Flowers and the Mega Millions

Hubby came home tonight with a bouquet of beautiful flowers for me and the twins! I can’t remember the last time this occurred!  They are beautiful, purple, pink, yellow, and white roses, some little black eyed susan looking things, tiny purple flowers, and a stem of something else I can’t identify.  They smell like spring on this dreary, chilly day.

He used to bring me flowers almost every Friday when he arrived here in Baltimore from Staten Island.  I was spoiled by it, and loved practicing amateur flower arrangement.  Sometimes he’d send them to the office, and that tickled me like nobody’s business.  I was the girl that didn’t get asked to prom, after all, so getting roses at work gave me that “He likes me!” validation from my peers.

Seeing him walk through our front door with that fragrant, bright, bundle gave me butterflies.  Butterflies at the thought that maybe the ol’ Mojo is coming back after all.  Butterflies now sweetened with the vision of my girls getting flowers from their Daddy, their Main Man. It was delightful.

I took pictures of the flowers in the vase in which I’d arranged them, pictures of the twins holding a bloom a piece.  I texted the pics to my Bestie and my Mom.

Mom asked “What’s the occasion?”

I texted back, “Just because, I guess.”

But I decided to check with Hubby, and his response? “To celebrate being pre-millionaires!”

*Sigh, my friends, sigh*

Oh well, maybe next time.

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Stats-o-rama

I’m new to the Blogisphere,  so I don’t know if discussing this is bad form, but… I logged in today to post a little something, and decided to check out My Stats. 

My biggest number of views before today was 20 or 30, but today it’s 58! AND, I have my first international views (Canada).  Hee hee.  Gotta start somewhere, Peeps, right?

Day 1 (or Day 183)- but who’s counting?

Today, Peeps, was a toughie…  After deciding yesterday that I was refocusing my efforts on The Plan, I faced some nutritional challenges today.  But as of this post, I have overcome!

First, my kids woke up super duper cranky pants this morning.  Loopsy stood at the top of the stairs screaming for me to carry her for 5 minutes (at least) while tossing any readily available toys down to crash on the wall at the bottom of the stairs.  Meanwhile Lala was following me around the kitchen pleading at the top of her whine for milk in her new princess cup (which was in the dishwasher, unwashed).  I took a deep breath, told Loopsy for the millionth time that she is 4 and perfectly capable of walking downstairs herself, end of story, and told Lala for the zillionth time that she’d have to make do with a Minnie Mouse cup this morning.  *sigh*  The old, fatter Scroogy would turn to Reese’s Puffs or toaster waffles with peanut butter and maple syrup for breakfast to soothe the savage mommy beast.  But new, healthier Scroogy dutifully pulled out a greek yogurt, and mixed it wisely with some Benefiber.  Protein?  Check!  Fiber?  Check?  Breakfast? Done.

3 hours later I have finished showering and dressing and putting on mascara in preparation for a trip to BJ’s and Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  I look at the clock and know that it’s time for my next snack.  The twins are already, literally, bouncing around me because they love riding in shopping carts, and are therefore, very excited. I consider, for a second, just hitting a drive thru on our way out.  Easy, yummy, but, alas, not on The Plan.  So I distract my dear ones with a new episode of Doc McStuffins and toast up a whole wheat english muffin and top it with exactly one tablespoon of natural peanut butter.  There’s even time before the episode is over for me to note my snack in my food journal and put my knife and tablespoon in the dishwasher.

I decided to also stop at the craft store because I need a taper candle & some of that candle sticky stuff for my homemade wine bottle candle thingie (to commemorate my first bottle of Dreaming Tree- yes, I love DMB that much).  We walk the short distance to BBB & my little lovelies are already complaining about being hungry.  *Double Sigh* I check the time and try to figure if I can distract them long enough for us to get home and have a snack there.  No go.  Damn, I’ll have to buy them something while we are out WITHOUT indulging myself.  In BBB they have some snacky type stuff by the register and I let the twins pick out something.  They agree (shocking) on a bag of white fudge covered pretzels.  Not exactly healthy, but probably better than McD’s.  I open it for them when we get back to the car and I don’t have any myself.  Not a one.  Score.

