Friday, August 31, 2007


First off, I want to thank everyone who posted a comment to my last post. I'm glad I was able to help a few of you, and commiserate with others. Grief is such a hard thing as there is no ending, just ups and downs. It really has helped me to keep this blog, and to release some of the pain that I am experiencing.

This past week my family has been in San Diego visiting my mom's father and brother. Yes, we took two young children on an over four hour plane ride and lived to tell about it! Anyway, California is a second home to me. When the airplane lands, it feels like I've landed in my second home. I've lived there, and I've visited family members too many times to count. We had a lot of fun on our trip. We went to Sea World, the beach, the hotel's pool, but mainly we spent time with family.

My grandfather is 82 years old, and his wife is 92, so I know that each time I see them it may be the last. I try to make sure to spend as much quality as well as quantity time with them. It was great introducing Tot to him for the first time. He never met him, and hadn't seen S. since he was 18 months old! My grandfather's wife cannot travel anymore, and he can't leave her alone. Unfortunately, that means this spry man can't travel either. Every time I see my grandfather and uncle, it feels like a piece of my mom is with me. From the smell of his house to the endless recollections of my mom, I feel her closer to me. That feels so good. I know she would be happy that we went. She told me not to forget my grandfather. The poor man lost his wife and his daughter; that's too much. I was also to remember how sensitive he is. He feels that pain even if he never acknowledges it. So do I.

When I first walked into my grandfather's home, I looked at all of the pictures he had out on display. I saw my mom holding my oldest when he was only mere days old. He was wearing his little Halloween costume, and she was smiling. She looked so happy. I had to turn around because I had tears in my eyes. I remembered the trip that we took together, just her and I, to visit him just ten years ago. We had such a good time, and now she was gone. It felt like there were ghosts surrounding me. The memories just came popping into my head. Our trip there to this house when I was 15, then 18, then 20, then 24, and 31 and now 34. Then all of the countless visits to his former home that he had before he had retired. It confirmed what I felt already. We have lost so much. We all feel that hole in our hearts that no matter what we do, there's no filling it. However, when we do get together, it seems like we saw each other just yesterday. We have such a good time together.

I'm glad we went, even though that meant lugging two carseats on a plane, two children, a stroller, three backbacks, and two pieces of luggage. Man, are Hubby and I sore! Both of the kids were fantastic on the way out there, but Tot was a 'challenge' on the way back! It was definitely worth it, though. Going home always is.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Kids; My Healers

Yesterday was my mom's birthday; a sad day for me. Actually, I always find the days leading up to it the worst. I watched my brother's wedding video from 1994. Way before the cancer, the chemo. and the pain. It was so nice to see my mom dancing, hear her laugh and remember when life was good. Remember my mom the way she would probably like to be remembered. When the end is so horrible, it is hard to remember that there were good times too. But there were, and here was the proof. The video made me laugh, and it made me cry. I cried because it is proof of all that we have lost. All that I as a woman and a daughter have lost. All that my children have missed out on. The grandma they will never know.

My mom lost her own mom at the young age of 29; her mother was just 57. I was only 30 when my mom died; she was a mere 51. Too damn young to die. My mom was devastated when her mother died; I was too! Knowing my mom would be able to give me advice based on her experience, I asked her how she got through it all. She told me,"Your kids get you through." Those words of wisdom are certainly true. Even my husband agrees with that. If I hadn't have had S. when she died, I know I would have never gotten out of bed. I would live in my own private pain without respite. I mean what would there be to live for? I know I have an awesome husband, but in the midst of all that pain, it's hard to think like that. My mother and I were best friends. My husband believes that I wouldn't have this depression if she had lived, and I whole-heartedly agree.

Anyway, I felt I needed to go visit her at the cemetary. I cut a rose off of one of my bushes that I planted in her memory the summer after she died. It is yellow for the first flowers my dad ever gave her, with pink tips because she felt pink was such a feminine color. The boys and Hubby all came with me. Now S. is starting to understand things, so I felt I needed to tell him why we go there, and what to expect. Well, my husband told him that we were going there to see Grandma Debbie. Now you see where I'm going with this right? Yep. As soon as we got out of the van, S. says,"I don't see anybody." He kept looking around for Grandma Debbie, but couldn't find her and didn't understand why not. Death is such a hard concept for kids to understand!

