Monday, September 28, 2009

Something

Today I get to do one of the fun things in pregnancy: see my baby! Today is the anatomy ultrasound, which for the unlearned means we look at and measure every stinking part of the kid to make sure there's no humps in the back or tails growing out in strange places. But knowing I most likely have a perfectly normal kid doesn't eliminate the sleeplessness and strange dreams of the night before because there is always a possibility that something could come out wrong. There is no guarantee that the pictures they took 10 weeks ago and the genetic testing rules out an extra leg you know? And it wouldn't be the end of the world but I think everyone goes into their pregnancy expecting perfection and I have long ago come up with a general rule of pregnancy that is pretty much 100% true: at some point in every pregnancy the Dr. will tell you 'something could be wrong.'

Every stinking pregnancy people. I know not one mom who didn't have this stupid moment in their pregnancy when the Dr. sees something on the ultrasound that may or may not be an issue, may or may not mean you have to come back for extra testing/pictures/visits to confirm or deny that there may or may not be an extra freckle on the nose of your kid.

What's frustrating is that it seems that 99% of the time these turn out to be 'nothing.' Just a funny picture. An anomaly on the screen that's gone the next time or, in my last pregnancy, seems to be fine but we'll really have to see once the kid's born. B had a funny space in his intestines. This could mean he was leaking from the intestine into his body cavity. Leaking body waste is never good, but when you're a fetus? Could mean in utero surgery. And when they tell you something 'might be wrong' you go straight into hell. Why me, why this innocent kid, what did I do wrong, was it that one glass of champagne, am I in for a lifetime caregiver stint, is he going to die, and possibly even what can I promise God to make this go away?

Pregnancy should be perfect. Babies should all be perfect. No one should ever have to suffer, right?

But everyone I know ended up with a perfectly healthy kid despite the 'might be something wrongs' on their ultrasounds. So, in this era of Drs covering their butts by having to tell you everything that is even slightly abnormal on the pictures we live through much more stressful pregnancies. I'm not sure full disclosure is necessary. But we've forced it on them and ourselves I guess. Thanks litigators. I mean, I really don't need to know until something is confirmed that there is definitely something wrong. Then I can prepare. Because pregnancy makes it hard enough to sleep already without the new worries that are 99% unnecessary because they are 99% of the time 'NOTHING' instead of 'something.'

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Slacker Sunday photo


Just had to show off the stylin' Miss A in mommy's shoes

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The endless journey....ends!

Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4, oh yes 4 parts before this last segment. You made it to the end though!

The Great Utah Basin: route 50, the loneliest road in America. Aye that it was... We started out in the fog, so even if we hadn't been the only ones on the road, we would have felt like it. Ravens were all over the place as well as this weird black and white bird picking at carrion in the middle of the road and on every fence post. It sure looked like a different world. Pretty soon, the birds disappeared, no road kill, no trees, and only short brown vegetation could be seen for miles around.  Right at the Nevada/Utah border we stopped at a cute little hunter’s camp/gas station/hotel/diner and shopped a bit for fake Native American artifacts and crappy souvenirs. After a hearty round of strangers staring at us, we in our clothes of three days (Darlene’s teddy bear pajama bottoms and autumn leaf patterned fleece top, and me in my cat fur covered sweat pants and fur infested fleece top) the pinnacle of our travel fashion ensemble, (and I'm sure the hairstyles looked good too,) we took off and crossed the border into a new state, although the scenery disappointingly did not change....


I did think that the Nevada/Utah basin area was supposed to be pretty, but one can’t imagine the amount of time you can be driving in one of those basins before you reach the edge. For hours you will be in the middle of a flat valley bottom, mountains ringing all around you but miles off, and thinking you can’t be much more than 30 miles from the mountains in front of you, but then it’s been hours. And you’re still driving. It’s nuts. And no animals and no cars and no people. What is the point of a place like this? Perhaps you could grow something, but then no one has chosen to do so. You can imagine the earliest settlers or native Americans walking, riding, driving their wagons across these basins for days and days. It must have been so discouraging. Heck, we only spent 4 or 5 hours there and it seemed like a lifetime.


We did make it to Reno by 8ish and found out that the RV camp we chose was only at the end of the most frightening maze of highway construction on and off ramps ever made. I think I actually did a few rounds in the highway fun house carnival attraction before I hit the road to the Reno Hilton and RV camp. Yes, we were camping next to a casino. Not just any casino, but a casino with a convention present, although we were yet to figure that out. Sadly, we had arrived too late to get the key to the showers, or access to anything the lot had to offer basically. We inserted our money to pay for our slot, lord knows we didn’t want to wake up being towed away from some spot we hadn’t reserved. Our only option was to clean our stinky selves up as best we could and take a walk over to the casino for some dinner. As we walked through the casino to the local Chevys we thought it was unusual how many weird people, and I mean really weird people, were attracted to casinos. I suppose it made sense, with our uptight opinion that gamblers and compulsive gamblers had to have something wrong with them, or some social disorder in order to spend hours in front of flashing lights with cherries spinning before their eyes. But these were some funny looking people, not the best  and brightest, and not the cream of the looks crop either. I suppose in those dim lights no one was looking either.


We returned to the RV parking lot after dinner and began to hook our ‘home’ up to figure out where the heat was and how it worked. I saved the poop disposal for the next day thinking I’d do it at the last minute. After reading and re-reading the manual and flipping all the switches and banging on everything, we couldn’t get the heat to work. So I called the customer service hotline. Turned out we had a blown fuse, and sadly no one had told us to procure spare fuses before our trip to protect ourselves from exactly such an occurrence. Heck they put the fuses into the fuse box in such a way that it took my very own teeth to remove them just to see if they were blown! Apparently we were supposed to take our RV, drive through the insane maze that was Reno’s freeway construction zone, find a store that sold fuses in the middle of the night and then return, right? Well, we merely replaced the broken fuse with another seemingly random one but even trading that one out didn’t fix the heat! Our friendly phone operator told us they couldn’t get anyone out that night to help us, but perhaps the next day. Uh, we’re returning this heap of crap to your people the next day dude, so thanks, but no thanks. We settled uncomfortably in to the idea that we were spending one more night at subzero temperatures with just some cats and sleeping bags to keep us warm. Our adventure, that had started off with excitement and good cheer had turned into ‘Thank god it was almost over…”


When I woke up that last day of our cross-country RV journey it was all I could do not to kick down the door of the shower house. We hadn’t showered since Illinois, which was at least 3 days, 4 packs of cigarettes and some bad food ago. It was time. And like hell I was showing up at my boyfriend’s house with my hair glued to my head in heroin addict street roamer fashion. I went on the hunt for the key. The store opened at 9am so I bided my time tidying up the RV and snacking on some breakfast-like food (leftover triscuits and cheese anyone?) Soon Darlene woke and we attacked the bathrooms. After showering for some reason, I had saved the biggest task of the day: emptying the toilet basin thingie.


Now be warned, we’re talking about human waste here. I had to take a hose, attach it to the pipe sticking out the bottom of the RV, stick the other end into a sewer and open the floodgates. Now I had been smart, I only did number ones the whole way, I saved the chunky stuff for the rest areas, but I don’t suppose that makes it much better. Because at some point you have to disconnect the tube from the still dripping pipe because for some reason it never stops dripping!!! Oh, I was prepared, I had brought along a brand new pair of yellow rubber gloves expressly for this purpose, but nothing can prepare you for becoming a sanitation specialist. I suppose the trick would have been to hook it up the night before and let it drip all night. Well now I know.


The last thing most of you probably want your boyfriend to ever see, no matter how much you believe he’ll love you through everything he ever sees, is you handling human waste products. But I get ahead of myself. We only had about a 4 hour trip to get the rest of the way to San Francisco, so we packed up and headed out. It was a beautiful sunny day and we got to drive through some more mountains. Now this was concerning considering the performance of the RV in the last set of mountains, but the views soon erased our concerns as there were snow peaked mountains and virginal pine forests everywhere you looked. I can see why people escape to the Sierra Nevadas because they’re incredible. Mind you that you should keep your eyes on the road because at any minute a really dumb deer may jump out in front of your fully downhill accelerating RV and stop causing you to slam on your brakes, throw three kitties up against the front windshield, not to mention our own heads had we not been strapped in, and shortening our lives by at least 5 years due to the visions of hell that just flashed before our eyes.