Needless to say, Loopsy and Lala are off the chain hyper by the time they get into the shopping cart at BJs…  Strangers are laughing.  Old ladies are looking down their noses at me.  I am irritated and getting hungry.  I see bags of Easter candy.  Resist!  Those Magnum ice cream bars look really good.  Hands off!  Super sized bags of Doritoes?  Me wanna.  But, I’m so proud to say that I did not buy or consume any Off Plan items there, in the car on the ride home, or even once I got home.  Just had the regularly scheduled protein bar.  Yeah me!!

And now we here we are, an hour past dinner (chicken breast marinated in Frank’s Red Hot in a salad of green peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, and light Ranch) and about a half our until beddy bye time.

Ahh… I made it Peeps, I made it.

Angels or Ghosts?

Do you believe in either?

I believe in both, but sometimes I think they are the same thing.  I guess it depends on what the spirit in question is doing…  Like I’m convinced my Mother In Law’s spirit is still with us.  When something invisible made Lala and Loopsy giggle when they were babies, or when I feel that I’m about to fall down the steps but somehow find my balance in the nick of time, then I consider her an angel.  When I swear I see shadows moving out of the corner of my eye or when weird electronic things happen, she’s a ghost. Or maybe the perception is in the eye of the haunted/visited.

For instance, for as long as I can remember, I’ve thought that my Grandmother’s aunt is my own personal guardian angel.  Eva passed shortly after I was born, and my Mom tells me that relatives who die around the birth of a baby often stick around to watch over him/her. She’s been convinced that Aunt Eva watches over me.  There’s even some (sorta) evidence- a rocking chair that my Dad gave Mom to rock me to sleep often creaks as if someone is sitting in it, even if no one has touched it for days.  I still have this rocker and it still creaks.  When we were roommates, Bestie was terribly spooked by that.

Maybe that’s why Eva appeared to Bestie.  Eva the Angel or Ghost?  Depends on whether you ask me or my friend.

About a month before I’d met Hubby in Atlantic City, while Bestie and I were still roommates, she called me at work early one morning in a frenzy.

“I need to see a picture of your Grandmother.  Not your Mom’s mom, your Dad’s mom…  Do you have one around the apartment?”

“Bestie, what is wrong with you?  Sounds like you’ve been jogging.  Are you having an asthma attack?”

“No, I just woke up.  Listen, seriously…”

“Okay…”

“I had a dream about this old lady, I think she must be your Grandmother. I was at a party and she pulled me away and she was very bossy and she said I had to listen to her because she had a message for you and I had to make you understand…”

Bestie went on to frantically explain the details of this dream, including the message and vision that this Old Lady showed her.

I needed to know that everything was going to be okay.  That I should relax because he’s coming.  He’s on his way.  And she showed Bestie a man in a suit packing a suitcase.  Bestie couldn’t see his face though.  Boo.

I didn’t know what to think except that my best friend seemed to be losing her marbles over a dream.  But, I knew there was some merit in her intuitions. (I mentioned a few posts ago that a friend had crashed my car?  Well, Bestie called us before we all went out that night and asked us to be very careful.  Weird, right?)

That night I showed her pictures of my Grandmother, but no, that wasn’t the woman of the dream.  My Dad’s mom died young.  This Old Lady was older, gray-haired, was wearing a house dress.  I asked if she was sure it wasn’t my Mom’s mom (whom Bestie had met on several occasions and whom was known to sport the house dress like a champ), but she was certain it wasn’t.  Besides Grandma was still alive and Bestie thought the Old Lady was a ghost.  We kind of just shrugged it off at that point, but I know it was still sticking in her mind.

Flash forward a few weeks and I’m hanging out with her at her new boyfriend’s house.  Boyfriend is downstairs playing darts or up in the crapper or somewhere.  Bestie and I are drinking beers in the kitchen. The phone rings and she answers.  It’s my brother.  She just holds the receiver out to me and shakes it.  She’s gone wide-eyed and pale and looks like she might vomit.  I take the phone and find out that my beloved Grandma has just died.  The family was gathering at my Aunt’s house.

