Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Happy Birthday, Sweetpea. We love you so, so, so much.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


One year ago today...

The first day of my maternity leave.

The day that it was really sinking in that I was bringing you home and soon, too.

I finally finished your little apple hat on this day, a year ago.

How many more sleeps would it be until you were in my arms? Just one, as it would turn out.

I had that sleep and you were gone, your little body there, your sweet soul was not.

I'm so sorry, my love. I'm so sorry that my body failed you, my beautiful boy.

Every minute of every day, I think of you. I never thought that I could love anyone as much as I do you.

My sweet boy.


Someone's been playing with my one-year-old nephew's toys.

My sister called a few minutes ago to ask if anything weird has been happening around my house. I said, yes, a couple of things have happened that could be weird or they could be the cat. She told me that Connor's electronic toys have been going off by themselves this week. Two in particular: a toy laptop and a driving simulator. The laptop is operated by touching the "mouse" and a picture comes up on the screen. The child then has to touch the matching picture on the keyboard and if it's correct, it makes a sound. She said that a picture of a train came up on the screen and a few seconds later, she heard the sound of a train coming from the toy. The little driving toy has been honking. Both of these toys don't make any noise when they are turned on or off. If that was the case, then the batteries just might be dying. Certain buttons have to be pushed for them to make noise--especially the laptop. Not only were buttons pushed, the correct button was pushed in order for the train to sound. I don't know. But it is interesting that this is happening during his birthday week.

Speaking of birthdays...what did you do or what do you plan on doing for your child's first birthday? I'm going to make an floral arrangement for the cemetery and I'd like to release some balloons, but I would love to know some ways that others have celebrated their children.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Random Stuff

In my Quest to Stay Busy, I'm taking a class at the local technical college called Professional Baking. It's every Saturday for four weeks, four hours a day. This past Saturday was yeast breads and the one before that was quick breads--biscuits, muffins, scones, etc. I have never been able to make a decent biscuit--they always turn out like hockey pucks. I'm pleased to announce that it only took me 2 tries to make the Most Awesome Biscuits Ever. Tall and flakey and everything. I'm excited to beat out my frustrations on some yeast dough this week. This coming class will feature cookies and pies--I am very excited about this. If I don't smoke all those old ladies at the pie contest this summer after all of these classes, well, then I'm just going to have to hang up my apron. The point of this paragraph is--I think that I'm going to go to culinary school for real. Not just adult continuing ed. classes. This may involve me giving up teaching music. You heard it here first.
Who wants to hear more about my period? Nobody?......okay skip to the next paragraph then. I've been on my period for over 30 days now. This is very depressing to me and is also putting a bit of strain on the relationship with my husband if you know what I mean. Right now I think that I'm on my period for real, because it changed from just spotting at about 28 days after it started, so I'm hoping that it's actually going to stop this time. And this point of this paragraph is....even though my doctor told me that it was stress that was causing this menstrual bullshit, something that a very good friend told me actually put my mind at ease. She was in the Army and until very recently, did counterintelligence in Iraq. She told me that many women would have their periods the entire time that they were in Iraq or not have one at all. This implies that the impending first birthday of my dead child and the realization that my due date with Chip is quickly approaching might just be as stressful as facing roadside bombs and mortar attacks. I believe it.
My little sister is doing a portrait of Nate and I'm so excited. She is an extremely talented artist and I could brag about her all day. She's also wicked smart--she's a pre-med student with plans on becoming an OB/GYN, mostly because of what happened with me and Nate. I haven't been able to put up any pictures in my house, other than one of his feet, and I think that I might be able to actually look at a drawn portrait of my son and not feel sadness. I never thought, though, that I'd ever give anyone a picture of my child to draw with the instructions, "Can you just make him look 'not dead'?" ~sigh~ I know that it will be beautiful, though.
I think that the cold in my house killed most of my plants. However, my orchid was safe at my MIL's the whole time. I think that I'd just be like, "Oh well. Go buy new plants." But these were plants that were given to us after Tom's dad and Nate died. Peace lillies and stuff. I always feel extra guilty when funeral plants die. I'm never going to give anyone a plant for a funeral again. They're kind of a sad reminder and then you feel an extra obligation to keep them alive. You know?

It Sucks

Yesterday I didn't spend the day on the verge of tears or sobbing uncontrollably in the shower, like I did on Saturday, but I was just mean. I wanted to kick-bite-punch everyone in my sight. I decided that I needed a nap, but I didn't sleep. I just went to my bedroom, rolled up like a burrito in my comforter with only my nose and eyes showing and watched an hour and a half of stand up comedy.

Eventually I drug my only slightly-less-bitchy self out of the bedroom and joined the living in the family room.

