Saturday, December 31, 2011

Aleisha and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.

I have this book, its been one of my favorites since childhood. Alexander and the terrible horrible no good, very bad day.  I had every line of the book memorized so much that I recited it and acted it out for my high school Forensics and Debate team back when I actually didn't mind public speaking. I won a lot of awards with this book.

I mention this book, because this pretty much sums up my year, although in all honesty I guess the name could be changed to Aleisha and the terrible, horrible no good, very bad year.  Because lets face it when it comes to sucky years, mine pretty much ranks right up there.

Perhaps my first clue should have been that 11 hour car ride home back at the end of January, when a sudden snowfall hit the DC area so suddenly that it caused mad hysteria. Every agency, school system and uncle Joe closed up everything. I am pretty sure my husband and I never thought we would get home that evening. At least not without getting stuck somewhere, running out of gas or having to spend the night at a local Motel 8. OK so maybe not a Motel 8 but still....

Somehow we thought this would be the worst of the ordeals for the year. Except, two days later I found myself in the ER, the first of four times this year, with cramps so bad they were worse than the contractions I had during labor. I swear I started doing the whole Lamaze breathing technique in order to at least get by. Little did I know this would be my ultimate tackle for the year. My colon, which had never failed me before seemed to all of a sudden be tying itself into a knot. An Emergency surgery and a week and a half later I emerged from the hospital without 17 inches of my colon, 15 Ibs lighter and no appendix. 

Maybe I should move to Australia. 

By March I was back to myself, and Andy and I were able to enjoy some time in Disney, a much needed break from the horrible few weeks of pain I had just dealt with. Until the day we got back. and the pain that I felt in January suddenly returned. Except this time, I was getting sick along with the pain, and losing most of everything I had in my system.

Round two of surgeries, to repair a twist that the first surgery didn't catch.  Another week in the hospital found me not losing anything more except some extra pounds, making both my parents and my husband not to pleased. After all I was now several pounds under 100...I promised I would gain some of it back and that this would be done and over with. As for if this would ever happen again, there would be no guarantee, though the likelihood of it was slim to none.

Australia is sounding nice.

By May things looked up, I turned 31, I celebrated my fifth year wedding anniversary and I attended one of my best friends wedding where I was a bridesmaid. The surgeries seemed to be fading in the background. Andy and I began talking about things, taking a trip to Europe to see Andys brother and sister in law, we began to talk about another baby. Which we weren't planning on any time soon but at least talking about. Yes things were beginning to look a lot brighter.

We went on vacation,  as a family. And it was blissful.

Until August, when my stomach began to explode, and expand. Most of the times at night, but it soon became during the day as well.  It started off small but soon it looked like I was six months pregnant and while the thought was thrilling, it got old. Especially being asked every so often if I was. How much we would have liked it but no. And with my expanding stomach it was another round to the doctors, where it was discovered I had a hernia, which needed to be repaired. Meaning yet another surgery, though thankfully this time not an emergency and it could wait.

I think I will move to Australia.

I returned to school after taking the past semester off with the surgeries. I continued to work, to attend hockey games and life went on uninterrupted. Friends were annoucing babies and pregnancies, and I admit I was getting the baby itch once again. As much as I was thrilled for them, a part of me didn't want to have to wait til after the hernia surgery. Sad as this sounded. I always said I would be happy with distance between the two, but I am so in love with my son, maybe starting to think about another one wasn't so horrible after all.

By the end of November I had set up my surgery for the hernia as outpatient at the end of December, after finals and after the holidays. I enjoyed Thanksgiving with the family and started getting into the holiday spirits while dealing with the hardest semester at Mason yet. Dealing with annoying classmates and thousands of papers.  And I was just about to be done with everything. With the semester, with the hernia. With the year...

When the pain returned. And once again I found myself being dragged to the ER, not only was I dealing with the hernia, but my colon was twisting. AGAIN.

I think I'll move to Australia.

They performed a  temporary procedure to last til the end of December where I had all but a quarter of my colon taken out, as well as my hernia repaired. The promise neither will ever bother me again.

And so I end 2011 much as I started, just leaving the hospital.

I suppose there are years like this. 

Even in Australia.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Five-12/30-Closing Time.

 Happy Friday! And the last Friday of the year. I write this from my hospital bed, and while you may call me crazy for doing this, I find its keeping my mind of things. Like food. Which I haven't had any real food since Sunday so thinking about it hurts. Anyways you didn't come for that. So without further delay here is this weeks installment.

