Thursday, October 29, 2009

Where have I been?

The run down since the last post, in more or less chronological order of events that have taken place in the last 10 days.

I'm driving to work. My husband has left 30 mins before me for work. As I'm driving, I see him walking on the side of the road.


I pull over.

His rental car, the one he had since his other car was getting repaired from hail damage ($500 deductible) is crunched in the front.

Yes, he has rearended someone, who rearended someone.

And forgotten his wallet and phone at home.

Cop runs his license.

My husband's license is cancelled.

Not suspended.


Because he paid a ticket late 2 years ago.

It was cancelled for 2 years, even though he was rear-ended 8 months ago. And pulled over and given a warning for failure to stop completely 1 year ago. Is no one running his license?

Then again, he disclaimed all knowledge of his failure to pay that original ticket timely (and all memory of receiving the original ticket).

Which I doubt.

It was a . . . . . tense week in our household.

Because I wanted to murder him.

We were then down to 1 car, because of course, the police impound and tow the rental car ($200) and we pay another deductible ($500).

And then he had no license so we had to pay ($95) to have him take a written and driving test.

See what I mean about tense?

He passed the written test, but the next available driving test was 3 weeks away.

And I was scheduled to go out of town twice for work within that time period, that same time period my husband had to work, drop Brody off to and from daycare.

That same time period during which my husband had as much legal right to drive a car by himself as my 3 year old did.

Like I said, tense.

Finally, he listens to me and we hire a private driving school that will give him the ($50) test. He passes.

We go back to the DMV to have his picture taken ($24).

We still have one car, because the hail damage repair place has not called us.

This is the same month we paid our deductible ($500) to install a new roof on our house.

Then the one car we did have decided to be difficult, and flashed a light that said:

check engine

check engine

And, $832.40 later, the check engine light is off.

In the meantime, Brody has missed 4 days of preschool because with one car, and our current ridiculous level of busy-ness at our respective jobs, we can neither wait until 8:15am in the morning to drop him off nor pick him up at 11:15am to transfer him to daycare.

Now we are looking at switching daycares from one that will not transport him to and from preschool to one that does. The problem? I love the daycare we have. I love them. Brody struts with confidence into and out of that place, and gives hugs to the teachers. He talks about his teachers with us and is always smiling and squealing while there.

Then my car's rear brake light stopped working on one side.

Which I discovered the day before I find out that I am being furloughed (no pay) for 3 days before the end of this calendar year.

Which is better than being laid off.

Which I know intellectually.

But then another friend of mine who works for the same employer, more or less, says she heard in addition to that, They are contemplating 8 more furlough days starting in January 2010, along with a permanent 2% reduction in pay.

Again. We are better off than many many people.

But if I have to lose any more money to stupidity, bad luck, or this economy,

I will cry.

By the way, we got over a foot of snow yesterday and today in our yard.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ideas for Five Skies

Remember 234 years ago when I announced my desire to start a non-profit? Well, I'm filling out paperwork for the IRS to complete that process.

But part of that process involves a vision for Five Skies.

My vision was to help families who have chronically ill children in and out of the hospital.


I'd like ideas.

Maid service?

Sitting with your child while you get some needed rest or away time? It's draining being a caregiver.

Gifts for siblings?

A masseuse to come to the hospital to give you a neck and shoulder rub to try to heal from those awful, low down dirty parent "beds"?

Visa gift cards for food and gas and other essentials?

Food baskets?

What does a family need when their child is in and out of hospitals repeatedly? (Besides answers and solutions to the obvious).

I permit anonymous comments here. Please post some ideas.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I cannot believe it's Friday again. It's been a helluva week. A HELLuva week. But that's neither here nor there. Or it's everywhere, but I'm not blogging about it just yet. Nothing extremely bad, but some incredible frustration.

There are some very good, very good parts of this week.