Oh I like wildlife and I even like deer, but here I am with, like, a 16th of my trip left and some bloody juvenile deer is going to wreck the RV, killing two women and three cats with one turn of his head? I think not. And you may well know that hooves and pavement do not make good traction, nor do blind turns with semi’s barreling downhill at 60 make for good companions when you’re stopped dead in the middle of a highway. But, we survived. And so did the deer if you care, although you may be one of those deer-loathing people that blame the deer for running across a road that was built long after evolution created the deer brain.


So, we made it out of the mountains and were surprised to see that the plains of California looked much like central Illinois! There were cornfields and dairy farms every which way, which just seemed weird. We enjoyed the rest of the ride, and even called up the Triplet King as we crossed the Bay Bridge so he could come out on the balcony of our rental apartment and wave as the RV crossed the last segments of bridge. Yeah, our apartment was like 5 inches from the bay bridge which made for awesome views but a constant sound of rushing cars if you wanted an open window. You win some…


We pulled up to the building to the back loading entrance and proceeded to unload. We had limited time to get the RV to the rental facility so we had to unload in undue haste. I grabbed one, two, three cats and raced them upstairs so that the concierge and security couldn’t count how many there were. It turned out that they couldn’t have cared less, but TK being a good law abiding citizen and us having one more cat than our rental agreement allowed, we snuck them in quietly and efficiently.


But it gets better. Because after we unloaded the RV, with a suddenly burgeoning amount of crates of crap, I had to open the septic pipe again because the rental company had warned me that if I showed up at the  RV return center with the pipes closed I’d have an automatic $200 fine. Lord knows they didn’t want to do the dirty work so there was the threat. Even if I opened it after arriving there, I’d be fined, and now I know why. So, having thought I had successfully emptied the toilet not four hours earlier, I put on my gloves, and opened the pipes with crossed fingers. Now I don’t know what the fine is for peeing on the streets, but thankfully we were parked at the end of a dead end street with the pee hole facing no one but us and some barrier plants. Because at least a quart of full on urine with bits of toilet paper gushed from the pipe right onto that street. This is the first memory I created with my boyfriend TK upon arriving in the beautiful city of San Francisco. A vision of me pouring urine on the street and him grimacing and trying not to smell. After that delightful interlude there was nothing else to be done but to hightail it to the rv return center that closed in less than 30 minutes, so with raw sewage dripping from the rear vehicle pipe, I took off in the RV again for the last leg of our journey: dumping the rattling crate of crap back into someone else’s hands.


And that, my friends is the end of the story. Yes, the rental agent expressed disgust that we had been given such a rattletrap to drive thousands of miles, to which I naturally agreed. Yes, they said the thing should only have been rented for local drives and would now be auctioned off because it was not in quality condition to be rented out again. I must say. That I was chosen to be the last driver of that hunk of junk on my once in a lifetime cross country drive with my most important worldly possessions inside gave me little pleasure. But you know what? We made it. And it makes a much better story this way doesn't it? Although a couple of nights of heated sleep would not have been bad to have.


You made it through the epic tale. Now what do you want to know?


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another letter to a child

Dear son J,

I hate to be writing another letter to a child of mine including threats of abandonment, my dear son, but here we are aren't we? I'm not sure what I will do if you throw yourself on the floor again writhing and screaming every time I want you to go upstairs, downstairs, in a door, out a door, into the car, out of the car, into the stroller, out of the stroller or just simply want to put a clean diaper on you because you are actively dripping toxic waste from the seams of your diaper.

I mean really? Is EVERY transition that traumatic for you? I have noticed that most of the time, if I give you 5 minutes warning, you do a little better at the stair climbing. So it probably is just that you don't like life to change too fast on you. You probably will be a homebody like me and not like change, even if the current situation (ie filthy filthy diaper) is uncomfortable. But there are some disadvantages. You come from a line of geeks and if you're lucky you'll be a functional one like we think we are. However, if you will never go outside or up or down stairs? You might become one of those crazy shut in kinds who live on delivery food and anything you can order online. I will visit you to a certain extent, but should your front door get blocked more than halfway by pizza boxes and packing material, I will probably just call.

But back to the here and now. As you have probably noticed, we will not carry you, reluctant as you are, up and down the stairs. And anyway, it seems to make you even more furious if we dare to do so. So there is no compromise available. You need to come up the stairs to bedtime when, and I mean immediately when, mommy says to come. Bedtime is the same time every night. The routine is the same every day also, when it is time to come downstairs to start the day. No, you can not stay in the nursery all day and you sure as heck are not staying in the living room with me all evening.

So, and I mean this lovingly, GET YOUR BUTT MOVING WHEN I SAY SO. Otherwise, one of these times when we say "ok bye bye J! We're leaving without you," we may actually do so. Seeing as how CPS might find out about that we will likely be parked just down the block, but I'm just sayin'. If you want to be left behind so badly? You just might be.

As usual, love,
your even lovin' mom

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The journey again! And more!

See part 1, 2 and 3 of this story



 We had made it to St. Louis when a craving for Olive Garden hit me like a ton of bricks. I needed the salad, and I needed it badly! We stopped for gas and D went inside to inquire about any nearby branches while I had the Tripletking (TK) look it up on the internet. He found one not more than 20 minutes away and right off the highway, perfect. We chowed on salad and breadsticks and hit the road again, D was driving since she likes night driving. I decided to take a nap on my favorite carnival ride again, the back of the RV. The cats didn’t know what to do when mom went to bed at the back of the bus. If they wanted to stay near me, which they did, they would have to tolerate being bucked and thrown like a bull rider while laying on the bed. But, if they wanted a solid, smooth ride, they had to stay up front with that other lady, D and lose sight of dear old mom. Mostly they stayed with me. Roxanne, of course was still hiding in her carrier under the covers.


When I woke up we were in Kansas. I drove for a little while longer and then we hit a rest area and slept a good 6 hours. This is when Roxanne decided to relocate. A bouncing bed with a carrier on it apparently was no longer her choice. She first took another opportunity to relieve herself and refuel, then poked around the whole car. First she checked out D, sleeping in the bunk that hangs over the front of the car. Not satisfactory. She nosed around the chairs up front, noticed that there is no ‘under’ anything in an RV. Due to the need for total efficiency in packing a stove, bathroom, three beds, closets, chairs and a shower into a 25 square foot area, there was no way to have any room under the chairs or stove or anywhere. Nowhere for a cat to hide down there. So, she headed up higher. I had left a cabinet open up over my own bed. She jumped up there, found a blanket in the corner, curled up and stayed for the rest of the trip except for bathroom breaks.


We woke up still in Kansas, (imagine that, no tornadoes!) and after a breakfast of hostess cupcakes and coffee, we were off again. Day 3 we planned out that we would make it to a campsite that evening, plug in the RV and sleep in luxury, relative that is: heat, electricity, showers maybe. The plan on the map looked good but we were reconsidering our plan to get to Utah and visit the animal sanctuary. The truth was, once you've driven for 3 days, spending an afternoon visiting something instead of driving like a bat outta hell so you can get somewhere seemed like bad planning. Midway through Kansas we started making new plans. We could cut back up to I80 from Denver, but that was a 100 mile plus straight north drive and weren't we driving West? There was no other smooth way to get back to I80 but we found a small highway that cut through the Utah Great Basin and slowly angled itself back up north to I80. The danger was that this would be slow or we'd get stuck behind people all the time without being able to pass them. Little did we know we'd picked "the loneliest highway in America." But back to that night. So we needed to get all the way through Colorado and halfway through Utah to sleep that night. No big deal, just a couple of states. We didn't count on the mountains or the armadillos, actually I'm kidding about the armadillos. But when we hit Denver, we understood its tourist skiing attraction. BEEEEEG mountains.

Well it’s mighty sad to only see Vail in the dark. The one chance we had with an excuse to drive through Vail and act like crazy rich people in a beat up RV was a bit off schedule. By the time we hit Denver, the sun was setting. All we saw of Vail was lights. Must be nice. I suppose I’ll never know now unless I trade up for a movie star. Just after Vail, we stopped for Mexican, the craving of the evening. We had the best food at this little hole in the wall there. That meal was perfect after, of course, I switched chairs because the one I sat in smelled like death. How do you tell a waiter politely that your chair stinks? Well it seems I failed. He didn't remove it from the scene at all and even sat in it himself when he stopped to talk. I pity the poor next client who sits in that one, they'll probably think it's the restaurant that stinks. Ah well, the guacamole could not be beat. 