Topic: Closing time.

What business establishment’s recent closing was the most disappointing for you? 

My in-laws share in day-care responsibilities with my mom. Every so often we will meet up with them for dinner. Usually its one of two places, either Big Bowl, or Ruby Tuesdays, since they like salads and Ruby's was great for it. The past time we decided to meet at our local Ruby's which is about five minutes away from where the hubs and I live. We rounded the corner and pulled into the parking lot only to discover that the Ruby's that had been there over the weekend suddenly up and closed. For some reason even if it isn't my favorite place to eat, it was disappointing non the less.
At what place of business or service are you most likely to be the day’s last customer out the door?

Probably my work's little cafe. They close at three, and I usually go down sometime right before to grab one last cup of caffeine to get me through the rest of the work day. I know on more than one occasion I have barely squeaked in and been their last customer from time to time.  Thankfully I have not been turned down yet and they always find time and change to spare.

What place of business or service seems to be closed at times inconvenient to you?

The bank, but I am guessing a lot of people say this. Having such a long commute means getting out the door super early, and getting home super late. And the bank never seems to be opened when we can get to them. Thankfully a lot has changed over the years, including online banking and drop offs meaning I don't necessarily need them to be open all the time still being opened would be nice.

Where in the real world (not online) will you most likely spend your last 2011 money?

The hospital. Yep they are going to be receiving the last of my money here...aren't they lucky?? I would say I am but we will just stick with them, since they are going to be the ones benefiting from my pain.

What business or service has been the biggest blessing to you because it is always open?

Our local Wal-Mart which has just decided to start opening twenty-four hours a day. I can already see this as a huge deal since as a mom of a toddler, one doesn't predict when the toddler will get sick and you just never know what is in store. Not only that but its a great middle of the night bored out of the mind shopping spree time.

And there you have it, the last of my Friday Fives for the year. May you have a great New Years celebration and I will see you all next week!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 3

Day three. Recovery is going slow and steady. They decided to allow me liquids today after pretty much four days of nothing. It is terrible but something is better than nothing I suppose. They say once I pass gas and am able to fully use the restroom they will increase my diet, giving me all the more reason to do so. Of course that being said this does not make my system wake up any faster as much as I wish it would.

I am amazed and touched by the people that seem to care so much. And no I am just not talking about the nursing staff but friends and family. Its always interesting to see just who comes calling. Just this morning I received a phone call from a friend who I haven't spoken to in years. She moved to NM, and heard about my issues, thanks in part to Facebook. She called around to every hospital in the area until she found the right one. The thought of her doing that just touched me so deeply. At the same time I have friends in the area who I have not heard one peep from. And while I don't expect to hear from anybody, when these are some of my best friends, it would be kind of nice to hear at least something from them.

Boredom has begun to sink in, though I do try to keep myself busy. I have plenty of things to read and do, but find the lack of energy at times to do any of it and so I end up staring at the TV for the better part of the day, and since the Soaps I used to watch are no longer on, its a lot of news. I am sure both my mom and my husband are so thrilled with this.

Still no word on when I am getting out, the doctors seem to think maybe New Years. But nothing has been written in stone as much as I would like. Right now its just day by day. Which is probably something I am going to have to get used to.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Surgery day

And so today is the day. I knew eventually would. Of course what I didn't expect is getting that phone call in the morning to let me know that they had moved up my surgery from one thirty to eleven.

Andy and I found ourselves running around the house making sure we grabbed as much as we could to pack and stuff in my overnight bag.

We made it down here checked in and waited. Which seems to be a common them whenever you land yourself in the hospital....though at least this time while waiting it wasn't exactly midnight which meant waiting wasn't so nearly as bad and there was something on other than the local news. Its funny what one thinks about while waiting for major surgery. Most of which I can't remember but I know I was thinking a lot about stuff in general.

I am told it went well, though I am still exhausted and I find myself coming in and out of it. My pain is at times unbearable, even far worse than child labor.   I sat up here in an empty room for two hours before I finally called Andy where they had been sitting down waiting for official word that I was up here.

The good news, if there is such at the moment is the fact that unlike the two previous times I did not wake up to a tube in my nose, a blessing beyond anything at the moment.  Though I feel like I am going to throw-up more than  I did the last go round.

