Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fun in the Sun!

Phew... I feel like we just got back from one road trip and we're off to the next one!  I am so far behind on reading my favorite blogs (along with a ton of housework... but that can wait).  Not that I'm complaining seeing family is always a blast and LBI was great.  Abby experienced so many firsts... first time in the ocean, first time on rides, first time staying up late and eating ice cream for dinner!  She really was a trooper and handled all the new experiences with a mixture of laughter and tears....

She really wanted to get the ball.... 
But she really hated the sand!
She loved floating around in the bay... the ocean, not so much!

I thought this was going to be the longest carousel ride ever.... 

But I think this was her favorite ride!  Look at that cheesy smile (and yes, that's me looking all crazy!)
We had so much fun that we plan on invading my Dad and his girlfriend's vacation every year! It was great to see them everyday and I know Abby is a little lonely now that only Mommy is around.  We leave tomorrow for to visit with some other family and because of our crazy dog we have to add some hours to our trip.  First we'll travel to Massachusetts for a day, then to Vermont for a family reunion, and then back to Massachusetts.  Our little beast is not allowed at the family reunion... well, no one said that exactly but I could hear the sigh of relief when I said he would not be attending!  He'll spend the day in Massachusetts with the in laws while we party it up at the family reunion.  

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as we are!  

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tinkle, Tinkle Little Doggie

We're about to head out to LBI to vacation with some family.  The only problem is we have a dog... a very anxious and bad little dog.  Since we're staying in a rented house, we didn't want to bring him and deal with the messes and embarrassment.  We decided to board him at Petsmarts Pet Hotel and the trip there today was anything but fun.  

Hubbins is working so I had to bring the dog in.  As I'm walking into the store and holding Abby, my little beast is jumping and barking at everyone and everything.  I try to put Abby in a cart but realize that the cart is too high and the dog's leash it too short.  I had no choice but to let J.R. dangle in the air for a few seconds (poor guy).

We get into the hotel check in area... which is nicer than some hotels I've stayed at... and he immediately poops on the floor.  Fantastic!  They clean it up which freaks the dog out even more and he starts tinkling.  Not normal tinkle... an endless stream!  As he's endlessly tinkling he's also jumping up on me.  Of course, I'm in flip flops.  Now, I'm covered in pee and there's a puddle in the bottom of my flip flog.  UGH!

When the woman tries to put the collar on J.R., Abby starts freaking out.  I guess she doesn't like this new collar?  So, now I'm being tinkled on and trying to calm her down... great!  After the woman puts the collar on, and in the middle of this chaos, she informs me that I need to add on to our package because J.R. will not get enough exercise.  The problem?  He hates other animals and doesn't like to eat treats or food when we're not around.  So, $13 a day for a peanut butter and ice cream is a waste.  Finally, in an effort to speed things along so I can go wash my foot, I agree to an extra individual playtime which is an extra $10 a day.  This little beast better enjoy it!!!!

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend!  

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Being Who You Want to Be

Lately I feel like I'm a little bitter, not as positive and happy as I want to be.  I strive to be understanding and forgiving but there are times that this is difficult.  Sometimes, I realize that I have been giving way more than other people and I'm left with a feeling of being used.  The other night I was telling my Hubbins that sometimes I feel like I have a split personality.  On one hand I'm nice and understanding but on the other I'm blunt and tactless.

So, last night I was floating around on the internet and I came across this story that made me feel less crazy.

An Old Cherokee Teaches His Grandson About Life.

 "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. 
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.  This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather which wolf would win.

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

I think we all struggle at times with being true with who we want to be.  It's so easy to fall into a negative cycle of thinking and behaving.  Positivity sometimes takes a little extra work but it leaves me feeling happier and more at peace.

What do you think?  Do you sometimes have to work hard at being who you want to be?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's the Little Things...

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
Robert Brault

When Abby was first born she loved being cuddled and held.  She would sleep on my chest every night. When she started crawling and walking, she became the least cuddly baby I knew.  She has this independent streak in her.  Even at a year old, I can see that she knows what she wants and nothing else will do.  She doesn't like to walk and hold hands or be held for any longer than 30 seconds.  She wants to explore and be free.

I think I finally have my cuddly baby back!  She's starting to give not just hugs but real, honest to goodness kisses!  At first she would just hug me but then she started hugging random kids (which does lead to some awkward moments!).  As long as you get down on her level she'll give just about anyone a hug!  Case in point, here she is hugging a statue outside of church.  You don't even have to be real to get some love from my cuddly kid!  So cute!  As if the hugs weren't cute enough, the kisses came soon after!