As usual I went to sleep after dinner while D did the driving. I woke up in Utah. As I took over driving I drove past a campsite we had considered spending the night at, but rejected because it had no electricity hookup, so what was the point? We only had about 45 miles to the next campsite, how hard could that be? I drove up and up and up these mountains in Utah, who knows where they came from, and the poor RV slowed down to 40, foot on the floor! I would put the RV on cruise control on the flat parts of the road only to have it unceremoniously kick off when we started going uphill. We became convinced that the RV was breaking down because it couldn't handle these hills whereas it had taken Denver by storm. No better idea to two women traveling alone than to have your RV break down when the next gas was almost 50 miles away and all you could see around you were shrubs and wasteland. This was turning into a horror flick.




(Deep scary announcer voice) “Two lonely ladies set out on the journey of a lifetime only to find themselves stranded in the wastelands of Utah. Would they get out alive? Who would rescue them? How would they get their kitties out of the dying RV in time? Would they ever make it to California?”



Well, that’s kind of how it felt. Cruise control kept conking out and we couldn't get up these hills. And it was getting to be 12am and who knows what would happen if we showed up at the campsite so late, would they even let us in or would we still be wandering? Discouraged, and not seeing a truck stop or rest area for miles, we finally pulled over onto an on ramp like the truckers do, and settled in to sleep. We were just dozing off when I heard a truck approaching. Faster, faster, closer, closer it came until BOOM! Rattle Rattle Squeak Squeak!!! it passed us and practically made the RV flip over with its windy wake. D was so terrified she couldn't stop her heart from pounding. We hadn't seen anyone else on the road for hours so I was relatively sure it was a one time thing. Well apparently they had all been behind us, because twice more they whipped past us, shaking the RV all over the place and terrifying D, who had a classic case of post-traumatic shock from the first impact. It was clear we couldn't stay here for the night.



We packed up again and took off, and wouldn't you know it, less than 2 miles up the road was a rest stop. After nearly running over a man aimlessly walking around his semi in the parking lot, we pulled into a parking place and settled down to sleep again. Mind you, it was 32 degrees that night in the Utah mountains, and all we had were just some sleeping bags and a few cats to keep us warm. Thankfully we were dead tired and despite our frostbitten noses, slept for about 6 hours. God it was cold. Knowing that campground was less than 30 more miles killed me. We started off the next day with our teeth chattering, but better rested than the last few nights. Even the cats were shivering in the morning. Poor Darlene didn't even get one to warm her up, heck we should have slept together to keep warm.


And again...to be continued...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

That's all folks

Sorry I've been absent and I briefly thought about not writing today either. I'm alone quite a bit this week as it's the first week of life after having to cut my nanny help back by half. I'm in a funk about that still and spending any free time I have sleeping or vegging to recover. I was nasty purple faced mom last night again, due to being alone with the triplets all afternoon and them tromping all over that game. I hope that with more regular alone afternoons they will stop trying to make me insane during those hours.

Today I am excited as I am going for a second playdate in two weeks. Such unusual behavior! We are going to a park that is right behind a Starbucks so the highlight of my day is hitting the peppermint hot chocolate beforehand. No, no coffee for preggo me. I know I could have one cup but I never know how much coffee they put in their smalls so I just avoid it all together.

Let's hope the hot chocolate starts my day off well. Because last night's midnight changing of a soaking wet J and his sheets creating an uproar in the entire nursery was not fun. And it put me in a bad state for waking up this morning and facing the challenges of the day.

Here's to bucking up and making it through.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

RV in progress

(Part 3 in the continuing saga of how I came to live in CA with the Triplet King)


Animals die all the time in planes. You read about it in the papers, they do terrible things to animals by accident. How they can forget there are animals in the cage-like objects that look nothing like suitcases I don’t know, but they seem to. Hell, I suppose it shouldn’t surprise us considering what they do to our inanimate luggage.  It arrives broken, shuffled through, or not at all, so why trust them with living things? That’s why I decided my cats had to be driven cross-country with me, and my regular car was not going to cut it. Three cats, two people and a litter box was not going to make 4-5 days of travel without someone getting hurt. So I decided on a small RV. I had just closed down the cat rescue I’d run in my house for 2 years, having rescued and adopted out all but 3 of 65 cats that came to me, like hell I was risking losing the last ones to some dumb baggage handler’s mistake.


So, I enlisted D, my fellow animal rescuer, to drive across country with me. How hard could it be driving 3,000 miles with three cats in tow? We love road trips, we love hanging out with each other, and I had drugs to shut Piglet up if she never stopped howling like she usually did on the way to the vets. At 2:30pm on moving day, after wrangling Roxanne, Milo and Piglet into the behemoth, I hopped into my RV and started driving to D’s house to pick her up. Immediately I knew I had a problem. The stove top rattled so much my teeth hurt, the cabinets and frame squeaked with each road bump I passed over. Terrified cats who didn’t like cars immediately became frantic pinballs in a 21 foot tin can with moving parts. But I still had no idea that I had an RV that was so old it should never have been sent across country. I only found that out after we made it and the RV return center in California expressed their concern that I had ever been allowed to travel so far in such an old RV.


So, to try to allay the feline fears and my own jangling nerves, I taped down the rattling metal door to the fuse box, but this big ass rattletrap had more problems than one metal door that was no longer staying closed. I dismantled the stove and packed a pillow into the top, laying the heavy grate on top to hold the pillow down. I stuffed my childhood one eyed stuffed elephant into the oven hood, locked down the beds and put all the other moving and removable parts into a closet to muffle their noise. It was the best I could do to quiet down the RV, the squeaking we would just have to survive by clenching our teeth. I carried on to pick up D down the back country roads that led to her boyfriend’s house praying that everything else would go better for the rest of the day. I had called ahead to tell her I was on my way, but not surprisingly, as I arrived at D's I found out that her boyfriend had sent her to the bank, knowing full well we were leaving right away. He chose to fill her last few minutes at home before a vacation with an errand. For that favor he handed her a full $100 to make it through a week of feeding herself and shopping for souvenirs. Such a generous guy. But we were finally on our way by 4pm.


D jumped in, after kissing her three daughters goodbye and waved as we drove off into the sunset. California here we come! The plan was to drive all night and hit Illinois, and the home of  Triplet King’s (TK) parents, sometime around dawn. Ambitious, but we were psyched! The cats immediately surprised us. Milo settled in under the driver’s seat, Piglet, amazingly hung out on either my or D’s lap as we drove, and of course Roxanne was still residing under the covers of the ‘bed’ in her cage at this point. What happened to hysterical Piglet of the annual vet visits? Why didn’t I just ingest the kitty sedatives right then instead of the pack of cigarettes I decided to start smoking to handle the stress of the cross country move? I don’t know, all I can say is perhaps the cats realized that they were trapped, on their way to a new life in a big tin can and there was nothing they could do about it. They made the best of it and thankfully never sprinted to freedom at a rest area.


Our plans to drive all night faded after only half a state. We made it to West Virginia when the exhaustion hit me. I had only been driving for about 4 hours and I was already over it. We pulled into this truck stop with a diner and went inside to have a cup of coffee and some dinner. Now you see those scenes in movies all the time where people walk into a restaurant and immediately recognize that they don’t belong. I guess we were far enough into redneck territory that they could pick us out immediately. The stares we encountered were cold, hostile and blatantly easy to read: ‘what the hell are you two girls doing at a truck stop in West Virginia at this time of day?’


We survived that meal, with a bit of indigestion, and headed out for the next leg of our trip. D took over as her specialty is night-time driving. Pretty soon, those of us who never stay up later than 10pm hit our limit, and by that I mean me. I took my first turn on the back bed and attempted to sleep. Those of you who have never slept in the back of an RV as it’s going 70 mph on a poorly patched stretch of highway have missed a ride worthy of your best neighborhood amusement park. By the time a bump in the road translates back to the back end of a lightly loaded RV, it makes the shocks jump about 2 feet up and down. Now shocks are an important feature of any automobile, and they serve a purpose, but do they really need to bounce that much? And if you think you can sleep while every 30 seconds your body is launched a foot above the mattress, think again. Eventually I did sleep about 2 hours, but by then Darlene was ready for a nap. I guess we must have suddenly gotten old as we’d only driven about 8 hours out of a predicted 50 and we were already stopping to sleep. So much for the road warriors. We found a rest area in Indiana where we parked and slept for a couple of quiet, still hours.


