The Week I Couldn't Win

At some point in time I think you just learn that you can’t control everything. For me this become apparent after having Jack but really became something I couldn’t ignore after having Joey. I tried my best to keep on top of schedules and daily things and some days that worked great. Others, not so much.

Even my best planned days and weeks end up in the shitter every now and then. This past week was no exception.

Monday concluded with the boys and I at the doctor’s office getting a diagnosis of Pertussis. For those of you who have no idea what Pertussis is, it is Whooping Cough. Delightful.

Since my kids weren’t “whooping” just hacking and coughing I wasn’t too worried. I guess because they were vaccinated for Pertussis they had a milder case and no “whoop.” Yay for shots!

I thought the coughs they had been hanging on to had to do with their forever snotty, runny noses. Apparently not. After a couple of prescriptions for a round of antibiotics and a regime of breathing treatments we were on our way. That led us to a sleepless night and dozing to the lull of the nebulizer.

By Wednesday I felt like we had a better handle on things and decided to drag Joey along to Jack’s swim lesson and then to the play area at the Y so I could workout. No sooner is Jack in swim trunks waiting to get in the water and Joey projectile vomits all over the lobby / swim lesson viewing area of the YMCA. This happens to be right in the middle of the evening rush. Fabulous.

I felt horrible for poor Joey who didn’t really even seem to mind the fact that he was covered in puke. I, however, was embarrassed. I was the Mom with the kid who pukes in public. Fantastic.

I could tell I was not going to win this week.

Thankfully after only one additional round of vomit, Joey was recovered. He was still awake all night begging for chocolate milk. I am not sure how you explain to a two year old the fact that they just heaved all over at the YMCA equals no chance in hell of having any sort of dairy product, especially not chocolate milk. This debate went on all night long.

From Thursday on I have been living in fear of the flu. It is one of those things you are just certain will strike another one within the family at any moment. I have asked Jack if his tummy hurts approximately 3,489 times per day, since Wednesday.

Needless to say he thinks I am a complete whack job. He is totally right.

Things got a little better (minus the sleep since Joey thinks sleeping with us while KICKING US ALL NIGHT LONG is comfortable) and we did the Y Halloween Party (yes, I showed my face there again and even brought my puke-monster with me. Only one family recognized us and looked at us with horror written all over their faces before quickly scurrying the other way.)

We make it through the end of the week and yesterday morning I am just getting out of the shower and simultaneously shagging the boys in to the tub and the phone rings. It was my neighbor calling to tell me the banging at my door was the police. They are in my front yard and they have my dog, Zoe.

I am so confused since I never heard any banging while in the shower and Jason apparently never heard any banging with the music blaring upstairs while he was painting.

Now, for those of you that don’t know my dog is a Rottweiler. She is also as loved by my family as if she were a kid. She is the sweetest, most well behaved dog I have ever known. She is always good, not only to us, but to strangers and children and other animals. She wins the best dog ever award. Hands down.

So, back to the police. I throw open the front door and run out on the porch to be greeted by two cops and my dog in the front yard.

I am in my bathrobe with a towel on my head. Another quick reminder that I have no control of what occurs around me. My life owns me.

I realize I am only wearing my bathrobe after I am out on to the porch and the police officers are looking at me strangely and laughing at me. I know, the jokes on me.

They inform me that someone called them because my dog was out. I was so confused because although she was out, she has never left our yard. We have a fenced back yard but rarely have the gate closed because she doesn’t leave. Truthfully, she is 10 years old and has a bad leg so we are lucky she walks from the house to the backyard to pee.

Again, I am confused. I ask where they found her and they said she was lying in my driveway. I ask if she scared someone (she is big and can look scary, I get that) and they said she didn’t bark, growl or even get up. She was just out.

It is at this point in the conversation, that is occurring while I am STILL outside on my front porch in my bathrobe, a short bath robe mind you, with a towel on my head, that one of the cops sits down in the yard and begins loving on my dog who is so, so happy to get the attention.

One of the cops just lost his Rottie a year ago and the other tells me she has never met such a sweet dog…and on and on they go. Never mind the fact that I am in my bathrobe on a busy street! Let’s talk all day!

They were extremely friendly and needless to say left without any problems after meeting Zoe. They even apologized for dragging me out in my robe.

Hanging out half-naked on the porch with the police and my Rottweiler is always a nice way to start a Sunday morning.