By far the best milestone!  Nothing is better than hugs and smooches to help you through the day!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It Was the Worst of Times, It Was the Funniest of Times

I can not believe it's been a whole year since I saw her, heard her, hugged her.  I miss her and these past 2 days have felt like I'm reliving everything all over again.  There is so much I've learned this past year and the one lesson that I try to remind myself of every day is that sometimes the things that frustrate you the most are the things you miss the most.  My Mom had so many idiosyncrasies that gave us so many laughs but sometimes drove us crazy!  Whenever I would return back to work after spending time with her, my friends would ask what types of crazy things she did and laugh.  I remember asking my Dad one time how it was possible to love and care for someone so much but be so frustrated at the same time.  Her craziness made her lovable.

For one, she loved Walmart (I did not inherit this quality).  Not only did she shop there but she worked there.  Every time, and I do mean every single time, we went anywhere (yes, even chemo appointments) she would ask to stop there.  She knew everyone that worked there and walking around with her was like walking around with the Mayor of Walmart.  She stopped after every aisle to hug someone or catch up on the gossip.  I swear, a trip to pick up kitty litter would last 2 hours!  She was so dedicated and beloved by her coworkers that after she passed away they framed her vest, name tag and a rose they found in her locker.

My Mom was also a bit stubborn.  She always needed a chaperone at the doctor's office because she would make up things that they said to fit what she wanted to do.  She took medication her way, resulting in one too many anxiety pills more than a time or two.  I still laugh because the day she passed away she made sure to take that last pill.  I will never forget when the doctors put her on a pain patch.  I told her to please be careful and use it as directed.  She swore she would but said the patch wasn't working.  We took her back to the doctor and they were shocked that it didn't help at all.  After questioning her a bit, we found out that she was cutting the patch in half!  I couldn't help but laugh because this was so typical for her but I also gave her a bop on the head the pamphlet I was holding.  The doctor was laughing but said she deserved it!  She was never to be trusted with the patch again!

My Mom's stubbornness also helped her fight through some of the worst pain.  She didn't want surgery and always told the doctors she felt better than she really did.  When she was having a hard time walking, I mean a really hard time, we found out that she was actually walking around on a broken hip for weeks! Any normal person would be anxious to be out of pain but I can remember her first question to the surgeon like it was yesterday, "Well, does it really have to be fixed today?  I have a vacation to Vermont to visit my sister in a few days so can it wait?"  I don't think that doctor could believe what he was hearing but he allowed her to go.  He said for any other patient he would say no but if she promised to be extremely careful and not walk around she could go.  So she went and drove the golf cart around the property!  She was nuts!

She always kept things interesting.  She would say some crazy things at the oddest times.  The most memorable was the day we were all sitting at the table chatting and out of no where she looked at us and said, "I like fish tanks."  Why did she say that?  She said, "Because I do" and then she laughed.  She truly was a character!  She never minded being the brunt of the joke and even allowed my sisters and I to call her Vagina even though her name was Virginia (of course in public we called her Mom, usually).  It made her laugh and her laughter was contagious!

Without laughter, we would have never made it through all of those hard years.  We would laugh at everything from the crazy nurse that wore the funny hat (she reminded us of something out of horror movie) to the loony tune plastic surgeon that was obsessed with her reconstructed belly button.  We laughed at how her doctor would lean forward and blink her eyes a thousand times per second when she talked.  Above all, we laughed at ourselves.  We tried to keep her diagnosis light... it truly does heal the soul.

All the joking and craziness aside, my Mom was the most giving person I know.  It didn't matter to her that she owed money on her house or didn't have enough for groceries, she made do and helped whomever she could.  She would take in a stray person as quickly as she took in a stray cat (which resulted in her having about 7 cats at one point).  She was always picking things up for people (at Walmart of course!) that were on sale... from crazy pajama pants to blankets that had a picture of the state of Texas on it.  She was unique, the best friend you could have, and you knew that you always got a laugh when she was around.  I miss every frustrating moment I had with her and would give anything to go to Walmart with her one more time.  I mean, just look at this smiling face, what is there not to love?
  Miss you Mom!!

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    I am Thankful, Grateful and Everything in Between

    Thank you all for the comments these past few days.  Your kind words mean so much!  I'm not sure about anyone else, but I am pretty quiet about my blog when it comes to family.  The only person I know of that reads it all the time is one of my sisters even though one of my brother's follows me too.  I think it's a fear of being judged, misunderstood or not being good enough.  My last post was very personal and through whatever powers that be not only did my Dad find his way there but so did my other brother.  Their concern and support meant so much to me and, although I felt quite exposed, I am grateful that they read it.  It's hard for me to say how I feel and this blog is truly becoming an outlet for me to express what it hurts to say out loud.