Early in the morning we headed out again for Illinois. I had never met TK’s parents before, much less talked to them. Here I was going to drop in on them with an RV full of cats, smelling like someone who has been driving for 24 hours while smoking like a chimney, and hopped up on caffeine. Great idea. Little did I know that the moment TK’s dad saw me drive up in that 21 foot RV and park in his driveway en route to California to be with his only son, having given up my whole life just to do so, I was ‘in'. The mere sight of me driving that behemoth impressed him, but my drive to be with his kid was the whipped cream on that sundae. Happily, the fact that I talked for 30 minutes straight, barely taking a breath between sentences and running each word into the next, due to a mixture of fear, excitement and coffee, did not change his opinion. Sadly, we were having trouble remaining upright since we had slept so little and driven so hard to get there that morning. Yes, we weren't college kids anymore and all-nighters were a bit much for us. After an hour of polite conversation with eyes half closed, they sent us to bed. We curled up in the RV and had a 4 hour nap.


Meanwhile, Roxanne who had been holding it since 8am the morning before, decided terror was nothing compared to a screaming bladder and raced to the litter box. Then she scurried back to her carrier, which was under the covers with me in the dark. When we woke up, we had a snack and hit the road again, making the fateful decision to take I70 through Missouri and Kansas instead of I80 through Iowa and Wyoming. We had vague hopes we might stop by the animal sanctuary in Utah (Best Friends) and so I70 made sense for that if nothing else. What we didn't realize was that by the time we hit Utah we'd be sick of driving and anxious as heck to get to CA, not willing to stop and spend a day visiting even orphaned cats and dogs.


Oh lord this story just goes on and on...


Friday, September 18, 2009

A Small Success

It's funny how proud of yourself you can be when you succeed in entertaining your triplets for a whole day, including a grand adventure to a new location, especially when you're not used to doing so. So here I sit, exhausted as heck, but pleased. I was able to start the day with my kids, dress them, feed them breakfast, pack them up in the car, take them to a fantastic museum, keep them from running off or being carried off by someone else while they ran loose in a crowded place, feed them lunch, bring them home and kick their butts into nap, which was only the first half of the day. Lord I needed that nap.

But I made it. And it's pathetic that I'm so proud because there are triplet moms out there who do every single stinking day by themselves. I still had grandma for most of the day. Some moms have no help so they can't go to crowded places where triplets can run away from them. Some moms are run into the ground beyond my imagining and here I am with one day under my belt.

Damn the economy and all that. Losing half my nanny hours and having to finally take responsibility for caring for my children for several whole days each week sucks eggs. Wah, I cry like a baby about it all but let's get real. Isn't it about time for me to figure out how to do it myself? These are my kids after all. But it doesn't help to go to a triplet mom dinner last night and sit next to a woman who has 5, yes FIVE caretakers for her children. An au pair, a night nanny and three other nannies. She says that during the day there is never less than 2 people other than herself caring for her kids. She was unapologetic because it means her interactions with her kids were all positive and she is rested and can enjoy them more.

Oh lord people. I had to sit next to this woman for more than TWO HOURS. The day after I had to face the reality that I can't afford my morning nannies. And she's all complaining that they don't always place the stroller in the right spot and how she only feels like the upstairs has to be completely OCD her way because it's her sanctuary, the kids area can get messy as long as it gets all cleaned up at the end of the day. It's not too much to ask since she has FIVE people. What else do they have to do?

I have never left a dinner more depressed in my lifetime. So today is a triumph. What that lady missed today? Was the joy of understanding my children better. The joy of figuring out that even when you want to drop dead by 4 pm, you can push through and make it to the end of the day with your kids. My sense of accomplishment is deserved. And I will have many more successful days in the future. Sure, I'd love to win the lottery, sell my house at or above what we paid for it and find the best, cheapest, most perfect house to buy and move into, but until then? I will keep chugging and finding new reserves of energy from somewhere. Legally.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The journey, continued...

(The first part of this story can be found here)

At 10am the driver of the moving company finally called to tell me he'd be there in an hour! How nice of him to give me a little advance warning. Now the original plan had been to get the cats into the RV before the movers came, but now that Roxanne was in the ceiling, I had to consider that I might have a better chance getting her out while the other cats were still in the house. Plus, with the ESP cats have and my level of stress likely to decline once all the crap had been taken off on its journey, she was more likely to not be terrified by my freakish energy after they came and went.

So now that I could load up the RV and not fear I was going to miss the all important phone call from the movers I proceeded to do the last bits of my part. By the time they arrived at 11:30am, I was so prepared I literally had nothing to do while they slowly went about their business. First they had to catalogue everything, then, as there was only one mover and one driver, the single mover had to move everything into the truck while the driver organized it. Naturally this process took far longer than the hour I'd predicted, I mean I was so ready they could have just loaded it in 30 minutes had I merited more than one moving guy. Even they admitted I was the most ready client they'd run across. Meanwhile, I'd locked Milo (the big fat white male cat) and Piglet (the hysterical, needy, clingy, black and white long hair female cat) in the basement with Roxanne (they don't hide in the ceiling so it was safe. In fact, Milo couldn't possibly launch his fat cat butt up half the distance from the floor to the washer and Piglet, well, lets just say Piglet doesn't have the brainpower to not come when I call.) Well Piglet, being attached to me via emotional umbilical cord, couldn't stand that she was on the other side of a door from me. No matter that big burly men were stomping around the house, her worst fear usually being any man doing little else besides breathing and her usual behavior being to launch herself out of my arms causing lethal puncture wounds in the attempt to escape people of the male persuasion. No, she didn't care about the noise and the chance to get stomped on or have boxes dropped on your head, SHE HAD TO BE WITH ME! Meeeooow! Meeoow! MEAOW! I almost had one less cat to transport after that little scene. Heck it coulda just been me and Milo hitting the road with Roxanne in the ceiling and Piglet suffering from some fatal accident I hadn’t dreamed up yet.

Finally at 2pm, the movers were done, I could get about the business of getting on the road! I pulled the RV into the driveway, filled it full of water (the water tank that is), organized the stuff inside minimally and then went inside to deal with the Roxanne situation. Having given the cats a little time to cool off, I thought maybe they'd realize the movers were gone and come out, or rather Roxanne would. Milo and Piglet fairly sprinted out of the basement. Once Milo ascertained that there was no furniture left, he had enough evidence to convince him that something was going very, very wrong with his day and he retreated to the basement behind the wood stove until further notice. I opened a can of smelly, stinky can food and realized I had packed all the spoons, so I dug into the can with my fingers and plopped some can food out onto the plates. Only Piglet was falling for this one so that wasn't going to work. Typical that she trusted me so much, atypical that Milo’s stomach didn’t win out over his 6th sense, horribly typical that Roxanne didn’t trust me if I so much as looked at her funny. So, I scooped up Piglet, threw her in the RV, chased down Milo (not a hard task chasing and catching an overweight declawed cat) and threw him in the RV, cleared out the rest of the house, threw out the last of the garbage, checked everything once more and tried to figure out what to do about Roxanne.

How the hell do you get a cat out of a ceiling? And if you don’t and have now removed all furniture from the house (because the movers soon came and left with it all) put the house on the market to show and sell and are supposed to leave for California in minutes, never to return again, what is to become of said cat? And how bad would it stink if she stayed up in the ceiling until the house was bought by someone else and became their problem to exterminate? Just kidding.

