even more uncomfortable about her.  I preferred the other woman.  Before they left, I told them women I would stop by over the weekend, to check the cats, say goodbye to them (I had grown very fond of the cats) and see if any shoveling needed to be done (a storm was coming). Everyone was fine with this.

Fast forward two days, and I messaged them I was planning to head over to the house at some point that day.  The off one replies that it’s fine, however I need to be “escorted” into the house now that they have taken over.  I was told by the other that they didn’t want a hassle if anyone were to “steal” anything.  They told me they had made copies of the key, took the original, and had removed it, so i would need an escort in the house to enter it.    Really?  Funny that I hadn’t needed an escort to go in and look after the cats for weeks.  Funny that I hadn’t needed an escort to clean boxes of piss and a minefield of turds (while wearing my favorite boots, may I add!) out of the basement.  I also hadn’t needed an escort to remove 15 -20 bags of used cat litter out of the house.  Yet suddenly, here we were.  I told them I was offended by the implication and that I suddenly needed an “escort” when I had looked after the house and cats for weeks. For me, it wasn’t about getting into the house, as honestly, I couldn’t care less.  It was about the principle of the matter and being treated like I was shady.  My response of being offended must have triggered her, because I got a long response that included phrases that she had taken over and “was in charge” now, and then it took a very accusatory turn where she indicated I might have ill intentions.  I was left pretty much like this:


Annnnd, I told her to eff off.  To which she responded she was “calling the police” on me.  Really?  It’s a sentiment, not a crime.   Sure, it’s not my prettiest of words, but to know me is to know I have a mouth like a sailor.  So after she sent me nasty messages back and then taunted me about going in for a hysterectomy, she blocked me.  Turns out, the next day, she posts on the town page acting like she has been doing all the work all along.  That’s when people who know me, who knew all the work I had done, completely under the radar, went ballistic.  (My friends are awesome, just sayin’)  I was getting screen shots (since she blocked me I couldn’t see the original post) but what I also got was some really awesome messages from women around town, who learned I had been helping under the radar and thought it was nice. I got to meet some new people, so that was pretty cool.

Turns out, the “off” woman ended up starting a bunch of trouble on the town page and getting blocked.  Apparently she has a bit of a dark side herself.   She is now Sue’s bestie, although if I’m honest I think she has an underlying motive in all of this.  I wish Sue all the best.  Yes, she can be demanding, entitled, and she’s a little different, but I worry about what this woman’s intentions to her may be.    I still hope she is ok and will be alright.  I miss her kitties. They were sweet and gentle.

When all this went down, I had to explain to the kids a bit of what happened and that I wouldn’t be going to the house.  They had come with me a few times and had coaxed the cats out of hiding and played with them.  The cats took to them right away and vice versa.  I am not sure the cats had seen children before.  They were bummed.  They knew the work I had done, and that my message to them was to do kind things for other, to help out other people if they could, and all those good mom messages.  Their end take of the experience?  “being kind isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be”.

So…….that didn’t work out quite as planned.






Catch up time

Hi Y’all.

It’s been a while.  I’ve actually logged in and started writing, but never finished a post, or just never clicked the publish button.  I miss writing though, and it felt like the time to catch up.

So from my past posts you saw I was trying out the whole “living the yes life”.  I tried saying yes rather than no to new opportunities and events.  It was fun, I learned a lot, I enjoyed myself, and I even lost some weight.  Things were trucking along.  Then my favorite excercise class got cancelled.  Summer showed up with birthdays most weekends.  Work geared up with new challenges.  Life got busy with too much yes.  So now I am learning how to gracefully say no to some things.  It’s a learning process, because no so often comes with that thing called guilt, and I am no so good at handling the guilt aspect of it.

One of my biggest “yes” moment this year was allowing my son to sign up for football. I love football, and buy tickets for us to go to NFL games as our “romantic trip” each year. That being said, I learned that it’s a different feeling altogether sending my son out on the field.  The time commitment is huge…5 nights a week, plus games on weekends.  He asked me to do it.  He wanted to do something new this year, and had been showing a lot of interest in football.  Each of the kids choose one sport/activity per season.  I’ve offered them to do more than one, but they generally prefer to stick to one thing.  This one is the work of 7 activities.

When I learned of the schedule, my brain wanted to bleed out onto the floor.  As it is I work full time, have another child who does gymnastics that I have to coordinate for, 2 pets, a husband and a house that is the messiest it has ever been.  I am in chaos. A LOT of chaos.  Now there are many of you out there who handle all of these with no problem.  You are skilled, and oraganized, neat freakish and super moms.