And while I still have enough energy I am closing this up. Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas morning. Or rather afternoon now. It has been a very merry little Christmas around the house. Santa came and visited little man bringing with him everything a nearly three year old could as for including the batman cave he so much desired. 

This was a special Christmas, since I am expected at the hospital Tuesday morning. Because of this, I have been trying to enjoy these past few days as much as I can, including eating myself silly since I know that come tomorrow, I pretty much won't be eating for the next week.

And as for Andy and I? How did we make out from 'Santa?'

I somehow was able to pull off my surprise of two tickets to the season closing against the Rangers up in New York, along with two nights at a nearby hotel. And I received a pandora bracelet. Something I totally didn't expect but was very happy to receive.  After all the presents were unwrapped and Santa celebrated another successful year we loaded the three of us into the car and headed to IHOP for Christmas breakfast.

I feel a new tradition coming on.

We are expected to head over to my parents in a couple of hours for Christmas dinner at their house, where we will also be celebrating Burgandys engagement to Jamie after nearly 11 years of dating.

Pictures will come within the next day or two as I try to enjoy the next two days before heading into surgery on Tuesday.

So from my house to yours, may you have a very merry holiday!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Five-12/23-Year in Review

Time for another round of Friday's Five question. This weeks theme is 2011 in review. May you have a lovely holiday weekend!

In 2011, what did you do far too many times?

Visit the hospital, 2011 found me being in the hospital a total of four times. I would like to think this is only a once in a lifetime thing, since I really don't get much enjoyment out of it. Here is hoping that 2012 finds me surgery free!!!

In 2011, what did you rediscover?

My love of writing. I go through years where I write, and write and write. And years when its nothing. I picked it up big time in 2011, though I would like to be a lot farther a long than I am, its always a work in progress and something I hope one of these days to complete. But for now I rediscovered how much joy it brings to my life.

What 2011 event will you still be paying for in 2012?

As previously stated, with four stints in the hospital, I am pretty sure those bills will still be in the process of being paid off come the new year. None of which are on the cheap side. But in the end I hope it will be worth it.

In what unexpected place did you find a friend in 2011?

The workplace. I am usually a loner, but found a friend this year in the workplace. Just kind of shocked about the whole thing.  Not that we are the sort of friends that will hang out and do lunch every day together. But its been nice to have another female in the office, since I work with a lot of older males. Lets just hope it will continue into the new year...

As 2011 comes to a close, what in your life is trending upward toward a much better 2012?

After years of school, I finally reached senior status. Which means there just may be a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the whole school thing. Still have many classes and semesters to go, but it feels pretty good just to see SENIOR plastered across my transcript. I just hope 2012 will see me continuing my education.

Questions thank to. the friday five

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The holiday party.

The holiday office party. Who doesn't enjoy one?  Good times, good laughs, on occasion good food, though recent cutbacks, probably not. And if nothing more having one, pretty much solidifies the fact you won't be getting anything done for the entire day. And hey its alright, because you know what? Neither will anyone else in the company.

Yes everyone looks forward to the office party.

That is unless you just happen to be a total introvert. Who pretty  much wants nothing to do with mixing and mingling and all that joyful stuff that is required during such festive gatherings.

Like me.

Its not that I am trying to be all anti-social about things. And its not that I don't like people.  Because when it comes down to things, I actually do like holding a conversation with one person. Its just around more than one? Around a lot of people well I feel. Awkward, uneasy,  and just well uncomfortable. I don't know what to talk about, my hands start to get this fidgety thing going on and I begin to search for the nearest door five seconds after I get there. Half the time I don't even bother joining group events because of this. I find ways to mysteriously disappear during the hour. I do work, I 'make' a phone call. I do just about anything to avoid it actually.

And after each event it is inevitable that someone will come up and ask where I had been and why I didn't attend and tell me what I had missed, its like a record that skips. And every year I nod and say maybe next year, knowing that next year will probably end up being a lot like this one.

This year though I did actually join the crowd and headed to the dessert party that was set up. I sat and listened as people talked on and on and on. Once or twice I tried to get into the convo, but was given the 'umm yeah ok' look and so I quickly shut up and went back to staring at the same stain spot on the table cloth. I listened as the two people talked right through me as if I wasn't even there, when it was mentioned that I would be going to England in the spring, the only response was the fact England was supposed to horrible.

Yep. Awesome.
Back to staring at the table cloth. 
Oh look its in the shape of a hidden Mickey.