 I quickly formulated a plan with my friends. D would visit the house regularly, leaving Roxanne food and water, and hopefully earning her trust (not likely) and then once she captured her (hah!) J would fly out to California to visit me with my cat, but probably 6 months later. Meanwhile Roxanne would get to live in J’s house with her two cats. Delightful. If Roxanne really wanted to live in J’s house, which already housed two strange cats and a new human squalling, smelly, crawly baby, she could make that choice, although I could fairly predict that she’d probably spend all her time there hiding in the basement on a hunger strike. If she didn’t trust me, how was she going to trust an unpredictable, drooly tiny version of me who walked around on all fours. Well, maybe she would understand that one better. But, in any case, I had to figure something else out. I went back to the basement, jumped up and hit a few of the drop ceiling tiles with my fingers. They popped up and back relatively easily, although my actions caused a half a pound of tile dust, two years worth of cat hair and probably nasty dead bugs that accumulate on the top of those ceiling tiles to rain down on my head which was not going to be under a shower for a few days now as I drove across the country. But perhaps I could make it feel not so safe in the ceiling for a little kitty cat?
I had one piece of wood left in my wood pile that, when held in my hand, made me tall enough to hit a ceiling tile without having to jump like a basketball player doing a layup. Since there was only one way in or out for her, I decided I could maybe herd her out of that damned ceiling by gently (or not so gently) encouraging her to head that direction.  I started poking ceiling tiles in a half circle pattern, ever tightening the noose around the exit, while ceiling tile refuse rained down on my head like a shower of filth. Suddenly I heard a scramble of claws, two landing thumps, and a scamper of feet up the basement stairs. I dropped the log, sprinted faster than my legs have ever moved before to the stairs, took them three at a time and slammed the door behind me.

Meanwhile poor Roxanne, anticipating a bed or a couch to hide behind once she got away from this monster making the ceiling tiles rattle, was racing around in circles throughout the now empty house terrified. That poor cat could not understand how there was actually not one thing she could hide behind or under in the entire house she’d spent her whole life in with furniture. She had no other memory as she had arrived as a 4 week old kitten and only been out to visit the vet. No couches, chairs, tables, newspapers, beds, sheets, blankets, NOTHING to hide behind, under or between! She finally thought of the refrigerator top, which had an overhanging cabinet that offered a modicum of camouflage, or at least didn’t feel like it was out in the open, and raced through the kitchen, up on the counter and finally came to rest cowering in the corner of the refrigerator I now realized I had neglected to clean of the dust and grease that had accumulated over the two years I’d lived there.  I tiptoed into the kitchen, climbed up on the counter, slowly reached my hand towards her, cooing softly and nabbed that little bitch by the scruff of her neck, threw her into the carrier unceremoniously and headed for the RV. Cursing under my breath I stuck her in the carrier under the blankets on the back bed of the RV. Poor Roxanne stayed in that container, under the covers for approximately 24 hours before she ventured out to pee or eat. What a traumatic day for both of us.

Shall I continue? Perhaps I will...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kid? You'd better listen.

Dear son B,

I have to write this letter to warn you that you are on borrowed time. Should you spend another whole afternoon driving me berzerk by doing every possible thing you're not supposed to and making your brother and sister and yourself cry 816 times to be exact I might have to let you go. I mean honestly kid. Do you want to live to see your 2nd birthday? With me? Because it's looking mighty shady right now.

No, you do not have a special dispensation to stick your fingers into every interesting thing in the house particularly on days when Grandma is away. No, it is not ok to take EVERY toy away from your siblings EVERY time they choose to play with ANYTHING. No, it is also not wise to throw a tantrum every time I remove said stolen toy and return it to the rightful player of the moment. It is especially not recommended to sit on my lap and push away any attempts by your brother or sister to approach within arms reach of me. I am their mother too. Every single minute of the day.

Also? When I get distracted? Tearing crap out of the damned pop up books? NOT OK. I am so sick and tired of taping books back together and looking sadly at the remnants of some beautiful books I thought we would treasure for years that I am pretty close to never buying another book for the rest of your life. And I love books. It will make it awfully hard for you to get through school without books, but it would be a heck of a lot cheaper for me and much less stress on my nerves, which get a bit jangled at the sound of tearing paper these days.

My dear middle child, this behavior I have witnessed lately is unseemly. It is also dangerous to your health. When my voice runs out and I can no longer yell? You may find yourself put out at the bus stop. You're cute, blonde, blue eyed and chubby. You'll be well loved. Perhaps they will have a house full of destructible books and nooks and crannies they don't mind you crawling into and finding ways to kill yourself in. Perhaps you'd rather not be a triplet anyways? I'm just sayin'.

So, for the last time, let's go a little easy on mom when she's alone for the afternoon with you, especially when she's had to spend the morning wasting her time trying to help her stubborn old bat of a mom and so her nerves are a wee bit already over the edge. I know you just want attention and yes, I do appreciate that you have figured out that tantrums don't work on me so you don't even try them, but you could get positive attention by just handing me a book and letting me read it to you and possibly another kid who lives here? Wouldn't that be better than a purple faced mom? Any day?

Just a helpful recommendation,
Love your ever lovin' mom

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Journey to CA begins

When your own cat doesn’t want to move with you to California, to live with a guy you’ve only been dating for 6 months, you start to think maybe you’ve made a big mistake. Roxanne wasn’t the type to make a stand, but stand she did on the day we were to hop in the RV and start driving. First I had to be stupid, but then she took over. Yes, the little, tiny 6 lb 2 year old grey kitty almost took the day.

The day being Monday, November 15, 2004, 4am, MOVING DAY. I still hadn't heard from the moving company, so they could be arriving at 8am or 3pm, what did I know? Why am I awake at 4am when I'm so prepared? You tell me why my brain is obsessed with the nails I still have to pull out of the walls, or the 5 minutes it will take me to tape the last two boxes shut, or the 10 minute shower, or the loading of my suitcases into the RV. At this point I have freaking 4 hours at the very least! Do you think I can make it? Yeah me too, but you try sleeping on the day you're moving your entire life and 3 cats across the whole United States to live, forever, just because you're in love with some guy (well not just some guy, but you catch my drift.) Well I digress, so sleep is for the weak, and I'm up getting the last parts of my life organized. Maybe I can take a nap once I know when the movers are coming and have everything done (hah!)

So I’m all ready, standing in my kitchen, boxes piled in the garage in preparation for the movers and damned if I’m not ahead of schedule. You know this is exactly when things have to go wrong. I’d been preparing for months, I’d even joined an organizational cult to get myself ready. Because packing up your whole life, leaving behind your job, church, parents, therapist, friends and the first home you’ve ever owned is hard enough without the complexities of putting it all into a box to move it 3,000 miles. Organizational cults abound on the internet but this one I’d found had been mentioned twice in the Washington Post and that meant something to me, so I took a chance.

Flylady is a cult for those women you see with houses packed to the brim with crap, old newspapers, flea market finds, cast off furniture from street corners, but it works for those of us with a mild disability in the ‘keeping your house from going to hell’ skill. It teaches you that 15 minutes a day will keep you from going crazy and, naturally, get you to understand that it’s just not so hard as you think to keep it together. 15 minutes a day translated into one box a day in the world of packing up a 3 bedroom house to move into a tiny 2 bedroom apartment across the country. I kept a couple of other boxes running: the giveaway box that went first to my friend D who could make use of almost anything, and then to goodwill, and the throwaway box that got set on the curb for every trash day. I had never been this organized but it was amazing how much stuff was just not worth paying someone to transport practically across the whole universe.

So needless to say, because of this fabulous cult of the homemaker, the weekend before my move I only had about 4 boxes left to pack! But, I also had picked the wrong moving company, among many bad choices of vendors in this process. I had a bad real estate agent, a bad landscaper, and many other characters I ran across in my journey, but we’ll get to those. So back to the mover, as I mentioned before, I had actually no idea when they might be coming, although I was pretty sure it’d be today. My friend D had taken the week off to drive to California with me in my RV but I had no idea when I’d be picking her up. A true friend sits around on her ass all day waiting for you to pick her up so she can sit in an RV for a week. 8:30 am came around Monday morning and, since I had been up for 4 hours, I was just sitting around in my house with nothing to do because I hadn't dared leave the house long enough to walk across the lawn and load up the RV with food or clothes because that would be the very minute the movers called. Everything seemed under control, so naturally it all went to hell.

