Monday, August 31, 2015

Holy Crap, we're back!

Holy crap, we're back!

With all the craziness that's been going on, I haven't had time to sweep the cobwebs out of my corner of the internet lately. (Truth: I've had time but I've spent it doing other eating chocolate covered pretzels, growing a  human being in my body, and watching the soft-core known as Outlander. No judging.)

So! Here we are with ALL! NEW! THINGS! That are really just commonplace regular things that are new to us. 

Things like: 
  • A new baby! Baby Thor will be here on or around Feb 11, 2016. Dani is...underwhelmed by the arrival of a baby brother, but very excited about finally being able to stay up later than anyone in our house. 
  • Dani is in Kindergarten! She's made the leap to a new school, and is crushing it. She's happy, adjusted, and basically being 5, Which, all previous ages considered, is my favorite so far. (Bias Revealed: The fact that all butt-wiping is now HER responsibility is not a small factor in determining my favorite age.) 
  • Kris' sarcoidosis is in remission. (Can I get a halle-fucking-lujah?!) His ACE levels, along with many other bloodwork components that don't need to be memorialized on the internet, are returning to normal. Clearly, this return to health can be attributed to his wife's nagging about eating his goddamn blueberries and not the heavy-dose pharmaceuticals he's been mainlining for the last few months. 
That's all the time I have today, more to come tomorrow and (hopefully) on a more regular basis. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Let There Be Light

I've been reading back through some of my latest entries and...well. It's been a bit gloomy around this corner of the internet, what with the "mah poor husband" and "ya'll damn doctors" business.

I come here to write and release the things that need a way out, to cathartically exorcise my inner demons so I'm able make it through carline without yelling at the other drivers or possibly throwing the cupcakes I bought totally made for D's class at them.

I suppose this is my little indulgence. The one thing I get to do for me and no one else--write out all the things that need to be brought into the light, whether that is to heal them or celebrate them, With time being of the essence--always, always with the 'not having enough time'--taking an hour here and there to feel heard, even if it's just by my keyboard, means the world to me.

For right now, 'good enough' is my philosophy of parenting and living. Survival mode has trumped my neurotic need to be ALL THE THINGS to ALL THE PEOPLE and things are as 'good enough' as we can reasonably expect.

Pizza for dinner? Sure. Three times in one week? Good enough.

Laundry clean? Yes! Yet still piled into Mt. Laundry on the guest bed? Good enough.

Lunches made? Totally! Consisting of aforementioned cheese pizza leftovers and some fruit snacks? GOOD ENOUGH.

I'm trying to learn from the things we're going through right now. I'm having faith that they will shape me for the better. In the meantime, I am eating chili for breakfast (because I CAN and sending my kid off with a  hug, a kiss and cheese pizza.

She's happy, which means I'm absolutely doing good enough.
And now, some proof that she is, indeed, happy:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

'Round and 'Round We Go, Where we'll stop...

Nobody seems to know.

We're in this chaotic, frenetic, survivalist pace of our lives right now and it feels like the merry-go-round is about to throw an axle from all the speed.

I wish there was a way to put all these worries on a shelf and dust them off when I have time for them. But, truthfully, there would never be time for them. 

We keep spinning around, and I'm beginning to wonder how much longer all this will go on. How long will we be wondering what is happening to Kris? How long will I feel this know in my stomach about his health? How long will it be before Dani realizes not everyone's daddy goes to the doctor as much as hers? Not everyone's daddy gets tired so easily? 

How many more fucking doctor's visits will I sit through and how many more medical journals will I sift through, looking for answers? 

I'd love to say that we're enjoying every moment we have together, but we're all stressed and tired and ready for some answers, already. 

It's hard not to scream at the doctors-- "ENOUGH! Enough with the vague diagnoses, enough with the condescension. Enough with waiting months for test results that should take days. enough with making it a full-time job to track your ass down for a simple answer. ENOUGH! Do your goddamn job and figure out what's wrong." 

Because, dear doctors, all your ass-covering, your hemming and hawing, your inability to or lack of desire to dive in and help us is wearing me down until I am less than enough. I am exhausted. I am scared. I am  frustrated to the point of tears and I am spending precious energy trying not to think about what life would be like without Kris in it. 

That being said, do not mistake my exhaustion for defeat or my fear for cowardice. I'm still here. We're still here. We're still fighting. Though our minds and muscles may protest under the physical and emotional strain of endless MRIs, bloodwork, scheduling, and exams, understand that we will never give up fighting for Kris. In the meantime, I'm going to read this, every morning to keep me reminded of how truly, sharply, beautiful life can be. 

Because dear doctors, as my dad and General Patton used to say, "Lead, follow, or get the fuck out of the way." Your choice. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Waves of Happiness

I'm sitting on a Key West fishing boat, surrounded by friends and  my family. The Florida sun is blazing down, changing my near-stark-white Polish/English skin a dusky shade of pink, while the spray from the sea cools my shoulder.