Edited to add one more Brodyism that Sarah just reminded me about:

I went to pick up B from daycare the other day. He was about to go potty. He asked me to come with him, so I followed. In the potty room were two toilets, no stalls, with stepstools. And three girls around Brody's age. Two girls on the toilets, pants pulled down, skirts hiked up, going potty. The door to the hallway was open, and the teacher(s) at least one) were in eyesight of the kids at all times. Then the girls jumped off the potties, and Brody and the other girl went. The first two kids were now washing their hands in the sinks.

I'm sitting here stunned that we can all see (most) of each other's potty parts, and Brody and the girls (and eventually the two other boys who had to pee) could not care one whit. They were just going potty, talking to me about Santa Claus and snow, and they are all half-nekkid.

On the weekends, and most nights, Brody will say, out of the blue, "I wanna be nay-kid, mommy" and lift up his arms for me to disrobe him.

One day recently, the DirectTV repairman was on his way to our house. He had just called to confirm. Brody says, "I wanna be nay-kid now." I say, "Sorry, Brody, we have to wait. The TV guy is coming to fix the TV. We have to wear clothes."

B: (pouting with the big lower lip, looking down): I wanna be naykid.

He had to wait until the TV guy left.


Tuesday morning, 5am, Brody walks into our bedroom.

B: Mommy, I hadda bad dweem.

Me: It's okay, sweetie. I'm here. Wanna sleep with us?

B: Yeah.

B climbs on the bed, J and I snuggle him in between us. He immediately falls asleep. I hear his even breathing, then I fall asleep. Ten minutes later, I wake up to shaking.

I open my eyes. Brody's eyes are closed, and he is on his back. Giggling. A silent, whole-body-moving, giggle. Then, with his eyes still closed, and still smiling,

B: I like dat.

More giggling. Eyes still closed. Then he stops smiling and giggling and rolls over, presumably to have another dream.


Ninety minutes later, same morning.

I wake up to a softly whispering Brody. I look at him. He's laying on his back, eyes open, doing what appears to be "itsy bitsy spider" with his hands, and whispering something while looking out the window.

Me: What are you saying, Brody?

B: I'm just counting da twees.


This morning. I am finishing wetting down his hair so it doesn't stick straight up. He says,

B: You pretty, mommy.

Me: Thank you, monkey. And you are beautiful.

B: No, I'm handsome.

Me: Yes, you are handsome. And beautiful, too!

We drive to daycare. While getting him out of the car, I can't help but say:

Me: Who's handsome?

B: (smiling) I am.

Me: Who's beautiful?

B: I am. then

B: Who's pretty?

Me: (shocked and smiling) I am.


Hope everyone has a happy and safe weekend.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Universe goes to happy hour

Friday night I had cocktails with 3 women I've known for 25 years. Well, one of them I've known since kindergarten which is, ahem, a bit longer than 25 years. The other two, I've known since the mid-80's when we all went to high school together. And I hadn't talked to them for 20 years.

Remember the movie Grosse Pointe Blank? That's where we went to high school.

It was a local "mini-reunion" at a bar.

We had tried for months to schedule this meeting. Literally finding holes in our schedules over a period of 6 months. Finally someone wrote that we just had to pick a date months in the future and just go.

So October 9 it was.

I was not what you would call friends with two of the women in high school. I was on the tennis team with one, and sort of just knew the other one by name. But never ate lunch with them or went out to parties with them.

Strange, then, what happened 3 days ago. They look fantastic, and essentially just like they did, with better hair and clothes. I will say that I look pretty much the same, minus the spiral perm and bangs, as I did then.

It was surreal. We talked about leaving Michigan, and how we wended our way to Colorado. We talked about people we grew up with, our teachers, our current lives and our children.

But you know what we bonded over?

Fertility issues.

How is it that after 20 years of not speaking that within 60 minutes of re-meeting, we are talking about someone's stroke after doing IVF, my 4 miscarriages, another's blood clot and another's ectopic pregnancy?

Sure, the second round of drinks helped.

