The Husband (ugh) and I are in financial ruin, and as such, I A) REALLY REALLY REALLY need a job, and B) Can’t enroll in the school that I was hoping to be in by now.  I mentioned how happy I was to finally be on the road to professional development, I even wrote about it here, but now I realize how we can barely afford toothpaste no less a private education.  I’m trying to stay positive and work to dig us out of this mess, but I am placing 90% of the blame on The Husband for being so secretive about the true state of affairs.  I’m only claiming 10% responsibility because I “trusted” him to handle our money.  I mean, he works for a bank… one would think…. ALAS.  I guess I should bite off more than 10% but I’m angry. My life isn’t what I wanted it to be or where I wanted it to be, and I’m trapped.  I’m a scared Mommy raccoon that had its food scraps stolen away and is backed into a corner by a broom-wielding giant who’s out to smack me and my babies out in the cold, and I’m hissing and clawing and trying to fight my way out.

I wish I had something nicer to blog about, I can’t imagine this is much fun to read?

Let’s talk about something happier, like how many packages of Vienna Fingers I can polish off in a week… (it’s about 4).


Stuff* is really happening! Maybe my wish will come true and I’ll have the means necessary to write more, but for now I’ll have to be content with the occasional blog post. Have I ever told you about how much I love bullet points? No? Well, I really love bullet points. The lists that follow the points, that is. I think my brain is wired to function in two modes: bulleted lists and hazy, dreamy, abstract thoughts like distant, muted watercolors. Truly opposite ends of the subconscious spectrum. I have trouble putting my long rambles into words, so when they do surface, they appear like nerdy little Excel spreadsheets. Except when I go on and on and on… like bulleted essay question responses. Am I even making any fucking sense at all? Whatever, here is the *stuff:

  • I had arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month for a torn meniscus, but when the docs got in there, they found not a torn meniscus but something called “plica”, also known as “synovial plica syndrome”.  The definition of this wacky thing is even wackier: it’s tissue that was supposed to have gone away during fetal development, but for speculative reasons, decided to stick around.  Chances are, plica will mind its own business and no one will be the wiser, but sometimes it can act up and get inflamed and irritated and cause all sorts of pain, et cetera, which is what happened to me.  So they took it out, and now I’m recovering.  Recovery is slow-going since my job as Mommy doesn’t allow for a whole lot of rest/sitting down, but physical therapy and pain meds are helping.  Hopefully I’ll be able to return to martial arts training someday and not feel old and creaky. Moving on…
  • I applied for college!  I’m 32 years old and haven’t been in school for 12 years (ouch, that was a painful realization), and it took me that long to finally decide what I want to be when I grow up.  I haven’t completely settled on the end result of what the “I want to be…” equation, but suffice it to say the field has been narrowed down and I am heretofore on the way of becoming something other than Mommy. A couple things led me to apply…
  • Anyone who has read my blog at all knows that my Mom has cancer. In helping her fight the disease, I try to cook/bake anything for her that she wants.  The disease itself has, in part, been related to her diet.  Now that she’s in treatment, certain food items have been blacklisted because of vitamin content or other concerns.  However, she has lost so much weight and really needs to fatten up.  Of course she indulges a bit, which is fine since she rarely has any appetite to begin with, but it’s a struggle to find healthy and nourishing food that has plenty of calories and fat without too much of the negative.  SO – my mission is to make her feel as good as I can, since this disease has me feeling helpless anyway, and has given me a new perspective on cancer as a whole.  If I can play any part in improving the quality of life of cancer patients through food, I can’t think of much else I’d rather do.
  • Further along the food chain comes another issue that’s been near and dear to my heart: food allergies. I’ve had a few myself that seem to have disappeared over time, but my 4-year old has been suffering from food allergies since birth (Jackson is allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts).  Hopefully he will outgrow some, if not all of his allergies, but needless to say he’s kept us pretty busy with reading labels and menus and having confrontations with childcare workers (ugh).  Luckily, we’ve never had to use the epi-pen that we keep with us at all times, but we’ve had to break out the benadryl more times than I care to remember.  I thought that by watching my diet during my pregnancy with Liam, breastfeeding him exclusively and delaying solid foods until 6 months (and some longer, I know), I would be able to save him from a life of being the kid who couldn’t eat birthday cake and goldfish crackers.  Unfortunately, several triggers have appeared in the past few weeks, and the diagnosis has confirmed that my two boys will be food allergy buddies with the exception of dairy (Jax is allergic, Liam is not) and wheat (just Liam).  I confess, a wheat allergy has been my WORST nightmare.  I will refrain from bitching about it, though.  It is what it is.  What is also is, is FUCKING EXPENSIVE.  $6.99 for a minuscule loaf of wheat-free loaf of bread?! Puh-lease! But I said I wouldn’t bitch, and I won’t, because all of these diet-related maladies have lead me to pursue a career in Nutritional Science…
  • If I am accepted, I’m expecting to be, I will begin my studies toward a degree as a Dietary Technician in the Fall.  It’s an Associates Degree program, but the only one in the state certified by the American Dietetic Association.  If I love it, I’ll keep on keepin’ on and one day become a Registered Dietician (or Nutritionist, if you will).  I’m happy about this path.  I’ve toyed with enrolling in culinary school for about a decade now, but I never wanted to work in a restaurant.  I couldn’t see the point of investing all of that time, money and energy into culinary school if I wasn’t willing to spend time at the bottom rung of the ladder, getting dirty and sweaty in some restaurant’s kitchen or catering hall.  I will always have a deep passion for fine dining, and even not-so-fine dining.  I’ll always be a foodie…but someday I’ll just be helping people live better in terms of food.  Rather than simply placing “good eats” in front of them, I’ll be able to help them.  How cool is that?  Very cool, I think! Don’t get me wrong, I will still put butter in my mashed potatoes and still churn out hundreds of Christmas cookies every year. And then there’s bacon (Say it with me: Mmmm… bacon…) But woo hoo I finally have a PLAN!  I am 75% Type A, I need a plan.  I’m psyched, really.
  • My third and final session of my back tattoo will be completed on June 4th.  Hooray!