And as they wrapped things up, I realized I had barely spoken two words for two hours. The lady beside me sat bitching about not getting a damn prize. Because apparently she is pretty pissed when she doesn't win something. I said my goodbyes, not that anyone had really noticed I was there and folded my chair. Smiling at the door prize I held in my hand, The new George Foreman Quesidilla maker.

But my true prize?
Knowing I don't have to deal with the holiday party for an entire year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

End of the semester.

Well I have reached that point in the semester. The point where I just don't care anymore. All I want is for the semester to be over, to not think about cracking open a book or taking another exam. Or in the case of this semester, working on another goup project. At least for another month.

Another words, I really don't give a flying f&!ck.

Yes you heard me I don't. I always think there is something wrong with professors who decide to wait til the week before the holidays to give the finals. As if we don't have enough on our plates during this time of the year they decide to throw this on us as well. I will say I have been lucky, in the past my semesters are done a whole lot sooner than they should be so I probably have no right to complain at all. Still as I am trying to cram the last of the prep time I can get for my presentation tonight I am sitting here thinking something is totally wrong with this. I shouldn't have to be worrying about any of this four days before the holidays.

Maybe I am being a little harsh this year. After all, is not like I am dealing with anything. I have a major surgery to look forward to just two days after Christmas. For the third time. I have things to worry about with that I will be in the hospital. All the good stuff that comes along with it. And I don't necassarily feel like spending a moment of my free time at the moment worrying and dealing with school.

Never the less it will be all done and over with by the time the evening is done.

At least for this semester.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Five-12/16 And the winner is....

Happy Friday! Once again its time for this weeks latest installment of the Friday Five.  After last weekends oh so lovely trip to the ER, heres hoping this weekend is a little less eventful. And now, the winner is....

Topic: Award Season.

What wins your award for Best Supporting Household Appliance?  

Hate to admit it, but the microwave. Probably because it gets way more use than it should. But between my love for soup and popcorn, it comes quite handy. Not to mention making quick on the spot meals for a very active toddler who eats when he wants to.

What wins your award for Outstanding Performance by Something that Comes in a Bottle or Can?

Dr. Pepper. Because no matter how many times I vow I am going to break the caffeine habit, it comes back stronger than ever. It seems as if its hold will forever have its affect on me. Then again ask me if I mind. I am pretty sure I will tell you, nope not a chance.

Who wins your award for Excellence in Poor Timing?

Can this who be something other than a person?  If it is, I would dif have to say my colon/intestines. Which for the past year have given me nothing but trouble. I landed myself in the hospital with emergency surgery two days before my son's second birthday, and spent the entire birthday trying to recover. I had to postpone his party. It later reared its head on vacation in March, and found myself back in the hospital as soon as I returned. And it is still fighting me, I will have to go back in surgery two days after Christmas this year. Can we say awesome?
What wins your award for Wardrobe Newcomer of the Year?

 My Sperrys. Which I got because I needed a pair of loafers. Never in a million years did I think they were going to be as comfy as they actually are. I pretty much could live in them and be happy. Yes I do find them that comfy. And yes I realize they aren't actually all that new, but they are new to me.

What wins your award for Outstanding Achievement in Stealing Time?

Twitter. Seriously. When I first heard of it, I thought what a ridiculous concept that was. And yet two years later I find myself totally addicted to it. I spend hours on end reading peoples thoughts, people I will never even fully know. And I myself spend countless amounts of moments updating and posting my own what am I doing thoughts.  Oh what the world would be like without twitter, I fear we will never have to remember.

(bonus question!) The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences calls its trophy the Oscar. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences calls its trophy the Grammy. What do you call yours?

The Xanders. Which would go to outstanding kids.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Puck the elf...

Puck seeing if the shoe fits!
Meet Puck. Our Elf.

He came into the family about a year ago thanks in part to my mother in law who picked it up for Logan just after Thanksgiving of 10'.  At the time I had barely heard of the concept of Elf on the Shelf, in all honesty I thought it was this new concept. It was cute I guess. I pulled him out of the box, showed it to Logan and let him name the 'newest member' of the family. He appropriately named him Puck. Being the hockey family we are, it fit.

I have a confession. I didn't do much with Puck last year. In fact I don't think we even moved him as we were instructed to. I mean Logan was not even two, I know the whole point was to hide and seek the elf every night. But at one? How much hiding could one really do? Besides while he named him, Puck was quickly abandoned and forgotten about. 