    As much as I miss my Mom, I was recently reminded that I am not alone.  So many people go through similar situations, it's a sad part of life.  I was also reminded that no matter how bad life seems, someone always has it worse.  I found out yesterday that a young man, Frankie, who I was very close with as a child has brain cancer and the prognosis is not so good.  He's only 18.  I am shocked and it puts into perspective how short life is.  Frankie's life was only just beginning when out of nowhere he and his family got this devastating news.  I can only imagine the devastation his mom feels.  If you'd like to know a little more about Frankie's story please click here.

    I am so grateful that my Mom lived a full life.  Complete with kids, a granddaughter, and countless family members who loved her.  I think it's so important during times like this to focus on the many blessings and be grateful for what you have.  I've been thinking about this since yesterday and then I read a post over at TV's Take about being grateful and thought about everything some more. Then I was catching up with Diane at The Mom Stuff Community and she posted a perfect poem that sums up being grateful perfectly so I thought I would share it.  Thank you both for reminding me to focus on the positive!

    I am thankful.

    For the husband who is on the sofa being a couch potato, because he is home with me and not out at the bars.

    For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes because it means she is at home, not on the streets.

    For the taxes I pay because it means I am employed.

    For the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

    For the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

    For my shadow that watches me work because it means that I am out in the sunshine.

    For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

    For all the complaining I hear about the government because it means we have freedom of speech.

    For the parking spot I find at the far end of parking lot because it means I am capable of walking and I have been blessed with transportation.

    For my huge heating or cooling bill because it means I am comfortable.

    For the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means I am hear.

    For the pile of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.

    For the weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been capable of working hard.

    For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means I am alive.

    And finally, for too many emails because it means I have friends who are thinking of me.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    Moving Forward... Holidays and Anniversaries

    Today is a sad day for me.  For those of you reading this, I want to warn you that the next few days will be a little bit heavy since the anniversary of my Mom's passing is on the 8th.  I will apologize to my sisters and brothers who may read this, for you I am strong but I am not a tank (thank you Resa for the awful description!).  I remember this day last year like it was yesterday.  After Abby went to bed, my sister and I went to Walmart for my Mom.  She wanted us to pick up flowers for my aunt's birthday on the 4th.  My sister and I are terrible decision makers and we really didn't want to disappoint my Mom so it took forever to find something decent.

    When we finally got home, my Mom looked at us and said, "Thank God, I've had to pee for an hour!" We felt awful but we had to laugh because my other sister was home and all she had to do was yell for help... but nope she patiently waited for us, crazy lady!

    That night was a good night.  We hung out in her room.  My sister died my hair.  We laughed.  She gave me a blanket she had in her closet with a snowman on it.  She gave me one of those things that take the dead skin off your feet.  I yelled at her for giving me all of her stuff.  She told me it was because she loved me.

    I went to bed and woke up bright and early but not with the baby.  My Mom was sitting on the chair in living room next to the couch I was sleeping on calling my name.  I looked at her surprised.  She was having such a hard time moving around and that chair wasn't comfy for her anymore.  She said she was in pain, a lot of pain.  She had been up all night but didn't want to wake me.  She thought the baby was waking up so she wanted help before I had to take care of Abby.  I got her morphine and helped her into bed and put oxygen on her.  She kept apologizing but in a very no nonsense way I told her to get sleep and she'll feel better.  I also told her to wake me whenever she was needed to, that's what I'm here for.
    How she was able to get around with her walker so quietly, not even waking my sister who was sleeping  in her room, is beyond me.  One thing my Mom taught me is that where this is a will, there is a way.

    When she woke up, I understood how she managed.  She looked at me, tears in her eyes, and said that she thought she was going to die that night.  I sat down and held her and assured her as she was telling me how scared she was that she can wake me up anytime.  I told her that she didn't have to be scared alone.  Her biggest fear, one of my brothers or sisters having to watch her die or find her after.  So, I made the last promise I ever made to my Mom... I would not let that happen.

    The 4th of July is tomorrow (or today depending on when you're reading this) and I am forcing myself to enjoy the day.  My Mom always celebrated the 4th as did her Mom.  Growing up we had huge family parties at my Grandmother's.  Patriotism, laughter, food, family, fun and fireworks.  I want Abby to love the holiday too and I know that if I don't celebrate this year then I will lose sight of everything the holiday stands for.  Hopefully, my Mom, Grandmother and all those who have passed on are up there celebrating tomorrow too... my Mom drinking Amaretto and my Grandmother dressed as the Statue of Liberty (wish I had a copy of that picture to share with all of you, she was a hoot!).

    I'll be thinking of my Mom and how embarrassed she was that she had to take a nap on my uncle's couch in the middle of the party (she said, "Oh, your uncle is going to LOVE this").  But, I'll also be thinking of how happy she was when she woke up.  She had more life in her.  She wanted to stay for fireworks.  She had fun.  I hope that as the years go on that those memories will be stronger than all the others.