Kaitlyn said, "Can I have a snack?"
I grumped back at her, "How can you possibly be hungry? We had a ginormous lunch."
"Well, I am."
"Okay, go for it."
She walks in to the kitchen, puts some Goldfish crackers on a saucer, comes back, hesitates in the doorway, stumbles and flings crackers all over the floor.
"Kaitlyn! You need to be more careful!"
"Oops. Can you get the vacuum for me?"
"No! Those are too big for the vacuum! Pick them up yourself!"
She moves her foot and crushes several crackers with her boot and Tom laughs and says,
"Ha, ha! She's crushing them with her shoe!"
Again, Kaitlyn asks me, "Can you get the vacuum for me?"
The top of my head is about to pop off.
"It's in the hall closet!!!!!!"

Kaitlyn goes to get the vacuum and comes around the corner with a brand new one!! One of those badass Dyson ones that don't lose suction and look like a racecar or a rocket ship or something. And yes, I'm such a dork that I get excited about vacuums, especially this one--I've wanted one forever. So, they had planned the whole thing and snuck off to Home Depot while I was being cranky in my bedroom. I think that Kaitlyn is quite the little actress. I played with it right away and was facinated and also disgusted to see that even though I had just vacuumed that afternoon with the old one, the Dyson picked up a dust/dirt/hairball the size of my head. I am serious. I love my new vacuum.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

From the frozen tundra she emerges....

Hi! Here I am!

I'm okay--relatively unfrozen. Thanks for checking on me, guys :) We got power back a few days ago and I've been a complete turd and not updating my blog or catching up with everyone. I've just been running around saying, "Wheee!" and "Hooray!" and baking and cooking and using my dishwasher, washer/dryer and vacuum with reckless abandon. (Which coincidently, I was just talking my husband into buying me a new vacuum. I just ran it and the whole house smells like ass over dog now. I changed the bag and everything.)

Speaking of dogs, all mine are fine. Henry is absolutely over the moon to be home, Shirley was probably less than pleased to leave Camp Weenie Dog, but she seems to have warmed up to us again, and the cat is pissed that we're all home period.

So, I promise to write a decent entry tomorrow. I had a really hard time yesterday...a Nate milestone...but today's a little better. I'm just trying to stay really busy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Still no power, still no power, still no power. Shit. All of the newer neighborhoods with their cute, little trees and underground utilites have power. I just had to have the old house with the big trees. Goddammit. My animals are spread out all over town: Shirley is at a neighbor's with a generator and three other weenie dogs having weenie dog fun. Henry (my beagle) is at my mom's--also with no power, but warmer than our house is currently. I dressed him in a doggie hooded velour jacket that is too small. He is a fatso and looks like a before picture for diet pills. Beverly the cat is still at the cold house, running around all batshitty and becoming feral. We're still at the MIL's and I'm so thankful for her and her hospitality and the fact that she's awesome and not one of those MIL's, but I really, really miss my house and tomorrow it's going to be a week since we lost power and they're saying that it might be another 10 effing days! ~sigh~ Anyway...that's my craptastic update. I am cranky.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This was in our newspaper yesterday. It's not my street, but it looks identical to it--I had to really look carefully to see that it wasn't.

Monday, January 15, 2007

We are refugees at my mother-in-law's house, one of the few (very few) homes where I live that have power. The governor has declared our city and the surrounding towns in a state of emergency and the National Guard had been deployed. (You really dodged a bullet with this one, huh, Michelle?)

We lost power on Friday night. We hardly slept at all listening to the huge trees up and down our street moan from the weight of the ice, crack like a gunshot and then with the sound of a pane of glass, shatter on the ground. Every one sounded like it landed right on our house, so every 15 minutes we'd sit straight up in bed and look through the blinds of the windows right behind our headboard to see that it was actually across the street. When one fell close enough hit the gutters, we knew it. Oh man. By the second night we realized that it was kind of stupid to sleep with our heads pointed at a window which was directly in line with a gigantic oak tree, and we slept in another bedroom. Oh, my poor trees. I love our trees so much, the two huge oak trees where the first thing that I noticed when we looked at the house. Now they are trashed.

My town looks like a tornado ripped through it. Whole trees and limbs everywhere, utility poles snapped like twigs, electric lines down across streets and yards. There is a eerie feeling to the city--everything so covered in ice and silent except for the constant crack, shatter of the trees. Without the sun shining, everything looks like it's in black and white. Traffic signals and street lights are out and when night comes, it's pitch black. Gas stations have run out of gas and of course, all of the crooks have come to town in their 18-wheelers, selling generators and camping equipment out of the back for two and three times the price. My neighbor actually bought one of their $900 generators. The utility people say that we may not have power until the end of the week, and with sub-zero temps, there are practically riots when Lo.we's or Hom.e De.pot get in a shipment of generators.