Yes I was a bad elf parent.

Somehow however, Puck didn't seem to be all that upset for he returned to us once more this season, ready to keep an eye on our little man and report back to Santa like a good little elf is supposed to.  And this year, I vowed to move him, to be the good elf parent I was instructed to be and pay him attention and make sure that Logan would follow.
Looks like someone was hungry.

 And so from the get go I laid him out and began moving him a round the house. This was easy, this was simple. I could do this. I mean how hard could it be to hide an elf? Except as I got on Facebook, in early December I began to see that this whole Elf thing, wasn't for a novice. Soon pictures started popping out left and right of friends and their resident elfs. 'Drinking' and dancing. And being naughty. Kids would wake up to find their elves had gotten into candy, or tried on a Barbie shoe. 

Wait a minute??? You mean you actually had to get creative? What happened to this little hide and go seek?  Obviously I was way behind in this whole Elf on the Shelf thing. As the days got closer to the second week of December more and more friends were posting pictures of their Elfs, some of them where far beyond G rating. And as each friend posted  photos of their elf, it occurred to me, who was this really for? It seemed more and more adults where having fun with it over their kids.  As if that wasn't enough, on yahoo that afternoon a whole article devoted to 100 ideas to to do with your Elf on the Shelf. Seriously?? I quickly skimmed through the ideas, which ranged anywhere from creating a bed for your elf, to recreating the North Pole in the freezer for your elf and wondered what kind of person has enough time to come up with this stuff? I barely have enough time to make sure 'Puck' is moved much less trying to make an igloo for him. 

Of course that being said, guess who made sure she 'fed' Puck that night....and guess who woke early the next morning to a 'Mommy, Puck's eating my food!'

OK point taken.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

One step at a time

I told two bosses and one coworker yesterday. It was one of the hardest conversations I have had to do. Which considering the talks with the husband lately, says something.

But it had to be done. And so from behind closed doors I told each one what was going on. I just about cried. I mean what does one exactly say? Sorry but I have to go in for a third time? The two previously didn't work?? Yet what other option did I have but get it out there. There of course where questions, shouldn't I get a second opinion? I told them this pretty much was my twentieth opinion. I had only spoken to four surgeons this past weekend, not including the two I had seen. They all came to the same conclusion. How much time? When? Things I couldn't answer but know I needed to. I tried I really tried. I need them to be prepared.

And yet I smiled and tried to laugh about it. Because I figured if I didn't then I really would start crying. And that isn't exactly an option around the office. Not when the office if filled with a bunch of males, who for the most part don't get a lot of things.  I tried to be strong despite the fact that under it all I am scared and nervous and afraid. And all I really want is a hug and to be told that everything will be fine, and that my life will return to normal.

For the most part they all took it pretty good though. They understood, they said it was more important for me to take care of myself than anything at the moment, and that things will work themselves out. Reports will get done, and meetings will be attended by someone else. I was glad to hear this. They said we will take one thing at a time. I should take one thing at a time. And so instead of trying to worry about the trip in March, for now I should focus on getting through my finals at Mason, then the holidays. The surgery. Recovery. And then when all is said in done, March.

They said they would be willing to work with me....which eased my mind a little more if not for the long haul at least for the time being.

And so that is what I will do. I will focus on trying to get through the final week of the fall semester, and get things taken care of there. I will focus on trying to finish up my shopping and set aside my surgery.

At least for the moment.

I realize the next few weeks may not be your average blog posts, I plan on keeping everyone informed through my blog, and will hopefully blog while I am in the hospital. And until then please bare with me as the nexts few weeks may be difficult, and thought filled....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Round 3

This wasn't supposed to happen. Again.

I was supposed to go Christmas shopping for Logan, followed by a date with my husband. It was to be the first date we had had since the beginning of the hockey season.

It was supposed to just your average normal weekend.

But on Friday night, just as I was sitting down to watch the hockey game I had pains in my stomach. And not just any kind of pains. But those kinds of pains. The same sort of pains that were very reminiscence of January, and later March. My first thought was shit. Here we go again. I mean I was so close. I have my third surgery set for Dec. 28th. To take care of the hernia that they said would fix everything. I would be done. Done. I could go on with my life, think about another kid...I could go to Germany and England and things could get back to normal.