I am still frustrated that someone called the police on me because my dog was sleeping in my driveway on my property. People judge us because of the breed of dog we have. They assume she is a baby-eating attack dog. I assume they are ignorant assholes. 

The final score for the week, in case you lost count was:
Week = Too many to count.  Me = Zero.

Trying for a win this week.

12 Years

He was one of those guys I was instantly drawn to. His size was something you couldn’t miss but his smile was even bigger and more noticeable. I knew who he was. I was aware that he lived in the same apartment building as I did and I knew the group of guys he hung out with. He was a football player and that posse of guys were infamous around campus.

Although we had seen each other plenty of times and even had breakfast together with our mutual group of friends, we hadn’t really talked.

Until that one night, with the most unforgettable conversation that quickly turned into the most memorable evening that completely changed my life.

He was like so many other guys I knew, the perfect friend. I have so many guy friends who I love to pieces. I thought he fit into this category of boys in my life just perfectly. He was sweet, funny and caring and so. much. fun. He was the best to hang out with. It didn’t matter if it was late nights out at the bars or just hanging out watching movies, sober or wasted, he was always fun.

From that one memorable (and drunken) night on, we were friends. Great friends. We spent most days and nights together. Doing nothing and everything. We laughed, teased and fought. If arguing was a sport we were the champions. No one could get me as angry as he could. We were either loving each other or hating each other. It was all or nothing with us.

I remember not long after he graduated he told me he would be moving home. The day I had dreaded came and I had to say goodbye to him. I was incredibly sad and kept asking myself why I cared so much that he was leaving. Yes, he was a great friend and yes, we had so much fun together but that didn’t seem to be enough of an answer for why my stomach was turning and my heart was pounding. I made the goodbye fast – a big hug and a “let’s talk soon” was all I could manage before running out the door in tears.

It wasn’t long before he called and then before I knew it he was back. He was going to be around for the summer while he played Arena Football. We vowed to have the best summer ever. We kept our promise.

That summer went so fast and once again it was time for him to head back home. I remember thinking I let him go once and was lucky enough to get him back. How could I let him go again? I came clean that I didn’t want to see him go. I just wanted him to stay, forever. He promised we would talk and that he would be back.

It took us a while to get to the point where we even discussed dating. Our friendship was great, the best, what if we dated and it didn’t work out. Then what? I was in no way prepared to lose my friend. I also knew in my heart that this boy who I called just a friend meant so much more to me but I was too scared to even consider us as a “we.”

I remember the phone conversation lasting so late into the evening and we went back and forth discussing whether or not we would work. There was a list of pro’s and con’s and at the end of the list I don’t think either one of us was convinced one way or another. I still remember him telling me we should just do it. Give it a try, hope for the best. I agreed.

I hung up the phone in the early morning hours feeling excited, nervous and like I might throw up. I would see him soon and we would see. I fell asleep that night praying we would work and that he wouldn’t be a bad kisser because everyone knows bad kissing ruins everything.

The following week, on Sweetest Day as I sat in the bar with friends, he walked in. He came over to me offering a hug and a pair of Dave Matthews Band tickets for us. I took him home with me that night and he has never left since.

We have been together twelve years this week and married for six of them. I thank God everyday that we were brave enough to give us a chance and that I was lucky enough to marry my friend.

Happy Sweetest Day, love.

Little White Crosses

I believe in rights. I believe in the people who fight everyday for this countries rights, my rights.

I believe in equality for all people, of all races. I believe people have the right to love and marry whoever they choose. Gay or straight.

I believe in choice. I love that I get to choose to vote for who I believe are the best people to fight for my rights as an American.

I believe in God and Christianity, but also believe there are other Gods and religions that people believe in. I respect their choices.

I am pro-choice. I believe in a woman's right to choose what she does or doesn't do to her body.

I believe in God and a woman's right for abortion. I don't think these two things contradict one another.

I pass a church on my way to work everyday. This week there are a ton of little white crosses filling the front lawn with a sign saying "Choose Life". Every time I pass this church I get the urge to drive my car onto the lawn and mow every single one of those little crosses down.

Each day I think, How dare they? How dare they make people feel bad about decisions that are theirs to make. Choices that are often excruciating and heart-breaking to make. How dare they judge? They are a church. People of God. Aren't they supposed to accept people, love people, support people? Shame on them.

When I was in college I had the privilege to have dinner with Sarah Weddington. Sarah was one of the two attorneys that fought for "Jane Roe" in the Roe v. Wade case. She was at my university to speak and she was a lovely woman. We talked at great length about why she and Linda Coffee fought for women's rights and what it meant to her. How she was proud that she gave women the right to decide what was best for their bodies and for their lives. I was honored to get to talk with her and share a meal. I believe in what she fought for.