When we walked over to her grave, I put my rose into her attached vase. Then I asked for some time alone to talk to her. I wished her a happy birthday, and told her I miss her every day. I think of her in the morning when I get up, and when I get ready to go to bed. She is frequently in my dreams too. Then the boys came back up as I had tears in my eyes covered by my sunglasses. The Tot runs up to me and says something he has never said to me,"I love mommy." He then stretches out his arms and gives me a big hug, just what I needed. I told myself maybe that was my mom's way of comforting me. She couldn't do it herself, but my son could. After that, we all prayed together, and then sang happy birthday to Grandma. I had a hard time singing; I was choking up. My boys and I should be singing this to her over a cake and candles, not over a gravestone. I guess it's not for us to decide, and I have to have faith in God that He knew what He was doing when he took her home to Him. I just miss her so much, but my children have gotten me through the worst days; they've given me hope that the next day will be better. That the world is still good, and that I do have something to offer. That I am needed, so I can't go anywhere. My husband has been my rock too. What a patient and loving man he is! So I am here to tell you all of this, because my kids need me. They've gotten me through the roughest, and I owe it to them to be the best mother that I can be. Thanks mom for your wisdom. I'm paying it forward. Your kids get you through when you think you can't go on. They get you through. They really do...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Tot's Newest Obsession

Lately I've been putting Tot into his chair in just a diaper since he usually gets food all over his clothes. Let's just say I am sick of all the extra laundry. Well, since I've begun doing this Tot has been interested in his nipples. Really interested. One morning I turned around and saw my oldest next to him. I heard S. say to Tot," Tot, those are your nipples. Yours are small. Mommy's are bigger." I turned to him and said quietly, "Your Daddy's are bigger too," but I don't think he heard me. I decided that it was too early, also sans coffee, for me to go into any type of explaining. Besides, does anyone know why boys/men have nipples??? I'm sure that little question will be asked soon!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Great Visit

As some of you may already know, teachermom and I got together, with the kids, this past weekend. She did something I have never done: travel five hours BY HERSELF with two kids! Man, the girl is brave! Everything seemed to just work out. She even arrived within a half hour of when she said she would. How's that for efficiency!

It's just amazing to me that even though we hadn't seen each other in over a year, it seemed as though it had only been a short time. Conversation flowed, and heck, even the kids seemed to be happy to see each other again! My son does the funniest thing; he calls TM's daughter by both her first AND last name. It's like,"Jane Smith, come here. I need you down here." Well, other than the Jane Smith part, he said exactly that. The really cool thing is that both of our oldest children have the same interests. For nearly three days I never had to answer the question,"What time is it?" Yes, they both love to tell time! One would ask the question and the other would do the answering. Too cute! They both also played board games together. At age four, they even played the game Sorry!. I've got to tell you that having TM's daughter with us made my parenting of S. a whole lot easier!

The babies, I mean toddlers, seemed to like having one another around, too. They didn't play together exactly, but they were near each other. Both of the boys love trains, although my son has nothing on TM's son! Wow, does that boy love trains!

Everyone seemed to have fun at the Children's Museum we went to, as well as our town's waterpark. The weather was so hot and humid, that the waterpark was the perfect activity! I also must say that we were all sad to see them go, especially knowing that it will likely be another year before we see them again. My oldest had a particulary hard time. He was acting out, and I knew why. I talked with him about it, and after an appointment I had, I took him to one of his favorite places: the big park. That seemed to help as today he was fantastic!

It amazes me when I think about how we became friends. One word: infertility. After years of crying wanting a baby so badly I could taste it, infertility brought me something good. It brought me this friendship. As most people know who have gone through infertility, you share a lot on the internet boards and blogs about your infertility, and in return receive much needed support. It seems our in-person friends and family don't know what to say or do for us when we are struggling with the inability to do the most basic act in life: have a baby. If it weren't for the internet, teachermom included, I don't know how I would have come out of my struggle with infertility. So infertility left with me with a pain I will never forget, but friendships because of it were formed, including this one. Who would have guessed that six years ago, a comment I posted about Clomid to teachermom would have ended up this way. I'm so glad it did.