Somehow, in that period of time, I found the need to go downstairs and do something. Now I had known for a long time that downstairs there was a secret hiding place where Roxanne loved to hang out, and so I’d kept that door to the basement closed for the last few weeks. Last thing I needed was for her to be out of reach when the time came to scruff and stuff her for the trip. Oh, but things just don’t work out the way you want them to because somehow I left that basement door open just a crack. My extra large cat Milo also loved it in the basement because there was cool tile flooring down there for his fat butt to lay on and chill. Thanks to his remarkable ability to cause problems, he was able to open the door all the way, and, unbeknownst to me, allow Roxanne and Piglet to go downstairs too. I caught the situation about 30 seconds too late. Roxanne saw me at the top of the stairs glowering down at her and immediately bolted to her hiding place. Being on the phone with the future Triplet King (TK) at this time, I naturally went hysterical. Like a fly entering a deadly Venus Flytrap thinking it was just another flower, he innocently said "How did she get down there, didn't you have the door closed?” Then a blaze of dragon furied fire such as he had never experienced erupted from my lips: “Of course I had the door closed, what do you think, I'm stupid? I made a mistake! Bwaaah (hysterical shriek to those unfamiliar.)" How in the hell was I going to get that little cat out of there when she knew perfectly well that coming out was the last thing she wanted to do (typical cat prescience as on vet appointment days.) Like hell she was going on some RV across country, what did I think she was, crazy?

Let me describe her hiding place to you in better detail to help you understand my hysteria: try to picture the basements in most houses. If they were built in the 70s or 80s they all involved drop ceilings. Panels and panels of probably asbestos laden tiles hanging in a metal framework, leaving a gap between the panel and the floor of the rooms above. Pipes wind through there and spiders I imagine, but it’s just big enough for a cat to crawl through, lie down and hang out. Well, there was a way in there through the laundry room, which did not have the drop ceiling.  Whomever created this ceiling hadn’t carried it through to the utility room and so at the top of the walls in that room was a hole that two of my skittish cats had made use of for months. All they had to do was run down the stairs, hang a right, jump on the washer, then the water heater and 2 more feet to the tunnel in the ceiling. This is not a place you or I could go of course, as it was 10 feet up, 1.5 feet wide and 1 foot tall and would require us to jump on top of a water heater, bend at an unnatural angle and wiggle in. Even if you were strangely wormlike and able to get in there, the ceiling extended across approximately 700 square feet of basement rec room with the aforementioned pipes, floor struts and spiders. You’re going to catch up to the cat? I don’t think so.
So, this is where the highly evasive and intelligent Roxanne went when she saw me at the top of the stairs with my mouth hanging open pre-hysteria on the day I was to pack her and her buddies in an RV and move across country. Roxanne now had the upper hand while I impotently stood below on the cold tile floor having a total nervous breakdown about what the hell I was going to do now.

 To be continued...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Trapped.

Today I feel trapped. Trapped in this house for one. It seems that the idea I had to blow this town for a bigger better but cheaper house is at a stalling point. To get out of this dreary foggy city for some suburbs with more sun and the critical part, a house where the kids can play in and outside all at once instead of having to make a decision to either play in the back yard or inside because we all have to relocate in order for it to happen.

I'm mad. I suppose I'm mad at the economy. First, finding a house in a price range that matches our borrowing ability? And let's talk about that borrowing ability. We could borrow fully 1/3 more 3 years ago. 3 years ago! Thanks market. So now we need more house for waaaay less money, because we happen to live in the kind of place where a 4 br house is a million dollars. Were we still living in Maryland? I could get a house for 400k. Back in Illinois where we grew up? 100k, maybe 200k. This sucks. And naturally, since we're mortgaged up to our eyeballs currently, we need this house to sell to get the downpayment. Only selling it at what we paid for it? Unlikely. Have we managed to pay down the principal even a wee bit? No.

So mad. So trapped. All I wanted was a house more functional for 4 kids and me to survive in. And being a little closer to the grandparents would be nice. And, all the things I dreamed about while sitting in their house where the weather is warmer and the outside is right outside instead of down a steep set of stairs that the kids can't be trusted on alone.

I also sometimes feel trapped in this life. I wake up and the reality of having 3 kids and being pregnant with another? Overwhelming. It's not like I can give them back. I'm going to be tired for YEARS. I think about the nice condo downtown that we used to rent, the freedom, the views, the ease of life, walking to the farmer's market and walking to any of a dozen restaurants in the area. Ugh. I know I didn't appreciate it at the time because there were no trees, no grass, no kids laughing in the next room. But sometimes I really do wish I could ditch it all and go back to then. When I could have a full uninterrupted day of peace, reading or doing whatever. Unless the husband wanted attention. Which was usual, so let's say a half day of uninterrupted peace at least. But so little to do! So much me time!

Hard to not wish one's self back there sometimes. I know it wasn't necessarily a happier time, but its almost like now I'd appreciate it more. Kind of like your teen years, or maybe even college years. Oh how we didn't appreciate the freedom, the fun, the closeness, the lack of responsibilities, until it was all over.

So, today the word is trapped. Not happy obviously. But not morbidly depressed. Just bleah. Someone win the lottery dammit. In my family that is. Me in particular. I want a new home!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Slacker Sunday photo

B, fearless as ever, charges into the depths of the forest. Perhaps I should have had ahold of the leash?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The End of the Story

That evening, after the reunion cocktail party and after drinks, S and I conferenced about TK. We had learned that he worked for a huge internet company and had started out at a little internet start up that had been bought by this huge internet company recently for a lot of money. We figured that not only had he won in the looks department, since 15 years seems to have made him incredibly more good looking than in high school (partly due to braces, growing taller and clearing adult skin), but also had probably won in the making lots of money department. Not much better to come back to your reunion as than as a millionaire. We decided to ask him about it the next day.

We arrived at C’s house for the scheduled brunch the next morning and loaded up our plates right behind TK so that we could engineer a prime location at the table. I succeeded in sitting right next to him and didn’t take very long to just come out with the question of the day. “S and I were talking about you last night and we were wondering if you were a millionaire?” Anyone truly surprised I'm so rude? TK shifted uncomfortably in his chair as he laughed. He eventually said he had done well but it was mostly on paper rather than in actual money. It was settled then for us at least, TK was most improved. Here he was, the antithesis of his high school self. He appeared self confident, way more than self-supporting, well dressed, well spoken, handsome, well built, and as intelligent as we would expect having gone to our high school. What a transformation!

Lest you think that dollar signs appeared in my eyes at this point, I was self sufficient, thank you very much. Yes, wouldn't it be nice if a billionaire appeared out of the woodwork to sweep me off my feet, but that is not this story. The insane magnetic attraction I had for him had started the night before. Before I knew anything about his current life. The possibility that he was financially secure? Just icing on the cake. I'm not completely without greed.
The day continued with a tour of our old high school complete with TK and I returning to our teenage behaviors of substituting physical abuse for affection. While touring the library there were elbows to the ribs, and sudden stops, pushes and kicking while in a single file line as we traipsed through narrow aisles. This was our very mature way of saying that we had both noticed each other, and it was apparently a good conclusion we each had drawn about the other. Sadly we had to part again until dinner, but that would be even better as we could act like adults and actually have a conversation. I was very happy that I could once again engineer a seat next to TK, albeit across from JF the snake. TK and I immediately started flirting again, and after dinner was ordered immediately dove into a rehashing of what had happened back 15 years ago when our friendship had come to an end. We needed to clear the air so we could get back to what was happening between us now!

Once it was established that a monumental misunderstanding had taken place with all the letter writing and misinterpretations, we both apologized and began our friendship as adults for the first time. We caught up on life, (with the noticeable exception of talking about our current relationships at home), and couldn’t stop finding excuses to bump into each other and pat arms sympathetically and even posed for the camera with arms around each other. The magnetism between us was almost overwhelming in its strength. It was like we were pulled together, like a force as strong as the magnets in a supercollider drew us physically and mentally towards the other.

We continued on during that evening, after we had all adjourned to someone’s house for more talk, talking when we had the chance, glancing meaningfully at each other when we didn’t, all the time feeling that need to understand what we were experiencing. Never had we felt such a draw to another person, was it just silly reunion behavior? Was it significant, and if so, what were we going to do about the people we were dating back home? The evening ended with a hug and some tears on my part and a promise to email when we got home. I was in shock. When I had arrived at the reunion I had at home what I thought was the best relationship I had ever had, thinking I might have even met my future husband, and having already let him move in with me in anticipation of the relationship working out. I left the reunion wondering how I could ever be with anyone else but TK. How could I marry someone else and not always wonder about how it would have been with TK? When would I ever feel that pull towards another person I had felt with him? Leaving him at that last party took everything out of me, but I was not free to even ask him about what we should do, we were both attached.