I have never had an abortion and I don't think anyone who has never been in a position where they needed to consider it can say, one way or another, what they would do until the situation presented itself. I have children that I adore. I had them with a man I love when I was ready to care for them and I could care for myself. This is not always the case. There are plenty of women, even young girls, who have to make this decision every day. I don't think anyone makes it without thinking twice. It is a life-changing decision in the same way having a baby is. Neither of which you should enter into lightly.

I believe that good people get abortions. Women just like me. I respect their choice, because it is theirs to make. I pray there is never a day when I as a woman don't get to make my own choices about my body.

I will continue to resist the urge to mow down the little white crosses, but I will always stay true to what I believe in. That church's display doesn't guilt trip me into believing anything different. Instead of making me want to join in on their congregation, I want the exact opposite. I want nothing to do with that church all because of the little white crosses. Shame on them.


I know it isn’t always going to be easy. Or fair. I know there will be times, sometimes only a day and sometimes more, that I will feel like I can’t get it right. When I will feel like everything I am doing, every decision I make, is wrong.

It would be great if I didn’t feel so alone when these times hit. When they cover me like a blanket and I feel like suffocating is imminent.

If I didn’t feel like it was all my fault.  Like it was solely my responsibility to figure it all out and fix it all up.

I would love to feel like you always had my back and no problem big or small would be too much for us to solve. Because we could do anything as long as we were doing it together.

I wish I didn’t feel like I had no control. None over you or them or us, as we just slip and slide down the hill, praying when we land at the bottom we are still us. All together. Okay.

Sometimes I wish I could just talk it out and between you & I we would find the answers.  I hope that they would be good answers that actually would work in real life, our life.

I just wish it wasn’t so hard.

As much as I know all of that and wish it were sometimes different, I am certain of this; I would not want to go through these hard times with anyone but you and them. I would rather fight with you for them, for us, than for anything else in this world.

I would like to fight through these times with more patience, support and love. I want to trudge through them with less blame and hurt. I wish we didn’t keep score, but because we are human we do. We both want to win and in turn we both end up losing sometimes.

I will continue to work through the stormy times, when I am uncertain of what I am doing and if it is right or wrong, and hope one day it will be easier and I will feel like I got it right. That we got it right.

Mostly, though, I just wish it wasn’t so hard.


I am in a funk this week. You know the kind where you wish you could stay in jammie pants in bed, hiding under the covers watching bad Lifetime movies and occasionally eating ice cream right out of the container.  Ice cream just tastes better that way and you can actually dig for the chunks you want to eat (example: chunks of Oreo cookie) and you can’t do that when you scoop it into a bowl. Plus, then you also have dirty dishes, which is a negative no matter how you look at it.

Anyway, back to my point, and yes I had one. It has been a yucky, long week.

We got home on Sunday night from my sister’s wedding and the boys were sick. Not sick like dying sick, just miserable, snot-faced, whiners sick. They were needy and wiping their snotty noses on every surface imaginable in the house. It was unpleasant.

We were all tired and they were sick so we got not nearly enough sleep. Have I mentioned how I feel about sleep? I could do it full-time, like a job only it would be better since there would be less work and more sleep. I really, really love it.

Then Jason left to go out of town for work on Monday and wasn’t coming home until Thursday. That left me with work, sick kids and little sleep. It just keeps getting better.

I got home from work on Monday and our super-nanny was looking not so happy. Turns out my kids were complete ass faces all day and she wanted to kill them. I offered her Vodka, apologized over and over (all the while praying to God and whoever else might listen that she didn’t quit) and told her I would handle them and to go home. Clearly by the look on her face it had been a long. bad. day.

After she left, I told the boys they were not allowed to watch cartoons all night due to their horrible behavior. They flipped out, of course. I might as well have banged my head into the wall at that very moment. Because, well, DUH. Them not watching cartoons is a punishment for them, yes, but also a huge punishment for me. I was not thinking about this and completely screwed myself. Next time their punishment will be to clean the bathtub. That would have been in my best interest.

They were in rare form all night and since there was no TV to distract them (or me) they kept running through my house screaming and tackling each other. Then one would get hurt and then there was crying, which led to more whining and snot. I came to the conclusion they were very tired, and still sick, so they were medicated and in bed by 7pm. I know this seems early but Monday Night Football was on and I was not missing the Bears game for whiny kids and their usual bedtime is between 7:30 – 8 so this wasn’t actually that early.