After she picked my soggy ass off the floor, Bestie offered to drive me to meet up with my family, and I accepted.  I was in no shape to drive.

She stayed with me there too, getting people drinks, trying to make us laugh, fetching tissues, all the things you do when you’re the caregiver type that my Bestie is…  At some point, my Aunt pulls out a box of old photos so we can start making a memory board for the funeral.  We’re passing them around, and Bestie’s being a very good sport, even though she barely knows these people.  Mom finds a picture of her Grandmother Josephine and Josephine’s two sisters, Lilly and Eva.  It gets passed around and Mom and my aunts start sharing laughs about how the old ladies used to sit around singing and playing penny poker.  Suddenly Bestie stammers, “Her…  This one.  It’s her.”

My family looks at her like she’s lost her marbles.  She hands the photo back to me and points to the old lady in the middle.

“That’s Eva.” Mom explains.

“Scroogy, that’s the Old Lady from my dream…”

Ugh.  I break out in goosebumps and Bestie actually breaks out in hives.

We tell Mom the dream story and Mom reminds us that Eva is “in the rocker” and that she’s my guardian angel.  Bestie asks what Eva was like.  Was she the bossy type?  Oh, yes, all the aunts laugh…  Very much so.  It was definitely her.

Everyone gets the heebies but it only momentarily makes us forget about our loss.  We get back to passing around old photos, but I ask to keep that picture of Eva and her sisters.  I’m starting to believe in Eva’s dream message.

I’d been dating this dude.  He was totally wrong for me, but someone to go to movies with.  We’d stopped seeing each other shortly after I started working with the man who would become Hubby…  I was sure I’d never meet the right guy, never get married, never have babies.  Eva’s message gave me some hope.

And turns out Eva was right…

Did I mention that the first time I met Hubby at Caesar’s that he was wearing a suit?  Or that he’d packed a bag in case we had too many cocktails and needed to stay the night?

Ghost or angel, it still gives me goosebumps.

Weekly Update time

I feel I made a ton of Mojo progress this week, dear Blogiverse…  I can feel tiny hints, little rumbles, of my swag settling into my bones.  Feels good.

I worked out more and watched TV less.  My DVR and I might need couples counseling.

I feel like I’m hitting a stride in my writing, at least I blog nearly every day.

I only leave the house w/o mascara if I’m going to the playground or working out.

I bought myself a new dress and two new bras and 5 new panties- all in my new size.  The first items in my new size to have been purchased to date.

I also bought myself a cute pair of strappy wedges to go with my new dress.  I haven’t really worn heels since I left my job to become a stay at homer.  I hope I don’t break an ankle.

I actually had truly personal time with Hubby, and we are getting along a little better.  We’ve actually talked and spent time in the same room!  Love it.

Progress, People, Progress.

Back to The Plan

I mentioned in my Hello World post that I’m in the process of losing weight.  I had lost 45.5 lbs since September 29 2011*. I had been contemplating gastric bypass or another bariatric surgery, and so I began the diet with the idea that it was my required 6 month, physician supervised nutrition plan  My doc wanted me on Medifast, but we found that very costly, so the Doc okayed me doing my own version.  And I was doing really well.  I was on fire!

Then the holidays came and went, the days were less bright, I dove into my yearly mid to late winter doldrums and diverted from The Plan. I don’t know why this happens to me every year.  I suspect it’s related to seasonal depression.  It might also be because the holidays are over, and after I put all my heart and soul into making it magic for my family, I’m left feeling a little empty and a lot unappreciated. But there’s a bigger reason.  There’s the fact that, as a daughter who lost her dad so young, I have this supreme anxiety each time I get closer and closer to the age he was when he passed.  He was only 37, the age I am now, and these past few winters have been really rough.