Needless to say, when I got home I struggled for days to be the dutiful girlfriend. The reality was that TK was in California and I was in Maryland. Even if we weren’t attached it wouldn’t be possible to date. And we were both committed to someone else. We emailed each other off and on for 6 months, steadfastly trying to make our relationships work with the people to whom we had committed ourselves. TK and I aren’t the type to just dump people and run when something else comes along. Commitment is our middle name and we both have the tendency to stick through with people who are treating us like crap. Oh yes ladies, it’s not just a woman’s tendency to stick with the jerks in life, men do it too. Or at least sensitive nice guys do it. TK had faith that the woman who had been leading him on for almost 2 years would suddenly pull her head out of her ass and come live with him in California like she’d said she would and I firmly believed my boyfriend would grow a set of real man testicles. Literally.
Then everything changed.  First, my relationship ended with a whimper. I turned to my boyfriend one night and said ‘you know, it just doesn’t seem like you want to be here and maybe you’re staying out of some sense of obligation to me’ to which his response was ‘well I figured that since I was living in your house I kind of owed you.’ Uungh. That’s a shot to the heart. Don’t do me any favors asshole. Get the hell out.

I immediately emailed TK that my boyfriend had just left me, and not an hour later I got a phone call from him. We talked every night from that point on, about relationships and how he was still in one that was non-functional and deserved to be treated better.  Within 2 weeks he finally lost the baggage (dumped her) and began his recovery process. After a week or two of comforting each other, there was nothing left to do but see if what we felt at the reunion was still present. He came to Maryland to visit me, and seconds after stepping off the plane his lips were locked onto my face like we derived our oxygen from each other.  It was all but decided by the end of the weekend: we were in love. All the feelings that had been stored up from 15 years before and from that weekend back in Illinois 6 months before came gushing out of our mouths and ears and eyeballs until we couldn’t see straight.  Insanity leads to all sorts of crazy decisions.

Thus began my journey to the other end of the continent. Thus began my journey into the rest of my life with the man of my dreams. I may continue recounting it right here on this blog. Lucky you!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Way We Were continued....

High school reunions are like contests. Everyone’s there to prove they should have been voted most likely to improve in the senior yearbook. It doesn’t matter if you’ve failed at everything in life, you’re going to make it sound like that was your intent, or you’re blissful about it regardless. You certainly can’t walk in and hang your head low in shame and admit that you never lived up to your potential, can you? Supposedly everyone there is judging you, who knows if that’s really true but ask anyone about their early reunions and they’ll agree, they are stressful events, even if you’re a millionaire movie star. The people who used to make your life miserable still have the power to do so 15 years later. It’s impressive the hold childhood bullies have on you, but it’s probably not for another 15 years that you learn how to ignore them or their supposed judgments.

So that’s where I was when I decided to attend my 15-year reunion. Who was going to be there to remind me of who I was back in high school, and not in a good way?  Naturally I showed up at my best: a fat, unemployed east-coaster with a house full of cats (I had been running a cat rescue in my house for a couple of years), 11 to be exact. And would I feel the same way I did when I was 16 when JF, the guy who back in high school had criticized every choice I made, turned his attention to me, as he would inevitably do at some point during the weekend? Well I found an old classmate girlfriend, S, to go with so that neither of us had to go alone to face the music and I took a deep breath and stepped in. The first night was cocktail night, most people looked the same and I hugged everyone regardless of whether we knew each other well or even had spoken in high school. Heck, you never know what can happen in a weekend. Naturally, the two people I was most concerned about seeing again were there: JF and my old friend TK. I dreaded being alone with either of them, but I made it through cocktail hour with no ill effects. The most complicated part was the alcohol. See, part of why I was dreading seeing them is that I felt that they had both judged me the last time they saw me and decided I was an alcoholic (TK because of the letter he wrote). Let me fill you in on why JF was part of the equation. JF was my prom date Senior year out of sheer persistence and guilt trips. He told me that if I wouldn’t go to prom with him he just wouldn’t go, so I felt sorry for him and went, but it was with the condition that he was not going to interfere in my good times, such as they are at 16. Woohoo, I was gonna party like it was a sober 1999 baby.

JF had many issues, and one of them I found out was alcohol and his very negative opinion about the consumption of said beverage. So three days before prom, when I had attended the senior post graduation party at someone’s house and had sampled, and I mean one sip, one person’s tequila drink and one person’s beer, JF had witnessed it. Now JF being JF and having a habit of blowing things out of proportion proceeded to go home and freak out apparently because the next night I got an anguished phone call from him pleading with me to promise him we wouldn’t drink at prom. He was on the verge of tears for some reason, I’m sure a good one to him, and really needed me to make this promise to him. Being an insanely good girl myself, I had no intention of drinking, especially considering that I had already arranged with him that I would drive myself around to the post prom parties and therefore would be insane if I had wanted to drink and drive. I was the kind of teenager that took that at face value and thought one sip would make me drive off the road, so he literally had not one reason to get upset.  But there we were in the middle of the night having this ridiculous conversation about my abusing alcohol.


Well, on prom night I was a bit of a pain in the ass to this guy JF because it angered me so much that he had moralized to me, an honestly good girl, about this drinking thing. So when my friends asked me to chauffeur them to their houses so they could raid their parent’s alcohol cabinets during one of the after parties, I did. And when my friend S suggested we should pretend we were drunk in front of JF just to worry him, I agreed wholeheartedly. So, when we returned from our field trip we tossed candy to each other in a manner we thought suggested drunken behavior, our worldly knowledge of said behavior being rather small at the age of 16, and JF took the bait hook, line and sinker. You couldn’t have done a worse thing to that boy I think because the next minute I found myself dragged into a private conference with him and his worried little face. You would have thought that my provision that he not get involved in my post prom partying would have covered this instance, but I am really a nice girl and couldn’t just walk out on this guy and his overwhelming need to ascertain if I was really screwing up or not. Why it was any of his business whether I was drinking or not is still unclear to me, but I stood there for 30 minutes arguing with him over whether I was drinking or not and why I thought it was funny to act drunk and how it was none of his business anyway, and I don’t remember how, but I got away eventually.

So here I am, grown up and 15 years later at this cocktail hour, and I’m so concerned about this man judging me, right along with TK, since due to the aforementioned letter I thought he had agreed with JF about my alcoholic tendencies, that I actually picked a non alcoholic beverage to drink! A grown woman, age 31, and having lived alone quite successfully without receiving a DUI citation, contracting an STD while having drunken blackouts or ever having even puked from alcohol consumption, making a decision to drink a soda because some ass from high school might be judging me to be a drunkard. Mind you the first gathering of a reunion could be no better a place for a little relaxing beer. No one was comfortable, and nothing would have been better than a bit of liquor to chill me out. Suddenly I realized that my old nemeses were themselves drinking beer! I was free to drink as I wished, right? How liberating that was and yet how stupid that I had even paused for a moment. But we do let those old tapes play in our heads a lot don’t we? It’s like the stuff that’s said to you as a kid gets permanently carved into the walls of your brain whereas the adult stuff is like a mist that drifts off no matter how many times you hear it. I’m an adult now! I can do what I want! And if that means I get pissing drunk at the reunion, who the hell is caring anyways!!!!

Once I got over my issues about the judgements of the past, I started looking at my old friend TK a little closer. He was hot. No I mean really! He looked gooooooood. What had he been up to all those years? Why was he so damned attractive to me? I came to this reunion quite happily attached to someone back in Maryland. But there was something about this guy....


Later that evening, we relocated to a bar and I saw TK drinking more, further assuring me that he was not that guy who supposedly judged me 15 years before. I started making eye contact with him, little meaningful glances that were supposed to impart how much I wanted him to sit next to me an talk to me so we could see what happened. But, being the nice guy he is, he couldn’t figure out how to get near me since I was sitting in a back corner and I had to make do with sitting near him and listening to him talk to someone else. I basically pined for him all evening and went home disappointed. I had one more day to figure out what was going on here and why I had this insane need to talk to this man, or more honestly, grope him madly.