I am not any of those things.

I am a domestic fail, tired (hot DAMN I am so tired), I am figuring out this mom thing as I go, and I do it mostly by myself since my husband works opposite hours.  It’s not pretty, it’s not graceful, but I get a lot of it done.  Not ALL mind you, hence the messy house.  I am that mom screeching into the parking lot at the last minute with kids still putting cleats on, or me jumping out to quickly braid hair before gymnastics. That movie Bad Moms?  Yep.  That would be me.

Now I have spent 11 years protecting my son.  Keeping him safe. When a kid shoved him a playground I close talked that kid and told him not to lay one single finger on my kid again (I love a good close talk when you need to get a message across). Now, by his choice, I am sending him out on a field to be shoved and pushed and knocked down. Coaches are gruff.  He’s going to get banged up and bruised.  I have to stand or sit there and hold it together and not want to run out and snap legs when someone hurts him.  I have to remain tough and straight faced.  It is just so HARD.  The only reason I do it is because he seems to kind of love it.  Even on the hard days.  Yesterday was hard.  He went down and didn’t get right back up.  He was hurt.  He was frustrated. He questioned his ability to do it all.  He came home, and I fussed over him a little.  He let me.  In the car this morning I reminded him that not everything will come easily to him.  He’s always been that kid that’s learned things quickly. I reminded him of his frustration when he tried a Rubik’s cube.  He had gotten so angry at his inability to solve it.  I had explained to him at the time that most people couldn’t solve them, but that I knew someone who could, and there were certain tricks to solve them.  He sat down and damn if he didn’t teach himself how.  Before long, he was testing himself on speed of solving it.  He reached in his bag this morning and low and behold, was his Rubik’s cube.  Before long he was quickly working on solving it.  mI asked him “do you still want to continue with football? do you still kind of love it?”  He said yes. So today we go again. I will proudly watch him succeed, and I will proudly watch him fail sometimes too, because the kid is giving it his all.

The little one, who I have always referred to as Tiny Diva in this blog, has lost a lot of her Diva-ness.  She had been a tough cookie from 2-4, but she has now settled in to herself. I’ll call her LM, for Little Mama.  Gymnastics has been a huge saving grace.  My sister in law noticed how flexible LM was and mentioned she might be good at gymnastics.  I signed her up, and the benefits have been enormous.  My daughter, who was struggling in school with some self confidence issues, started picking up steam and having more faith in herself.  She has better self esteem, more confidence, and has a good body image.  We talk a lot about being strong and healthy, and that happy girls are pretty girls.  My favorite shirt of hers has the words “princess” and “diva” crossed out, and it says “SMART, TALENTED GIRL”.  The girl who used to pretend like she didn’t know things is coming out of her shell.  She is learning the fine line between being a leader, and being bossy.  Sometimes, it’s a difficult conversation to have.  Women are often told that if they are leaders, they are bitches, bossy, a nag, etc.  Growing up, I remember being told not to voice my opinions so much, to be quite, to fade into the background more.  I’m working on finding a good way to explain how to be a leader, without being bossy and making other kids feel like she’s ordering them around.

Our beloved cat passed away a few months ago.  I had to make the decision to put her down.  She had cancer.  It was heartbreaking.  We all felt the loss, even the dog.  He seemed down and I often wondered if he knew she had died.  He didn’t quite seem himself.  Our family seemed incomplete to me after a while, and I started looking at Petfinder to see if any cats “called” to me. I scrolled through endless pictures over a few weeks until I found a cat that caught my eye.  He was an orange tabby, about 6 months to a year old.  He looked stoned.  He reminded me of the comedian Jim Breuer.  Someone had put him in a box, duct taped it, and left him outside of a store on March 11th.  I was in a wedding that day, and I remember it being bone chillingly cold when the wind blew. I felt awful for this poor cat.  I emailed about him.  I told my husband who seemed less than inclined to get another cat.  “I want you to come with me to see him” I said.  He didn’t sound thrilled.  I said “he kind of looks like Jim Breuer”.  “What time are we going?” he replied.  When I commented I was surprised in his change of heart, he responded “You just told me the cat looks like Jim Breuer, how could I not go meet him?”.  We drove all the way up to the rescue, only to find out the cat had gone to the vet for not eating.  After a few days, the rescue called and asked if I wanted to foster him.  They thought the cat might be depressed in the shelter environment and wanted to see if he would improve in a home environment.  Well, let me tell you, the cat eats more than the dog.  He’s now a member of the family.  He’s a nutjob, full of energy, and wants love the most when anyone is in the bathroom.  He will knock on the bathroom door to come in, and even try to turn the handle to get in.  Every night he and the dog go to each kid’s room to say goodnight.  He fits right in.

