What I want
May 10, 2006, 1:32 am
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A dear friend of mine suggested I write a list of the things I really and truly want from life. I am not so great with lists, so in an effort to commit to one I am going to do it here. It's not always easy to actually pipe up and say, "This is what I want, dammit." But here goes:

  • A home where my kids can be themselves without criticism. Sometimes kids go through weird and annoying stages. To allow them to grow through these without hurting their feelings or making them uncomfortable in their own skin would be a gift to them.
  • A place where it is acceptable to display emotions.
  • Conversation. About anything.
  • Empathy.
  • Friends at the dinner table. Social contact.
  • A decent monthly budget.
  • Security -be it financial, emotional.
  • Support -again, applicable to all aspects of functioning.
  • Collaboration on home projects. Painting the walls, planting summer flowers.
  • Stuff for me. Selfish, pehaps. but I want to go shopping for me sometimes. I want to go away for the weekend without the kids. A dinner out or a movie would be nice.
  • I want my daughter to be respectful of me.
  • I want my older two kids to love each other like they did when they were younger.
  • I want my car back.
  • I want a home with a yard, in my dreams I want one of these.

I might expand on this list, but this where it begins.


Tips for surviving in a small town
May 9, 2006, 1:30 am
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Whenever I go to the grocery store I encounter at least eight people I know quite well. A routine trip for a carton of milk can take anywhere from 20 mintues to almost an hour. I should have kept this fact in mind when I popped in this afternoon for a few things. Today I mainly needed to visit the first aid aisle. I don't know what the problem is with me right now, perhaps I am not drinking enough water, maybe I don't eat enough fiber, but whatever the case my lower end is reaching emergency status and I needed to tend to things.

I surveyed all the products and settled on a small box, 8 tablets. I rarely have this problem, in fact only when I am pregnant, so I didn't think I needed to buy an economy size.  (And, no I am NOT pregnant.) After grabbing the box, I pushed Devon (we had walked and he was strapped down in the Jogger) on to the fruit aisle in search of some ruffage. Unfortunately I ran into about five people between the two aisles. There I was  the small package clutched in one hand while I pushed the stroller with the other. As I chatted I completely forgot about my original intention for being in the store and the package in my hand. After about the fourth conversation I kept noticing the other person staring down at my hand. It wasn't until I found Matt in line and went to put my item in the cart that I realized what the people were noticing. That box in my hand with the giant letters spelling out EX LAX. 

Surely people must have better things to do than discuss my bowel routines. Surely. Thing is, if I ran into somebody in the store who was oblivious of a pack of laxatives she was holding for all the world to see, I would pass it on. Petty? Yes. Small? That's me. Sometimes karma kisses you in oddest of ways. 

May 8, 2006, 3:25 am
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A few days ago I was channel surfing when I happened upon True Hollywood Story: Chris Farley. I have a fairly high tolerance for smut and trash so I almost always enjoy this show. I was never really a huge Chris Farley fan. I will laugh for a half hour at Jim Carrey's talking butt cheeks but Chris Farley pitching into a coffee table, I don't get that. The show documented Farley's early years as a devoted Catholic and an overweight kid clowning around to get friends. It then went on to chronicle his rise to fame, his addictions and his death. Truly a sad story and one that has haunted me since I saw the show. Normally I wouldn't be so wrapped up in a show, but this story is so painfully similar, minus the financial success, fame and death parts, to that of my brother's.

About three years ago I had to finally sever most ties with my sibling. Summer always seems to be a difficult time for his problems. We spent a weekend in Denver celebrating Loren's 10th birthday at Elitch's Sixx Flags and a Denver Rapids soccer game. My brother, D., came along for the fun. During the afternoon of the Elitch's trip I knew things were on a downward spiral when he began to disrobe to get in the wave pool. He was probably far over 300 pounds at the time and none of us could ever remember seeing him shirtless. I also knew, from his various tales, that the more far gone he is the more his love of nudity.

As far as I could tell he was the only one in the park packing multiple flasks of Jack Daniels. He was the only one who nearly drowned my six year-old daughter in the wave pool and, later in the afternoon, he was the only person I could see passed out on a park bench. Loren was a little too young to grasp the whole thing, but I think Cass understood some of it when she was gasping for breath while being dragged under six feet of water by a slurring 300 pound man.

Later that same summer D. watched our townhome while Matt and the kids and I went to Utah for a weekend visit. I returned home to find smashed glass all over the floors, bloody hand prints on the walls and my brother passed out in Loren's bed. His face was covered in scabs, dried blood and bruises. While the children were brushing their teeth, their uncle stumbled into the bathroom and attempted to talk to them. He stank and slurred a stunningly lame tale about self pity and how hard his life was. I was passing by the bathroom and I happened to catch the look of confusion and horror on the children's faces as I glimpsed them in the miroor.

That was it. That was the defining moment. Sadly it was not the near demise of Cassidy or the ruin of Loren's birthday. It was watching the two of them lose a bit of their innocence. That image of Loren and Cassidy brushing their teeth with my beaten and bloodied brother drunkenly swaying in the background will forever stay with me. 