Two weeks and I would be normal.

Another pain shot through me. And I knew I couldn't wait. I called the doctor, figuring I would end up at the hospital. I didn't want to. Still I sat listening to the advice nurse as my son kissed my belly, and told me everything would be fine. And held my hand as I cried. And as I talked to the nurse I cried as he told me the doctor would make everything better, and later told me 'don't cry mommy, don't cry.' Which of course only made me cry harder. This kid is only 2, he isn't supposed to be so understanding, so caring. So loving.

As we figured I found myself at the doctors, and later the ER on Friday night. From the looks of it, that date and the shopping would have to be cancelled. I was in that ER for twelve hours before someone finally decided I needed something done. At first they were talking about going back in and taking even more of the colon out, because apparently unlike most people who are born with 5-6 feet of colon, I was born with about 9. Awesome. But with a surgery already scheduled for two weeks, they wanted to do a colonoscopy to see if would at least hold out. If it didn't work emergency surgery would have to performed.

And so what else could I do, I smiled as I went into surgery, singing 'I want it that way' which has always been my go too song in stressful situations..I hoped this would work, I needed it to work. I had things to do, holidays to enjoy and work that needed to be done. I had a semester to finish out.

It did...for now.

Two weeks and I will have to go back, the minor hernia surgery will now be major surgery.

And everything will start all over again

Though they say this time, it will be for good.
Why am I not getting my hopes up?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Five-12/9: Toppings.

So the first week of December has come and gone. Here's to another dose of your Friday Five.

This weeks topic: Toppings. Enjoy!

Have a fabulous weekend!

1. Whats your favorite ice cream topping?

Well hmm since I am allergic to dairy, I don't get ice cream to often.  Though thankfully a lot of stuff has come on the market that makes it a lot easier to enjoy the product, whether its pills, or soy ice cream etc. But from time to time on occasion however I cheat, and when I do, its Chocolate sauce. Nothing beats a nice coating of thick chocolate, even if the ice cream is already chocolate. Just makes it that much better. There is something about the combo that makes me feel like a kid again....and it makes the whole price I pay for the indulgence that much sweeter!

2. Whats your favorite pizza topping?
The husband and I make our own pizzas, which means we put whatever we want on it. That being said, I am not one of those odd balls that goes off the deep end and has the most unusual things. I stick to things that are pretty normal. My favorite thing is chicken that and green peppers. Yep you get me on that and I am in heaven. Seriously.

3. Whats your favorite thing to sprinkle coco on?

I don't remember the last time I sprinkled coco on anything....literally trying to rack my brain on something but I am coming up with nothing. Obviously my food allergies may have something to do with this....but I am sure its lovely.

4. Whats your favorite thing to put whip creme on?

Pumpkin Pie. I love love love it. And could very well be one of the main reasons I love the holidays so much. The pie alone is amazing, but you get that whip creme on it and I am gone. Again cheat away and I don't really care.

5. What do you to put upon your crackers?

Tuna. I could down an entire box of saltines and tuna-fish.  Sad but true.

Questions brought to you by :Friday Five.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A sisterly kind of birthday round 2

The birthday girl, back in the 70's.
Dear Burgandy-

You turned another year older yesterday. I called and wished you a happy birthday as I always do with each passing year. I wished you a happy birthday, hoped next year would be a great year and added how I hoped you had many many more to come.

And there was silence. It was that sort of awkward silence when I didn't know what more to say. Distance does that to people I suppose. I know there was more I could have said, and I didn't. And so because it was your birthday yesterday. And because I never got around to it. I wanted to tell you everything I should have said. Everything I had thought of after I hung up.

And so without further ado here it goes....

You have always been the star, I stood in your shadows and watched from behind the stages curtains as you danced, sang and acted your way through the years. Back then I am sure I was nothing more than  the annoying little sister with crushes on your high school friends. And yet not once did I feel that way. No, you always brought me backstage, which made me big stuff! And introduced me to Katie, and Jina, and Steve and all the others whose names are escaping me. And you let me attend birthday parties, even though I was only twelve and really had no business hanging out with eighteen year old kids during scavenger never complained once. You will never know just how much that meant to me.

Me and my big sis circa 1982ish
  And just as it was with Hillary, I know it wasn't easy to have a sister with 'special needs' I am sure it wasn't quite the fairytale you dreamed of.  I recall mom telling me the story of how you had informed her how sorry you felt for me at one time.  And she told you never to do that. And for this I am thankful. I truly believe I would not be the same person I am today had it not been for the support and the encouragement of you and mom and dad, back in those early years as a toddler.