So there you have it.  Life right now is about preparing for school starting, football, work, gymnastics, football, pet hair creating tumbleweeds in my house, football and trying to get things done.  It’s a happy time, if not chaotic.  Just like my son is learning something new, I am learning a new schedule, new ways to make it work.  Anything that brings more chaos is just not something I have time for.  I’m keeping things as bare bones as possible, and I’ll work up from there. In just 3 weeks my whole schedule changes again.  So that mom cheering wildly on the sidelines, or from the balcony at gymnastics? The one holding a vat of coffee?  That will be me. I may be in chaos for a while, but it’s a happy chaos.






Living the “Yes” life.

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I know it’s been a while since I posted.  I’ve been pretty busy.  Yes, yes, I know that is what everyone says, but in this case, it’s true!  Aside from the usual working mother of 2, wife, and the normal day to day chaos, I have been trying very hard to live the “yes” life.  I thought perhaps it’s time to do an update on how it’s going.

I started this after lamenting about the extra weight that has cropped up on my the past 10 years or so.  After mulling it over and feeling a bit sorry for myself, a memory of a conversation I had with my mother popped in my head.  She once told me how proud she was of me for my determination and independence.  I remember her telling me how I seemed to just set my mind to things and DO them.  It seemed logical that I could apply this mentality to losing some weight.  I talked myself into it.  I COULD do it.  I just needed to set my mind to it, and to make a plan.  I realized I am not a big fan of the gym, but I like being active.  The first thing I did was start going to an Aqua Zumba class on Mondays.  You know what?  I LOVE it.  LOOOVVVVEEEE it.  It makes me feel great and I have a good time.  I actually look forward to Mondays…how is that even possible?  The AZ class led me to take a deep water fit class.  I started losing a bit of weight.  I realized, now that I was a bit more active, that much of my problem thus far was that I wasn’t doing much at all before I started the classes.  I had gotten up, dropped the kids off, and gone to work all day.  Then I would come home, get the kids fed and ready for bed, and then watched TV.  I wasn’t doing much for me.

I needed to make some changes, and it started with the mindset that I would say “yes” more.  Because I was saying yes more, I felt less guilty when I had to say no.  When my son’s soccer coach couldn’t coach this season, and nobody else volunteered.  I said yes.  I have help, and I had some learning to do, but I am doing it!  I will tell you…it’s the best damned thing ever.  I love it.  It’s not always easy, and 10 year old boys will give you a run for your money, but on the whole, it’s been fantastic.  I feel ike I have done something positive, I get some excercise, and it’s been so much fun.  My son said he was proud of me.  That was worth the price of admission right there!

I am saying yes to plans, and finding ways to do things for me, as well as the kids.  I took a trip to NYC 3 days ago to go see one of my favorite authors do a reading.  Before, I likely would have made excuses, but this time I was determined to go.  One night to myself to do something I enjoyed was a complete recharge.  I notice that since I have been saying yes more, I am finding time to not only do more things with the kids, but for myself as well.

The end result?  I am happier.  I guess what they say is true, a happy wife is a happy life, because our household seems happier.  It also seems healthier.  The kids are supportive of me going to excercise classes 2x a week (the Y has a childcare room they go to for an hour where they draw, play or hang out).  My husband is supportive as well.  We’re all eating better.  We exercise more.  My son, who never learned how to ride a bike, learned (in the rain) because he asked me to teach him, and I said yes.  I had always thought it would have to be something my husband taught him, but nope!  I set my mind to teach him and it worked!  I am trying to silence the negative inner voice in my head and replace it with a positive, happy one.  It’s a work in progress, but it’s getting better all the time.

Have I lost weight?  Yup, so far it’s 16 lbs.  I gained 3 back, then lost them again.  It’s a process.  Hopefully it will keep disappearing with a bit of work, and staying active.

Ok, so I haven’t quite gotten the hang of saying yes more to the housework.

Can’t win em all.

Live the Yes life.  You won’t be sorry.





Happiness is gratefulness, and not giving a f*{k.

I’ll warn everyone right off the bat that there will be some foul language in this post. Moreso than others, so if you’re easily offended, this might be one for you to skip.

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, I cannot believe it has been a year since I write my “turning 40” post, the year seems to have flown by, and I am left thinking “wasn’t that just yesterday?”. Alas, the time is flying by me, and I’m left wondering how time seemed to CRAWL when I was waiting to turn 16 but flies by at the blink of an eye now.