The heartbreak of addiction is horrible. My brother has not overdosed yet. He has confided to me that he has many times come close. But the life he leads to feed his addictions is filled with anger and violence and it will not surprise me when I someday will likely be on the receiving end of a very sad phone call.

I will sometimes go months without thinking of my brother. But since that THS episode I have been thinking about him constantly. I picked up the phone and called him today. Save for his heavy Xanax prescription he claims to be clean and sober right now. It was a good chat.

For about three years when Loren was a baby D. was clean and sober. I will forever miss that part of my brother. There might be some afternoons like today when he is clear headed and sober. And I will always hope for more.

May 5, 2006, 11:37 am
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If I lived in a mob family I would have my brother Danny or Uncle Vito go down to the Montesorri preschool where we are on the waiting list for Devon to get a spot. They would rough up the head administer a little bit and promise much more harm if Devon was not given a spot by next Monday.

I love the little guy something fierce but we have been velcroed together for over 20 months now. I need to work. I wouldn’t mind a few minutes in the bathroom all by myself, having Devon watch me pee while he giggles uncontrollably is amusing but some privacy would be nice. And I would love to be able to pick up his toys and have them remain that way for more than 90 seconds.

I’m not asking for much time. Four half days, three times a week. And those fuckers at the school have no room until September. That’s four months away. I need an Italian cousin.

Clean up time
May 4, 2006, 2:12 am
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Today was one of those days that wasn't necessarily bad but it wasn't spectacular either. I spent the day alternately entertaining Devon and trying to earn a living. Though I did slip a few loads of laundry in there as well. This afternoon when he had had just about enough of me trying to convince him that his blocks were indeed the best things ever, a dear friend suggested I pull out the shaving cream and baking pans and let him go. So I put him out on the patio, buried his farm animals in about a foot of foam and put him to it. Needless to say he was ecstatic to be making such a mess and he even got the pleasure forcing me to sing Old McDonal's Farm again and again and again and….

When it came time for clean up, I stripped him down and headed up to the bathroom. Aside from vanilla yogurt Devon loves baths above all else. Throughout the day he tries to lure me towards the bathroom saying, "Bass! Bass! Bass!" And when he realized that Lady Fortune was again smiling upon him for the second time in the same afternoon, he started wiggling and doing the Bass Dance. While he sat in the tub we again sang Old McDonald but this time incorporated all of his bath toy animals into the song -seal, starfish, froggie etc.

As he sang he again began to dance on his butt and started to scoot backwards in the tub. That is when I noticed it, or them if I am recounting the scene correctly. Devon had plopped two golden brown, solid turds in the bathtub. Holy god. I was stunned. Yes, I have two other kids, but neither of them were ever tub tooters. What to do? For a moment I had a Dave Sedaris moment. The one where he uses the bathroom at a party and finds it already loaded, he tries to flush the toilet only to find it doesn't work. He doesn't want to get blamed by the person waiting in line so he ends up throwing the contents out the bathroom window.

I couldn't leave Devon alone and go downstairs to fetch the fish met. If I used the toilet scrubber it would get all muckety. Toilet paper would end up soggy and I didn't want to ruin a washcloth. So I used my hand. I inserted it into the water, gently caressed the pair and deposited the duo into the toilet. I wanted to scream. I had just handled shit. With my hands. I washed my hands for about five minutes and fought the urge to sand off all my skin with heavy duty sandpaper.

A friend of mine recently told me that reading my blog does not inspire her to want children of her own. Ever. I simply can't fathom why.

May 1, 2006, 2:49 pm
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Last night I had a variation on my anxiety dream. This time not only was I back in Jr. High School trying to finish some Godforsaken math course, but I was also five months pregnant. In my dream I found this especially disturbing because I had a tubal ligation after Devon was born. When I awoke from surgey I asked my doctor if she was absolutely sure she had completely snipped my fallopian tubes. She replied that not only had she snipped them but that she also cauterized the ends and then buried them in muscle. So in my dream I was raging pissed that my tubes had somehow reattached themselves to my uterus and allowed an egg to pass through.

I woke up in a panic this morning feeling my belly just to make sure there was no bump. Well, there was a bump, but it was soft and flabby -no baby kicking in there just soft ole me. Not the best way to start the week, but at least I'm not pregnant either.

Jump on for the ride
April 29, 2006, 5:07 am
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37.5 mg of Effexor turned out to be a really good thing after about 5 days. Wednesday I woke up and felt like I had risen from a sort of waking coma. I had energy and absolutely no need to nap all day. Today my orders were to up the dosage to 75 mg. Holy. Shit. About 20 minutes after I swallowed the pill I felt as though I had just consumed six grande lattes. And I have felt like that ALL day long. 

 75 mg is not a good thing. I don't like this at all. I feel the need to go scour the tile grout with Devon's wee tooth brush until about 3 a.m., but at the same time I yearn for my pillow.