Anyway, regardless of the reason, I’m feeling my way out of the winter blues a bit fiercer and sooner.  Could be because of the early return of sunshine and warmth.  Could be because if this 38th year really is my last like it was Dad’s last, well, I better not waste it being all blah-de-blah-woe-is-me.  Could be I also decided to reinvigorate so much of my life to regain that Mojo I keep writing about.

I went to visit my Doc for the first time since December (I’d last weighed in at his office on Feb 2).  He explained that everyone hits a plateau, and this time of year is really optimal for getting past it.  He wasn’t at all as appalled as I thought he’d be by my falling of the weekly weigh-in schedule or by my gain of 7.5 lbs since my last step on the scale.  I feel a lot better about things, and ready to refocus and get back to The Plan.

I want to lose between 80 & 100 more lbs.  Yes, Peeps, I realize that’s a lot.  Yes, I really am THAT big.

Today I’m back to following my diet to the letter and remembering that I need to take care of myself if I want to see Lala and Loopsy grow up.

I’ll continue to post my progress on this aspect of my Mojo Journey!  Wish me luck!

*note: Thanks to my friend Robin for pointing out my error…  it’s been 6 months on My Plan, not over 10 years…  Love ya!*

I love my Beauty Salon

I go to this off-the-beaten-path little Beauty Shop and I just love it.  There’s no pretention, no snotty stylists dressed head to toe in black looking down their noses at us regular people.  They have a parrot.  Or some sort of bird that talks.  It’s awesome.

Today is my appointment for my root touch-up and trim and eyebrow waxing.  I know I’ll walk out of there feeling like a million bucks, but only a (relatively) few bucks poorer. Lala & Loopsy can come with me and dance around the stations and ask other clients inane 4 year old questions and everyone will find them delightful.

Love. That. Place.

The Novel Inside

I read a blog entry by a new FB friend, someone who is remarkably a lot like me.  She is working on a novel, the second in a planned trilogy and she’s come through the other side of a writers block.  Her words of wisdom on this really struck home.

Create for the sake of creating.  Write to let out the novel inside.

I’ve felt a novel brewing in my brain pretty steadily for about 4 years.  I buckle down and rip out a few thousand words a day for a bit and then that little critical voice inside me gets louder than the little creative voice and I just shut down.

But Leslee’s words really shed new light on the process.  I don’t have to write publishable material right off the bat.  I can just write because the story is in there.  Its not even necessary to let anyone else read it, if I don’t want to.

Of course, I’ll want to, because I love getting feedback.  I really should join a writing workshop.

So, any other blogger/writers out there, if I wanted to post some of my fiction here, how should I go about protecting it?

Once I figure that out, I can get started sharing with you Peeps.

Please Don’t Read My Blog

After posting a couple of rants/raves about my marriage and home life, my ingrained paranoia reared its ugly head. And now I’m fixated on one single worry.  It’s settled in my skull, squeezing my poor little brain and giving me a major headache.

See, I linked this blog to my FB, and a few of my FB friends are Hubby’s friends or coworkers or their wives.  *Gulp*

He hates when I blather online about him or the kids.  His buddies give him a hard time and then he gives me one.  *Double Gulp*

So… for those Peeps, all I have to say is, “Look away.  There’s nothing to see here. Certainly nothing to tell Hubby about…”

And in the immortal words of Bartles & James, “And we thank you for your support!”

Housewifery blows

My dear Bestie is probably the hardest working housewife I know.  Wanna know how I know?  She’s constantly exhausted and almost always in severe back pain.

Some worksie folks think being a homemaker is demeaning or lazy or unproductive.  I blame Peg Bundy.  Real making of the homes, Peeps, is hard work.  Harder than anyone can imagine until they decide to devote their lives to it.