***I look about a hundred years old in this picture! Look at all those lines by my eyes. Crow's feet galore! I am hoping that it is just the natural light. Hey, don't laugh! It'll happen to you one day! Teachermom, as usual, looks great in this picture. No crow's feet on her face! BTW, I did send her all the pictures I took, as if you were worried!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Whyyyyyy...,Oh, Whyyyyyy?

There are several things in this world that cause me to gasp 'why', such as when a child dies or the whole 'dogfighting saga' that has erupted here in Illinois. Unfortunately, I am not talking about that asshole Michael? Vick who deserves, in my opinion, to be tied up to a treadmill for days, electrocuted, starved and left to sit in his own feces and then if he can tell me what he experienced was not cruel...well, I doubt even he'd be able to say that it wasn't. But anyway, there are some lesser things that cause to ponder the question 'why' when they happen. Here are just a few:

  • Why does it seem that an item I purchased needs either to be price-checked, or I'm overcharged, only when it is something embarressing? Today it was Targ*t's Fiber laxative. Yes, I need to use them because I take medication that, how shall I say this, binds me up. Well, the cashier charged me for two, and I had only purchased one. Of course, I only noticed this after I had payed. I even contemplated not saying anything, but the thrifty side of me said it was nearly SIX DOLLARS! You know what I could buy with that! And yes, I held up the line while the cashier fixed it.
  • Why does Costco open at ten o'clock in the morning? Targ*et and Wal-M*rt, as well as Sam's Club open earlier than that. I had to buy some diapers for Tot. I HAD to as there are not many left. I decided to go after I dropped S. off at summer camp. You know, taking one child is a lot easier than bringing two! Anyway, the sign says "Monday-Friday, hours 10AM-10PM or something. You can probably guess that 10AM was a long way off from the time it was right then. I decided to cut through the Targ*t parking lot on my way home, and I checked their hours. They open at 8 o'clock, guys! 8 O'clock! Guess where I bought Tot's diapers, and where I payed more money even though I found a box on the 'clearance rack'.
  • Why is my oldest constantly saying the opposite of what he wants. Case in point. "S. today you have summer camp. You're going to have so much fun!" (BTW, S. LOVES summer camp). S. says,"I don't want to go to summer camp!!!" I remark, "Okay, you don't have to go to summer camp." (See, I have learned to say the opposite of what I mean in return. Pretty clever, eh?) S. then says,"I WANT TO GO TO SUMMER CAMP!!!" This drives me nuts!
  • Why does our power only go out on nice days, but when it storms we almost always have power? My opinion of Commonwealth Ed*son is worse than Mayor Daley's from back in the 90's. Remember when the power was always going out downtown? Yeah, that is a dangerous situation as there are no windows to open in skyscrapers. I do not like Com. *Ed.
  • Why do certain clothing items disappear, and I only realize it when it's too late to wash another one? Tell me, am I a bad mother because I sent my son to camp in a shirt and shorts that were not stained, but hadn't been washed either?
  • Why do I find out that I put out my younger son's shorts for my older son only when he puts them on and we're walking to the car? Naturally, we are running late so there is no time to change. I don't know what's scarier, that I put out the wrong shorts or that my son fits into 18-24 month shorts at nearly 5 years of age. Yes, they were a bit short, but fit his waist perfectly.
  • Why after almost 20 years have gone by does the song 'Paradise City' by Guns N' Roses still evoke memories of how much I hated moving to a small town at age 15. The lyrics "Take me down to a paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. Oh, won't you please take me HOME!" really said what I was feeling. I wanted to go home. Five years later I did, and I am still living in what I considered my hometown.
  • And 'why' when my husband and I finally get a night without the boys and we decide to stay at a hotel, do we have a couple who fights. We could hear everything they said, including the highly repeated fuck or fucking, or the other version, fucked. Needless to say, I was not well-rested the next day. If I wanted to listen to screaming and crying, I could have done so at home for free! (BTW, we stayed at a nice hotel in a 'yuppie-posh suburb. There is no excuse for that!)

I could go on and on, but this is a good sampling. Nearly every day I am left with the question 'Why?'.