But I was struck by how much we were able to connect. It was like worlds colliding at first, seeing these two women that I hadn't seen since the first George Bush was president and East Germany was still a country.

As we talked, the worlds stopped colliding and started meshing. The 4 girls from 1989 were as familiar as the street I grew up on but, unlike that street, those girls with big hair and bigger dreams had morphed into accomplished, wise, secure women with love and loss and tragedy and triumph within and behind us.

The ease with which we spoke of these things surprised me endlessly.

I told my husband I'd be home at 7pm. He texted me at 8pm wondering if I was okay.

Really, though, the point of this is not that, but this other.

One woman, let's call her New Mom, divulged that she had tried to conceive for 10 years (starting in her 20s), and suffered a stroke during an unsuccessful round of IVF. She just adopted her daughter and is blissfully happy.

Another woman, let's call her Zahara, revealed that she was adopted. We had no idea in high school. She explained that she loved her family and never felt different because of the way she came into their lives.

Then my friend, let's call her Lynn, recently suffered her third pregnancy loss, an ectopic pregnancy after the 2nd round of IUI, and lost one of her fallopian tubes (but thankfully not her life).

Lynn is the friend with whom I am still in regular, close contact. She is also in the middle of hell, and attempting to figure out what to do, and when to do whatever it is she is going to do, and how to proceed in general while not entirely breaking down. Lynn is in limbo: completing another round of IUI while contemplating maybe, but not really, but maybe adoption.

Before the happy hour Friday, there were supposed to be 6 of us: another woman, who has 2 or 3 kids, and a man, who just had his first child with his wife. They both cancelled at the last minute. We debated about still going and decided that we really had no good reason to cancel.

But I think those cancellations enabled the discussion to be about building families.

There we were, four women who had not seen each other in 20 years and had never shared a drink or a meal. And New Mom is talking about how happy she is with her new daughter and how they were matched within 3 months. And Zahara is talking about how wonderful it was to grow up adopted. And I looked at Lynn at one point, Lynn who is contemplating the next step if the IUIs do not work, Lynn who was listening to all of this information.

And I thought, once again, that the universe is not subtle at all.

And I love that about you, Universe.

I do not know what the outcome will be for Lynn, or whether she will adopt or conceive biological children. Or both. But I do know that New Mom is going to forward her adoption agency info to Lynn.

What I hope and pray for is that this time next year, Lynn is able to hold her child in her arms.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oma's birthday and our Homeaway from home

It's my mom's birthday today. Again. I love that. Happy 71st, mutti!

When we were talking this morning, she said "I won't see you again until next year." She lives about 12 hours drive south of us.

I said, "Why don't we meet in the middle?"

And then I went on Homeaway, and found a few properties that would accomodate our family, my Colorado sister and her family, and my mom and stepdad. If we rent a house, we could still cook Thanksgiving dinner, and have the comforts of home! But at half the drive time and no airline chaos.

I'm going to start suggesting this for all of my people I want to see more. Although I think it would only really work if drive time between was 12 hours or less.
Let's meet halfway via Homeaway.

And no, Homeaway did not ask me to do this. And I really only thought of it because, well, I think about Homeaway every day because I like to ponder the trip that we won from Homeaway.

But seriously, this is a good idea, if I do say so myself. Updates will follow.

And for no particular reason, this is Brody, after his first trip to an actual barber shop instead of a kiddie salon. He is pouting because he was mad I had not shown him the photograph yet.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Breaking my heart

You may recall we have B in preschool Tues/Thurs in the morning, then at 11:30 we drive him to his daycare.

For the record, he seems very happy when we pick him up.

But when I drop him off, it breaks my heart and maybe his too.

Today, as we are driving from the preschool to the daycare, we had this conversation:

Me: are you happy?
B: no.
Me: why not, sweetie?
B: (quietly but with no emotion) because I just wanna go home.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

No pressure, Brody, but. . .

Dear Brody,

Just because you are differently limbed, don't think we are not expecting you to get a scholarship to college for basketball.

Mommy & Daddy