Tuesday proved to be slightly better during the day, and yes, the super-nanny did show up on Tuesday morning (thanks be to God for that answered prayer.) It was Tuesday night when I decided to take the boys grocery shopping after work, but before dinner, that might have been a not-so-smart idea. Who does that? What kind of a mom thinks taking their kids to the grocery store is ever a good idea? Let me state for the record, it is a BAD idea. Grocery stores kind of suck on their own and they do not get less sucky when you add a snotty 4yr old & 2yr old to the mix.

Overall, they were not that bad in the store. Unless of course you count Jack asking me to buy everything he saw. You know your kid is spoiled when they are begging you to buy a can of tomato paste because they really like the picture on the can and they really want to get sooomethinnngg. Lord help me the whining was world class.

We left the store with a cart full of groceries, arms full of silly bands and I was exhausted. Needless to say after all that, and due to my lack of culinary skills, I made Ramen Noodles and Crescent Rolls for dinner. Yes, I am a mom who feeds my kids Ramen Noodles. Go ahead, judge me if you want to.

Wednesday wasn’t too eventful and the kids were feeling a little better. Joey pretty much slept with me the entire week, with his snotty-nosed snoring in the background. He also enjoys sleeping right next to me and he occasionally rubs my cheek and strokes my hair. I don’t like being touched when I am sleeping. It feels like I have bugs crawling on my face and in my hair. This ruins my sleep and I think we have already covered how much I love sleep. The child has a perfectly comfortable bed. Why he must sleep in mine, I have no idea.

When Thursday arrived, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Jason was coming home! Then I walked downstairs in the morning and Joey proceeded to stand in front of me and pee his pajamas right there in the living room. Nothing like cleaning up a puddle of piss and urine soaked child before 7:30am. Have I mentioned how special my sweet Joey is? He flips me off when I’m not looking I know it.

Thankfully Jay made it home safely and the boys were thrilled to see him. I got home from work just in time to change and run Joey to swim lessons. There are few things Joey likes as much as he likes swimming right now. He loves the water, is jumping in on his own and is really starting to get the basic skills of actual swimming (kicking and “scooping”) down and it is only a 30 minute class so he can stay focused that long.

The bad thing about swimming is that I have to get in the pool with him. Once I am in, it is usually not that bad. It is the making sure my legs and lady parts are groomed properly and the whole shove my large ass into the swimsuit part that sucks. Well that and the cold water.

So last night we are swimming away having a grand ole time when I hear the instructor on the pool deck announce, “Everyone out of the pool.” I turn around to look at the clock since I was sure it hadn’t be 30 minutes yet since I could still feel my nipples (don’t ask I have cold nipple issues) and that is when I see one of the kids in the class being quickly hoisted out of the pool by her Dad.

“What’s the matter?” I ask. The instructor’s reply is, “She threw up and there are chunks in the pool.”

Lovely. Just how like to spend my Thursday night, swimming with puke chunks.

That was when we all scurried out of the water and the swimming teachers started what I could only assume was the checklist of HAZMAT procedures that must be followed when there is chunky puke in the pool. One grabbed the skimmer and began fishing the chunks out of the water. Yes, yes you did read that right; there was puke-skimming occurring. That is so wrong on so many levels. The other teacher grabbed the necessary chemicals and hoses needed to kill all the puke-germs and then pump the water through the filter.

Let me mention the thing I hate worse, way worse, than not enough sleep is puke. I do not do vomit. I am a totally wuss and will actually cry real tears if faced with a pukey situation. It causes me great anxiety and panic attacks. I know I have kids. I know I should be able to deal with this, but I cannot, do not, WILL NOT!

Also, being in the pool where the poor kid (and I felt horrible for this sweet little girl) vomited was not a good time for me. Thankfully Joey and I headed straight to the shower. He didn’t seem to mind the puke and proceeded to tell Jason all about how “chunks were puked in the pool.” SO. GROSS.

I am hoping for a better day today but since it started at 4:30am with boot camp, after which I weighed myself to learn I have actually gained ANOTHER pound, things aren’t looking good. I love busting my ass at the crack of dawn only to gain weight. Starving myself has got to be easier.

**FOOT NOTE: This week wasn’t all bad. The Bears did beat the Packers on Monday night. BEST. WIN. EVER. Go Bears!