Okay, let’s discuss the physical/emotional/mental burdens or quandries with which SAHWs and SAHMs find themselves saddled:

How can you call yourself a real modern woman?  You’re not contributing to society!  All you do is (blah blah insensitve/mindless blah)”.  Seriously?  SEEEERRRiously?  Yeah, we aren’t developing vaccines OR staging corporate takeovers OR designing skyscrapers, but we are doing our best scrubbing, sanitizing, nose-picking-monitoring to keep a houseful of people from catching the rotovirus currently infesting our next door neighbor’s house AND organizing the social/educational/sports/dance/scouts schedules of everyone we live with (only rarely including our own activities) AND ensuring that somewhere in the house there are matching hand towels, clean sheets, interesting magazines, “good” handsoap, that God Awful sculpture we got as a wedding gift, yummy food, and enough coffee/wine/whatthehellevertheydrink stocked in case any number of people decide to stop by unannounced and stay a spell. Among countless other things, including, most importantly, keeping other human beings alive.  All those things. All at the same time. So, Little Person who thinks we don’t contribute, YOU try having to be everything to everyone everyday.

We don’t really get sick days or vacation days or, I don’t know, weekENDS! Our “outside working” partners get to actually indulge in lounging in bed, surrounded by snotty tissues, in a NyQuil stupor or really have as many private, quiet, uninterrupted minutes of bathroom time to rid their gullets or colons of whatever is ailing them. Even working moms have a more than likely chance to enjoy even ONE tranquil day, mayhaps on some remote tropical isle, sipping rum punch and trying not to stare at and/or post photos to FB of that couple that is SOOO doing it in the hot tub. Working moms have daycare, and the extra money that they don’t feel guilty for spending on themselves. Weekends, for those 9 to 5-ers, mean sleeping in, daytrips maybe, getting a chance to plant that herb garden…  Weekends for SAHW/M means there is another warm body at home needing you do find, cook, clean, listen, care… Wow, Hubby, I can go grocery shopping by MYSELF this time?  Wow, what a treat!  Thanks, thanks SO super much!

Aren’t we supposed to have this in our bones, our souls, our second X chromosome?  I mean, Martha Stewart can do it all AND run a media empire, right? Also connected to the “What was my college tuition really FOR?” guilt. Maybe our kid is the last one in the playgroup to walk, or the only (shudder) biter…  Maybe I forgot trash or recycling day and now we have several Glad bags piling up on the side of our house… Maybe one of the twins has all the pieces of her Pretty Kitty Halloween costume, but her sister has last minute substitutes because I accidentally checked the same package twice at the store… We can’t be perfect all the time.  We will sometimes forget, or oversleep, or encounter a parenting challenge we are unprepared for.  Working people get slack for it, working people are allowed and not penalized for occasional errors.  At the job I used to have, the kind of job that Hubby currently has, there is actually a thing called an “error account” that would wash away any monetary oopsies, even up to thousands of dollars. Imagine that.  Imagine that SAHW/Ms aren’t held accountable for every single boo boo, bounced check, missed appointment.  Imagine that the lecture we suffer through from our “outside working” partner isn’t even half of the weight of failure we feel in our own bones/souls/second X chromosome.

And last, but not least, “You wanted this.  I don’t know what you’re complaining about!”  *SIGH*   9 to 5ers out there…  You can go to Happy Hour with your coworkers and bitch and moan about your super demanding or high strung boss without ANYONE thinking ill of you.  Know what?  Even the Love of My Life, my Bestie, My MOM for Chrissakes gets a little judgy or concerned if (okay, when) I bitch and moan about Lala, Loopsy, Hubby, the house, basically, my life.  SAHM/Ws are, for some reason, supposed to be 100% fulfilled 100% of the time.  We are not supposed to be lonely or frustrated or bored or tired or cranky.  We are not supposed to think longingly about just getting in the car and driving to a spa far, far away.  But worksie folks?  It’s sort of par for the course for you to want to get the Hell out of Dodge.  Not fair.

So, this is an Ode to You, Dear Bestie… For being my career mentor.  You don’t even get to put it in your annual performance review.  But, I will always be grateful to you and your exhaustion and your back pain.  (Even though I pray for your relief.)  I’m grateful because you remind me that if it isn’t hard, I’m not doing it right.  And I know you do it right.  Love you.