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Simple Jesstures Give Away!!!

    I don't ever do give aways because I am just way too absent minded to get the give away to the winner.  I know it sounds crazy but I am a marathon procrastinator!  So, in fairness I just don't think give aways are a good idea for me.  I also have never promoted another give away here because... well, I have no real reason for that one.  But today I am breaking out of the mold and going to promote a give away being hosted by someone very special... my cousin!

    For some time now I have been drooling over her pictures of the tasty creations she's posted on Facebook.  She makes some of the most amazing looking cupcakes and even though I live too far away for a sample, I can tell they are delish!  When she heard that my sisters and I were joining the 3-Day in honor of my mom she was inspired to come up with a way to spin her passion into a business in hopes of being able to donate to our team.

    So, Simple Jesstures (cute name, right?) came to be.  She has found a way to combine her love of photography and baking and is sharing her recipes with all of us!  She's giving away a set of 6 Greeting Cards with the recipes included... how yummy do these look?!?
    Check out her site, Simple Jesstures, for more info on her business and a recipe for a to die for (from the looks of it, I can't actually try it on my diet) lemon chiffon cake!

    Five Question Friday!

    1. What is one thing you miss the most about childhood?
    Summer vacation!  Summer vacay was so relaxing and seemed so long when I was a child.  Playing with friends, being in the pool, and having no worries!

    2. Are you still friends with your friends from high school?
    Some of them.  My best friend and I have known each other since 5th grade and are still very close... she's more of a sister than a friend!

    3. Is there a catch phrase, cliche, or word that just drives you bonkers every time you hear it?
    I used to have this terrible habit of saying, "You know what I mean," when I was trying to express my opinion.  Sometimes I would say after every sentence.  I didn't even realize it until my dad mentioned it to me and now I cringe whenever I say it, which is not very often.

    4. What is one thing that you think symbolizes America...besides "Old Glory"?
    Definitely our military men and women!  They make a tremendous sacrifice for us and our country would not be what is without them.

    5. What are your 4th of July weekend plans?
    Not sure yet but hopefully seeing some fireworks!

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    Writer's Workshop: Who Do You Think You Know?


    I'm taking part in Mama Kat's Writer Workshop today.  Lately I've been having a hard time finding a prompt... being busy can really fry your brain!  I got inspired while reading Mama Kat's post today so I'm going to write on Prompt #1 and share a story about my Hubbins... someone I thought I knew very well until the day he came home hours late and looked like swamp thing!

    Every once in a while my Hubbins will surprise me and say or do something that seems out of character.  He's not a drinker or a smoker.  When we don't have anything planned on his time off then he would love to be home playing video games.  Sometimes I have to talk him into going out when his friends do and constantly reassure him that I'm not mad and want him to go.

    So, there was a night a few months ago when his whole squad was going out to a bar about a half mile away from our house.  He finally decided to go around 8 pm and told me he'd be home in a few hours.  I told him not to rush and meant it.  Abby was still waking up 2 times a night and when she woke up at 12:30, Hubbins still wasn't home.  I checked my phone... no text or call.  This is more than a couple hours and totally out of character for him but I didn't want to look like the psycho wife making her Hubs come home.

    Well, 12:30 turned into 1:30 and then into 2:15.  Now the bar is closed and since it's so close where is he?  I have never ever known him to stay at a bar this long without texting me at least once.  Finally, I sent him a text and he said he was on his way.

    It took him an hour to get home... it should have taken him 3 minutes!  When he finally walked in the door he was covered with mud (stinky mud) from head to toe.  What in the world?!?  Why does he look like swamp thing?  So, the argument began.  His story sounded crazy.  He said his friend took a wrong turn and instead of turning around they decided to just go a back way.  Then he had to go to the bathroom and he fell in the swamp on the side of the road.  Who is this man?  Not to mention that for the life of me I couldn't figure out what road would have taken them past a swamp.

    I couldn't take the smell tried to be nice the next day and clean his wool coat that was covered in mud.  I emptied all of his pockets and to my surprise there was a pack of cigarettes!  Then I found a receipt for 3 packs, all different brands.  Who's are these?  When I questioned him he admitted they were his.  Apparently when he drinks he also chain smokes and gets very generous.  Again, who is this man?

    Now the whole thing is a big joke, especially because he was so sick the next day.  I'll probably never understand what he was thinking when he took the scenic route home or why he thought a swamp was a great place to relieve himself or when in the world he started smoking when he drinks.  It's so rare that he lets loose so I've just chalked it up to a fun night with the guys.  Although, I still sometimes ask myself, "Who is this guy?".  He's my Hubbins and if I knew everything about him it would get boring.  It's good to be surprised once in a while but next time I hope he calls me or texts when a few hours turn into 8!


    Related Posts with Thumbnails