I tilt my head back, close my eyes and listen to the sound of the engine, a low roar, as it propels us to the next spot of calm. I hear my child laugh and open my eyes to see her face holding a wide, tall grin that is pure joy itself.

My daughter reaches out to point at the dolphins that are swimming alongside us. While I'd expect that visage to make my heart burst out of my chest, it doesn't. Instead, it settles quietly and contentedly as I allow myself to be fully immersed in this beautiful, golden moment.

And I think, as I'm here, that this is it. This is paradise. No palm trees or sunsets needed. Just sunshine, laughter and loved ones.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Suck it, Monday.

Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up all bright and full of hope and just to be a dick, life says:   "You know what?  It's your turn today, jackass. Bend over."

Today was one of those days.

BUT: today I managed to keep my kid alive and reasonably well fed. (She's not bathed, but it's summer and running under a hose totally counts as a bath around here.) The dog is still here. No spouses were harmed in the making of this post.

I did not, at any point,  reach out and choke-slam anyone, regardless of their level of deservingness, although fate tempted me with quite a few jerk-offs who might have actually benefited from getting some sense knocked into them.

Overall, I'm calling it a day and a fucking WIN.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why Arguing With the Kids in the Room is OKAY.

When I was younger, my parents fought like their lives depended upon it. An observing anthropologist might have written in a travel diary  "The adult natives appear to actually gain physical energy and sustenance  from battling both verbally and sometimes physically with one another."

I swore, when I grew up my children would never see me argue with my spouse. They would only see the good. The happy. The idyllic.  In short, I was full of shit.

Today, the world pissed in my cornflakes, took a dump in them for added protein and then force-fed them to me while I was being made to watch 'Perfect Cousins' reruns. It was...a challenging day. So, when K came home, I was already full-throttle bitch mode.

K: ...*walks indoors,sets briefcase down*
Me: Hi!
K: Hey, listen, when's dinner ready? Ten minutes, you say? Ok, I'm just going to cut the grass before dinner. 
Me:...(TILT. TILT. TILT! )...Why did you even ask about dinner, then? G'head, cut the damn lawn. I've only got dinner IN THE OVEN and almost ready, but suuuuuuure. 

Now, granted, I kept the curse words to a minimum when D could hear, but she did, in fact, hear us arguing. And you know what? That's ok. Because after a few minutes to cool down, and collect ourselves, she saw this scene, too:

K: Listen, I didn't realize how hard you'd worked to have everything ready when I got home. Let's sit down and have a nice meal. I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention.  
Me: I'm sorry, too. It was a long day and I should have been more flexible. 
K: K. We're good? 
Me: We're good. 
K: Rays game after dinner? 
Me: Sure, but oh my God, have you seen their pitching staff lately? May as well watch the Walking Dead. Fewer zombies....

Sure, she does hear us occasionally lose our cool at one another, but she also sees forgiveness. Tenderness. Compassion. We talk to hear about the fact that sometimes grownups disagree and that yes, she's right, we really should use our indoor voices when we're disagreeing. We work hard at being good to each other, but sometimes marriage and proximity and challenges just push you past the point of sanity. 

The important thing is to forgive swiftly, wholly, and honestly. (And to check with each other about dinner first, because seriously, that damn roast took me an hour.) We are all continually learning more about the people we live with, be they old or young. I like to think that D is learning some pretty good things from us, even when we show her our imperfections. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Through Sickness and In Health

I'd like to take a moment to write about something that's near and dear to me: The Circle of Kvetching.

This article changed my life. Or, at the very least, my worldview. It  was as if someone had distilled the common knowledge of social attitudes toward sickness and pain into one sketchily drawn infograph.


Here's the thing about having a loved one who is ill. There is no downtime. There is no time when you're not worried, or scared, or contemplating the different alternative therapies you're discovered on the internet. (Peach pits to cure cancer! The Anti-inflammatory diet! Sacrificing a live chicken during the full blood moon!)  This is to say that is is FUCKING EXHAUSTING.

So, when your friend/neighbor/overly-intrusive-cubicle-partner begins comparing their hangnail to your husband's painfully progressed sarcoidosis, it's, well, challenging  not to throat-punch them right where they stand.

Compassion IN, dumping OUT. It's an elegantly simple rule for bitching about your life. When someone's issue is bigger than yours, you send compassion IN. When their teensy hangnail is smaller than, say, your loved one's cancer, you have full right to dump outwards onto them. (Literally or metaphorically. Your choice.)

Point being, everyone needs an outlet. And if you're a caregiver or advocate (God bless you, my friend) your life is a giant pressure cooker and kvetching inward is not an option. (Who wants to be the dick who puts more pressure on the sick person?) Your option is to kvetch outward. And so on, and so on.

It's the circle of life, but with matzo balls and chicken soup.

Wishing you and all of yours many years of happiness and health.