So that’s what’s happening.  Bullet points are supposed to be succinct, aren’t they?  Oh well.  Thanks for reading!

I have a boatload of things going on in my life right now and I am really praying for time, energy and motivation to get them all blogged-about. My grammar is SO bad today. I’m sorry. Fuck it. I have a four-year old chattering in my ear and slamming doors, and repeating himself, and I really should keep a close eye on my 9-month old who is skittering around on the floor but all I really want to do is astral project myself to a tropical oasis with that hot Orthopedist I met today, an ice cold caipirinha and a fabulously trashy novel. Erm, um… leave off that last part (it doesn’t have to be trashy).

I did want to throw this quote up here in the meantime. Despite the madness (and it IS madness), my babies are my life and my every breath and I love them more than all of the hot doctors put together in one big room all armed with various different tequila-laden cold beverages and brand new prescription pads…

I doubt if anyone of any tenderness or imagination can see the hand of a child and not be a little frightened of it. It is awful to think of the essential human energy moving so tiny a thing; it is like imagining that human nature could live in the wing of a butterfly or the leaf of a tree. When we look upon lives so human and yet so small, we feel the same kind of obligation to these creatures that God might feel. – G.K. Chesterton

Thank you for being alive, Jackson and Liam. Mommy loves you, even though you drive her to the brink of insanity.

My departure from Corporate America to raise my children was the best decision I’ve ever made.  Granted this job is WAY harder and the vacation/sick day policy sucks, but moments like these make it all worthwhile.  I love my boys more than anything.  Literally… anything!  They are my life and I thank God for their health and happiness every day.  OK, someone call the schmaltz police!

My Nana is dying.  My other mother.  She is 97 years old and has had one heck of a life, but God how this hurts… she would not want me to cry for her.  She is so strong.  Lord, you are getting one incredible woman in Your kingdom… I just wish I could give her one last hug and kiss, and remind her that I will make her apple pie recipe every single Thanksgiving for the rest of my life.  I love you, Nana Banana.

**Update! The winning ink is actually a combination of the first and second place winners.  I’m getting a phoenix with a string of wildflowers in its beak, for my Nana who loved her flower gardens.  A four-leafed clover will be drawn into the flowers for my Mom.  I go for session 1 (the outline) on Feb. 23. PSYCHED!!  Thanks to all who voted!**

My darling husband has offered to purchase my next tattoo as a gift for my upcoming birthday.  Since I have several ideas bumping around at once, I’m using a lifelife and asking the audience.

Idea #1: Something to commemorate my children, possibly just their names in fancy font. Alone or with symbols/animal representations of their zodiac signs (Scorpion and Lion, would have to search online for sample pics). Potential problem here could be if I have a third child… would have to allow for expansion!  Location would be around my right calf, where a piece of flash already exists (hoping I can cover that up or incorporate it into the new design).  Willing to compromise, as I really would love to have my boys’ names done.

Idea #2: A phoenix. I’ve wanted this tattoo for years now. A colorful, fantasy-like phoenix on my left calf, with long tailfeathers snaking around my ankle down onto the top of my foot. I love the symbolism of the phoenix; since I’ve been through my share of tragedy and crisis, it would be very poignant. Pitfalls… this might be the most expensive given the size and amount of color.

Idea #3: Something to commemorate my mother, since she’s ill at the moment… and I’ve always wanted a way to show her and my grandmother how much I love them.  My mom has a thing for four-leafed clovers, and both she and my Nana love birds and flowers. My Nana’s house had a gorgeous clematis vine that grew long and lush around her front door, in deep purple blossoms.  I could see something like that climbing around my leg.  Problem is, this idea and the phoenix idea are using the same piece of real estate on my body.  And I kinda want to get just a four-leafed clover on my chest in the same spot where my mom’s port is that is used for her chemo treatments.  I think maybe I’m too close too this issue at the moment.  Hmm…

Idea #4: The dragon from the inside cover of Stephen King’s The Eyes of the Dragon novel.  This book was possibly my first favorite “grown-up” book (graduated from Judy Blume to Stephen King, so I read this a looooong time ago).  I always have and always will be attached to the mystical side of my imagination. I believe in faeries and woodland sprites and tree dryads and all of the other endless array of probably made-up-stuff that I hope will be real when I get to Heaven.  Anyhoo, this dragon is my favorite and he’d go on my right shoulder, slightly casading down to my upper arm. I’d need a good artist to elaborate on what already exists in the sample drawing:  Click here for a sample image

So what do you guys think?  More importantly, anyone know super talented tattoo artists in the Charlotte or Asheville, NC areas?

Vote now, and thanks!

Dear Lord, thank you for my two sons. Without them, I would not be able to handle my mother’s illness.  While having children makes this battle more difficult in some respects, they remain the one thing that can evoke a true joyful response in my heart these days.

I will be 32 years old in February, and every Christmas up until now has always involved my mother’s traditions.  Normally around this hour I would be preparing to go to her house for appetizers, gifts and then dinner.  Now I am preparing to visit her in the hospital.  Instead of showering and putting on my favorite perfume, I am washing my laundry in unscented detergent and making sure I don’t bring any aromas with me that might trigger her to be sick again. Please, doctors, please find something to help my Mom and the thousands of other people affected by cancer.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

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