After two nights in our frigid house and a nasty bout of stomach flu on my part (Great timing. Thank goodness we had water to flush the toilet) ,we decided that it wasn't an adventure anymore and gave up. So, we packed up some stuff for a few days, grabbed Nate's box and came here. I'm so thankful that we had some place to go--the shelters in town are filled to capacity. We are really, really lucky. Tom is checking on the house right now. So far, we've just had some gutter damage but I'm so terrified that our big tree is going to come down on our little house. I've seen it happen to others this weekend--this place is a demilitarize zone. Unbelievable. I have some pictures of our street and house, but they'll have to wait until we've got power again. It's going to take a long, long time to recover from this, but the important thing right now is that we're safe and warm and I've stopped barfing. Thank goodness.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Yes I'm Serious. And Don't Call Me Shirley.

Meet Shirley!
She's the new member of our family. Shirley is a mini doxie and very tiny--about 7.5 pounds.

This is where Beverly hangs out now that Shirley has joined us: on top of the cabinets in my pie basket.

This is where Shirley hangs out. She loves her Dad.


Natey's orchid bloomed again. I can't believe that I've kept this orchid alive for almost a year! I was getting pretty discouraged, but I hung in there, watering and feeding a stick in a pot on my kitchen windowsill for most of the summer and all of the fall. But what a reward!

Oh, I love orchids.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Catherine's Tarot Test

Yikes...Well, I did just put up new curtains in the family room.

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dreaming and Other Thoughts

Thank you so much for all of your encouragement in the last post. For the millionth time, I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have all of you awesome people telling me that I'm not nuts.

I rarely remember my dreams. I'm not sure why--I've never been able to. I guess that I just sleep too soundly. I don't sleep as well as I used to, but when I do, I'm knocked out pretty thoroughly.

You know those dreams that are so vivid that when you wake it takes a few moments for you to realize that you had dreamt it? I had one in high school that I was a varsity cheerleader (which, um, I was band president so that wasn't true, obviously.) It was so vivid that when I woke up the next morning, I went to the closet to get my uniform. In my dream, it was game day and we had to wear our uniforms to school. Needless to say, there wasn't a cheerleader uniform in my closet. Recently, I've had a couple of very vivid childbirth dreams. It wasn't Nate's birth, because in my dream I knew that Nate had died and this was a new baby. It was so real and I'm hoping that it may have been a sign of good things to come.

And then there are the dreams that make you wonder if someone is trying to say "hey" or "I'm alright!" Right after my grandma died I dreamt that she called me on the phone. In the dream I knew that she had passed away, so obviously I was pretty surprised when on the other end I hear, "Helloooo! This is your Nana!" She always said it just like that. "I'm in Kentucky and I'm having a wonderful time. We're on our way to Florida. Let me talk to your Mama." And that was the dream. And then there was this one that I had a few months after Nate died.

Last night, I dreamt about a boy who was just a little bigger this time. Still wearing overalls, too--I bet that I'll always picture Nate in overalls. We were in a different house, which makes sense because we never would have bought this current house had he lived. We moved because we just couldn't stand to be in that house any longer. There really wasn't much to the dream--just me being a mom. I remember saying "Hey, come back here!" and "Yuck, get that out of your mouth!" That was it.

I wish that I would dream about him more often. I've only had a couple that I'm aware of. Maybe I just dreamt about him and that's all it was--a dream. Maybe he was dropping by to let me know that everything was alright with him and that it was going to be alright with me, too. I'm not sure if I were still pregnant if I'd be handling this better or not. I just don't know. Is there a "good" way to handle this? I've been dreading the month of January. I'm even scared of the word. January. I'm scared of the expiration dates on food, what if they say January 31st? Last night at Dep.ot, there was a sale that ended on January 31st and it was proclaimed on huge signs all over the store. The way the air smells. The way the trees look. My purple coat that I wore to the hospital. Everything just feels haunted to me.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Please, please someone tell me that this gets easier. Please.

Those days where you want to just lay down and die, do those stop? Please tell me they do. Will it be easier after his birthday? I can't go on this way. I can't. I won't.

Maybe it's because I've been on my period for 12 days. Now I'm terrified that something is wrong with me.

I hate this.

**Updated to say**
The nurse finally called me just now. Doc said it's stress that's causing me to have an everlasting period. Also, it can take quite a few months to regulate after a D & C. Don't worry about it, he said. Okie doke. I'm feeling better now, by the way. It's like drunk dialing, don't blog when you're having a major meltdown. I'm going now to get my haircut fixed. I look like Molly Ringwald--Sixteen Candles Molly Ringwald. I should just put on some camel-toe mom jeans, then I'll look great. Cheers.