I recently upgraded my phone and when I did, I took a little while to scroll through the endless pictures I seemed to have taken with it the past year. I didn’t realize just how many I had taken. I also had forgotten so many of the magical little moments, the ones that you don’t write books or scrapbook about so much, but they make life worth living, There were pictures of the kids and I, mostly making “crazy faces” and then the aftermath of us laughing hysterically at each other’s crazy poses, There were random shots I took of my husband, the kids on the soccer field, and friends having a drink and enjoying themselves. There was the close up picture of my new nose ring, acquired on my 40th birthday trip to NYC, which I was nervous to get because I was always raised wjth the “what will people think?” mentality. There is one of the large tattoo I got at the end of 40′ when I cared a whole lot less what people thought.

Then there are the scrapbook moments. Pictures of my family of 4 with my dad, making me see how grateful I am for those in my life, and how lucky I am that he survived his bout of cancer.. There are ones with where my stepmother is joining us in the photos, and I am happy that we have a relationship now, and a little embarrassed by how closed I once was to the idea, I am pleased that I grew up a little and realized that she would never replace my mom, and it was ok to accept a new situation, There are pictures of my daughter and I in the lake. The idea of swimming in a lake terrified me, but I did it for her, There is the picture of my husband and I before a date night. Damn, we clean up nice. The trip to see the Steelers play that we took with my brother and sister in law, who I look at like a brother and sister to me. That was one of the best weekend vacations of my life, and we had a blast! There are birthdays, and holidays, and Halloween….God we love Halloween.

There is a picture of my friend who passed away, it’s the only picture I have of the two of us, after 20 plus years of friendship, and I am grateful to have it. That was a loss that hit me really hard, and it changed my mindset quite a bit. it’s most certainly a wake up call to one’s own mortality when a friend passes away who is the same age as you. I am more grateful now to wake up each day. I have so much to do, and to live for.

The fact is, that I have learned two very important lessons over the past year. The first is that gratitude is most certainly a key to happiness. Once I stopped to regularly take stock of all the things I was grateful for, I found I needed less. The more I focused on how lucky I felt, the less I worried about what I might not have. It was so simple. On days when things don’t go my way, I try to take a few minutes and list some people or things to myself that I feel lucky to have in my life. It helps me to see the simple things, and it makes tougher times seem not so bad.

Secondly, as I mentioned, I grew up in a “what would other people say/think?” environment. It’s ingrained in me to worry what people will say, or think. This was the year where, quite frankly, I worked on not giving a fuck. Well, let me rephrase. I make a conscious effort to be a bit more selective about the fucks that I give. It was hard at first, because, wow…I gave a lot of fucks! I cared about what everyone thought, how they would judge me, and whether they would like me. It stressed me out. Somehow though, I got fed up, and started to change my mindset. Someone might not like my nose ring or tattoo? I don’t give a fuck. Don’t like me? Oh well. Zero fucks. Got something negative to say about my looks or how I dress? I can probably top it and be funnier about it. Whatever it is, if it’s someone unloading negative shit, they can take it elsewhere, for I am barren of fucks to give about it.

I had an interesting conversation with someone today and they told me there was a poll of women that went something like this: would you rather A. Get ten thousand dollars, or B, lose ten lbs and keep it off forever? The person told me most women would choose the 10 lbs. Me? I’ve spent my who,e life wishing I was thinner. Even when I was thin, it wasn’t thin enough. Now that I am a softer, rounder size 12, I gave this question some thought. My response? I’d take the money. My thinking process actually took all of two seconds. I said I’d take the cash and take the family on a vacation, make some memories, and have a story to tell. “remember that time my stomach was perfectly flat?” has nothing on “remember that crazy week we spent in Disney and how we had the time of our lives?”. My kids don’t give a rats ass how much I weight, and my husband thinks I’m a sexy bitch just as I am. Sure, not everything fits me perfectly, and I’d like to lose a couple of lbs, but clearly not enough to forgo steak, lobster and ice cream. Life is too short!