To be continued.....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In the beginning

So someone brilliant, a corgi, suggested I blog about my previous life since I've been so uninspired lately. I think that's brilliant, partially because I've already written most of it in preparation for a book I hoped to one day finish and try to get published. Let's see what you think.

How we met, part 1:

You might be wondering about now how I came to make the decision that this guy TripletKing (TK) was worth packing up all my crap, selling my house, and moving far away (Maryland to California) from my friends, job and church, right? And naturally everyone second-guessed that decision for months, although the engagement helped calm some people’s worries. Especially all the bitter burned women friends I have who thought no man would be worth such a sacrifice. And they usually aren't are they? But to understand how I could already know this guy was different enough to take the risk for before I headed for California you’d have to know more about my dating past, and possibly more about how we met.

You might think that when there are only 50 people in your high school class for 5 years that you’d know everyone intimately by your senior year, but TK and I didn’t really meet until then. See, he was the true definition of computer geek and therefore spent every moment when he wasn’t in classes in the computer room, or the video arcade downtown. He was slightly socially inept, especially around girls, as the stereotype works and therefore hung out with the rest of the socially inept, slightly unclean computer guys who actually referred to themselves as the ‘nerd herd’. Now, mind you we were attending the geekiest high school in all the contiguous states, possibly even all 50 states. You had to test to get into this high school and many of my classmates had already skipped grades in grade school. Because we were so ‘smart,’ our school had a habit of combining 7th and 8th grade into one year. So when we were seniors in this high school, we ranged from ages 14 to 17 max. TK was 15, I was 16 and as it is in most high schools, 15 year old boys are not the coolest regardless of their love for the computer room. But even in a geek high school there are gradations of geek. There were cool geeks, jock geeks, the popular girl geeks and druggie geeks. My group, the average, kinda normal, but not really standing out in any way geeks who could pass for normal high school kids on the street. Despite the fact that TK probably could have held his own in the average geek crowd, the fact that it consisted mostly of girls and his love of computers placed him firmly in geekiest boy clique.

This was before the computer age had struck. Back when every computer screen was black with either orange or green print on the screen, pre-mouse era, pre-instant message. So we had no clue that these guys, the geekiest of the geeks, were likely to be millionaires once they developed computer software no one else had thought of before. We just didn’t hang out together very often.

Anyway, TK decided to break ranks with the boys senior year, and chose an elective class that apparently no other guy chose. He and I had both signed up to take a class called Social Advocacy taught by Mrs. Baker and Ms. Wysocki, an elective about social issues like poverty and illiteracy. As typically sheltered middle class Midwestern kids we had no reason to have really been exposed to the realities of the world. Having attended a school for the gifted like we had for the previous 4 years, meant we had rarely been exposed to minorities much less minority issues. Our classrooms were full of different skin colors, but they were children of Indian and Pakistani engineers who were professors at the University, not black children of the ‘other side of the tracks.’ And Champaign-Urbana did actually have an ‘other side of the tracks’ literally. The train tracks cut through the city and the difference between the houses on one side and the run down shacks and projects on the other side were just as it has been described in many books. After 6th grade in an elementary school with bussing I never had cause to interact with those kids because most of their parents hadn’t pressured them to take the test to get into Uni.

So, TK was the only boy in this socially responsible class, the big softie. No hiding or napping for him in this class. (yes, he had that habit, he admits it freely.) At first I became his friend because I felt like he needed one amongst all of the estrogen. Not that teenage girls really have a lot of estrogen, but they sure do have a lot of hormones of some sort. Thank God they weren’t all in love with him because that would have made class annoying. I immediately took pity on him, and since I was just beginning years of being attracted to men because they were the underdog, I even felt more than friendship towards him. We talked a lot from the start but then we became closer. We truly had a kinship that we were way too young to understand. The truth was, we were hot for each other but too stupid to do anything about it. I used to lay in bed at night and imagine kissing him on the ridiculously 80s water bed that I somehow knew he had. We talked on the phone for hours but never said what we were feeling. Thank God for that, no doubt we’d have screwed it all up.

Well we did, kind of, anyway. All good things must come to an end, especially if you’re an overdramatic, terribly romantic, deeply emotionally disturbed teenager, as we both were. Due to the insanity of teenage brains we did end our friendship on a very sour note. Somehow TK wrote me a letter that he thought said how he felt about me, a love note perhaps, into which he poured all of his deep loving feelings for me. I then received a letter from him that I thought supposedly betrayed our friendship and in which he said that he believed all the untruths that another classmate had been spreading about me. I supposedly read that he was suicidal over my drinking (uh, didn’t happen!) while he had written how much he loved me. Naturally, when I wrote him a scathing, vicious, raging letter telling him what I thought about his suicidal tendencies and what he could do with his self righteous condemnation of behavior I hadn’t even committed, he was a little stunned. In fact the scar still remains today of the heartbreak he felt. He felt he had handed that heart to me and I had burned it at the stake. Both of us were brokenhearted actually, because I had just lost my best friend. Well, seeing as how both his original letter and my scathing reply were burned over 15 years ago, we’ll never know the truth of it, but needless to say we both walked away angry, betrayed, bitter, and not friends.

To be continued.....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ha ha ha, oh. Damn.

It's hard not writing the same thing twice in a blog when you blog almost every day. I just finished a lovely rant about not cooking only to remember I had already done that a month ago. Nothing new in the recent one, so out it goes. Perhaps it was therapeutic to write it again. Still not cooking though. Clearly little improvement despite the encouragement of friends and 'easy' recipes from my triplet mom friends.

I guess that my concerns are limited these days. Perhaps there's a consistent small collection of things on my mind that rotate regularly. Guilt over not cooking, guilt over not spending enough time with the kids, guilt over using tv sometimes when the kids are too grumpy to stand, guilt over x y and z. Great list. No wonder I'm not funny anymore.

Where are the poop stories? The boogers have stopped so I can't even write about snot. My kids are apparently too well behaved right now, despite A's attempt to create the great flood in her crib the other night. It just doesn't make a whole blog entry. My pregnancy has become somewhat uneventful. You can only write about boobs, flatulence, sleep disturbances and ass growth so many times. So what's going on world? Are you trying to show me that my life is pretty boring? I mean even my mom hasn't given me any good stories as of recent. And she's usually a whole novel of crap unto herself.

Well I guess I'll just close my eyes and rest then. If my life is so serene and positive, other than the intense guilt mom factor, then I might as well quit trying to be funny. Maybe then my life will get funny again?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Things I've learned while pregnant

1. Not all desserts without chocolate are without merit. While pregnant, chocolate becomes unattractive to me so I try desserts I never would have otherwise. They are good!

2. Large is relative. Thought I was large before? Huh uh girl.

3. Tequila should be drunk whenever possible. You don't know what you've been missing until it's gone.

4. 9 months is really 40 weeks. That's 10 months people. How fair is that?

5. Small portions can satisfy. Although you'll have to eat again in an hour and a half, but you know....

6.  I'm not usually that short tempered. Compared to now that is.

7. Fresh fruit is damned good! Why can't I remember this when I'm not trying to eat well? Why can't the pre-cut stuff in the store taste as good as good as the stuff I have to peel and dice?

8. Things that look and smell bad? May actually taste great. Don't trust your nose.

9. Massages are necessary for existence.

10. Anyone can make you cry. Anyone.

11. It's bad to be a needy cat in a house with triplets and a pregnant mom. You're screwed.

12. No mattress solves every problem. Don't spend the money.

13. Men find any distortion of your body attractive. You're a girl. With boobs. Get over it.

14. You think your boobs hurt when you're on your period? Try pregnancy. Exponential growth is not your friend.

15. Big boobs will get you stared at on the street, regardless of the size of your abdomen. I mean really?

16. I apparently get obsessed by boobs myself.

17. Thoughts about what you would do if your husband died 4 days before you gave birth are bad for getting to sleep. Would I get Cobra coverage? Who would I scream at in labor? Why am I even thinking about this?

18. Sleep is the nectar of the gods. Don't take it for granted!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Slacker Sunday photo

Glimpses of future teenage 'looks'

"That's so dumb mom, what are you talking about?"

"Oh this is gonna piss mom off so bad!"