When my friend passed away this year, it brought home that nothing is promised. I have to work, and pay bills. I have to go to the grocery store and do other mundane tasks. What I don’t have to do is let life pass me by. I can love fiercely, laugh heartily, and feel intensely. I can say yes to new things, say no when I don’t feel like it, and let loose a little. I’m still learning to loosen up. I’m still learning not to care what people think. It’s a work in process, but I’m already a hell of a lot better at it than I used to be. I used to worry constantly about being judged by other people. Now I realize that if they are busy judging me, they are missing something valuable in their own lives. Another year, another chance to say yes to new experiences. I have surrounded myself with amazing people who make me laugh, feel loved, and make me feel included. I have friends that have known me since I was a crazy, stupid teenager, and I have new friends as well. I am blessed, grateful, and humble. I’m excited for the year ahead, and all it will bring. If it isn’t perfect? Oh well. I don’t give a fuck.


Turning it around

Well, hello there!
Sorry it’s been a while. It’s been a rough few days. Nothing catastrophic, thank goodness, but just a few days where everything seems to go the wrong way, and it starts to drain my sunshine. Actually, it’s been a rough few weeks at least. Some disappointments, sadness, family illness, and having to make some tough choices have left me feeling rather down. Frankly, I’m exhausted both emotionally and physically. I might get into more details at a later date.

Anywho, after a rough couple of days with a sprinkling of rage thrown in, I was feeling a little on edge. I saw the anti smoking commercial today with Terrie Hall (I think that’s her name), and it made me burst into tears, (those commercials with her in them positively SLAY me, and I hate if anyone is in the room with me when they come on because I will start to cry…every.single.time.). I then read an article about a woman with breast cancer, and that too made me sniffle. I decided I needed to cheer up. After all, here were women who had major illnesses, who went through hell, and I am simply having a bad week! My life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damned good. Sometimes, a little reminder of the good things sure does help combat feelings that life is being too harsh. I figured what I needed was some reminders of what IS going right.

The first thing I did, was have Ben and Jerry’s. Why? Because it’s friggen delish, that’s why! Well, that and the fact my husband brought it home for me after hearing my day sucked yesterday. He’s a champion that way. So after my nom nom’s, I gave the dog some cuddles, I reminded myself that he loves me, even when I feel icky or ugly or when I have cried my makeup off my face into black pools, which might look kind of jowly in the right light. Ok, enough of that, I almost depressed myself again…..sometimes it’s 2 steps forward, one back? Where was I? Oh yes, the hound. The hound was adopted sight unseen from TN, and he is one awesome pooch, Never barks, loves the kids, loves us, doesn’t chew stuff, and isn’t a high maintenance asshole dog. He’s just a great dog, and I adore him. I said “wanna go to bed?” and he got all wiggly-butted and then darted upstairs and jumped onto his bed. Within 3 minutes, he is snoring. The husband stopped home from work on a break to do me a favor, reminding me yet again of what an awesome guy he is. How on earth did iIget so lucky to marry such an incredible guy? I took a few minutes to go and sit in my son’s room. He got new bunk beds this weekend, and he and his sister asked if they could have a “sleepover” in there. He conquered his nervousness about sleeping on the top bunk so that his little sister could sleep on the bottom bunk. I was so proud of him, and so happy that there was no bickering tonight, only excitement that they could both sleep in the same room and tell stories to each other, I sat in there and watched them both sleep. I listened to my 3 year old girl snore like a man. I felt peaceful. I felt…happy.

So here I am, a girl who was sad and down earlier, and I feel a lot better. I have practiced being grateful. It works. Next time you are down, grab a sheet of paper and jot down what you are grateful for. It doesn’t matter how small or silly it may seem; if you’re grateful for it, put it on paper. You may start with “I am grateful I have enough toilet paper to get me through the night” and go into some deep philosophical stuff. Taking a moment to be grateful for what is good in one’s life forces oneself to focus on good, rather than the bad. It will make your frown less frowny. Nobody likes a crabby patty.

My life isn’t perfect. I have problems like everyone else. I have bad days. Money is tight, work is hard and sometimes insanely frustrating. People gossip about me. My back hurts a lot. But things are at least good. I can find a way to hustle to make some money. Not all days will be bad. In fact, there will be an occasional spectacular day. Work is work. At least I have work. Could be worse. I sometimes think that if people are using their time to gossip about me, they must be lacking something in their own life, and their opinions of me aren’t my problem, The back pain, well, some days it hurts, some days it doesn’t, I just need to be more mindful of the days it doesn’t hurt so much. Trying to find the good in situations takes a bit of effort, but it does change perspective. It’s helped me get my issues with depression in a better place. Sometimes, it helps make a crappy day a little less crappy. On the other hand, sometimes it’s good to say “today really sucked! The probability is that tomorrow will seem awesome in comparison! ”

Stay positive, stay grateful. Start small. Go big. Don’t take no shit. -words to live by.

Messy xx