Funny thing is, looking back I don't remember you ever complaining about having to put up with me. Or help me out. Or do any of those odd things that sisters usually never have to do for the other. Not once. Instead you were always there. Telling me I could be that astronaut I wanted to be.  And you where there when the kids beside us made fun of me.

And you were there through Spencer.  Totally getting the 'special' friend he was.

I don't think you know, just how much I learned from you. But its true, learned a lot from you dear sis. I watched you date in high school, and all of the guys that broke your heart. And just how strong you came back.  Never letting them keep you down for long. You taught me never to settle for anything less than I deserved when it comes to the love department. You taught me to respect myself, my morals and my life.  I learned going into Georgetown in the middle of the nights when my parents thought I was out at the movies, isn't the smartest idea-thanks for the heads up.-and I learned that sometimes all one really needs is a sister through it all.

Burg in Ruthless summer 11'
This past summer I got to do something I hadn't been able to do in a long time. I sat there in the middle of the theater and watched as you performed in a significant part in front of people, for the first time since you were in college. And I cried. Look at my sister, I was so incredible proud of her. She was brilliant. More than anyone had ever dreamt of. It had been so long, but you hadn't lost that spark you had so long ago been blessed with. It was so awesome to see you up there and I hope that you continue to let your acting bug bite...

I am so thankful I got to see you in that show. Still that little sister watching from now the seats, proud to know that you are up there. Though this time, I promised I didn't ask for one autograph!

Burgandy Christmas 10'
And beyond your talents, your gifts you are an incredible person. An amazing aunt, a creative artist. I see a lot of moms talents in so many aspects of you! The fact you still stick and root for the home team, no matter how much they suck at any given year. Perhaps mom and dad really knew what they were doing when they named you, despite what they say. And despite the fact that we root for two different teams, I would like to think my love of hockey has rubbed off on you, even if it is only slightly, I know the majority of the impact and thanks should go to Scott.

I know life hasn't always happened the way you wanted and thought it would be. Sometimes that is the best thing about life. Before I end this, I want to remind you of some lessons you have taught me over the years.

  • Be true to yourself, love with all your heart.
  • Never say I can't. Because I for one know you can.
  • Never sell yourself short. You are a lot more talented, more beautiful and smarter than you think you are.
  • Don't settle for anything less than you deserve.
  • You are your worst critic. Don't let this stop you from achieving the impossible.
  • Men come and go, but a sister doesn't.
Please don't forget these. I still have a lot to learn....
Love always,
your little sis.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A day in the life of a hockey widow.

As most know by now-and if you didn't well you do now.-my husband works for the Washington Capitals. You have heard me speak of eating, breathing and sleeping hockey. How during the season, our lives, our schedules and everything revolves around whatever the team is doing.

But I figured it was time, to share just what goes on during a normal day. A day in the life of a hockey widow. You would think it would be glamorous, a lot of people including many of friends and family think its absolutely fabulous. And while I agree at times it can be. There is always on the other hand. So for those that may  be curious, here is what the typical day of a hockey widow, and her husband looks like.

Saturday, December 3, 2011:

5:30 am- Logan decides he has had enough sleep and comes crawling into bed with us. As usual he snuggles up to me and I try my best to coax him to lay there. It works for about an hour then its up and out. Andy knowing I have the majority of the on call duties lets me rest while he manages to get lil man, and himself breakfast.

8:30 am- Dressed and ready I make my way down to greet my son and husband. Andy heads up the stairs to iron a shirt and lay out his suit for the evening. Logan and I enjoy a morning of Phineas and Ferb, and whatever home improvement show Andy had been watching previously. When he comes back, he is dressed as well, in his typical weekend-and most work days-attire, Caps. Sometimes I wonder if he owns anything besides shirts that say Caps somewhere on it. We don't do much of anything for the next hour or two, but play it lazy. Andy immediately jumps on his Ipad to get the previous nights score along with twitter and facebook. He seems to be quite content. I contemplate leaving him there.

11:00 am-We finally manage to get Logan dressed and ready to go. He is feisty now, considering he had been up since 5:30 not sure how much longer he is going to make it. I always swear next time, we will get moving a little faster. None the less we manage to get out and moving, I look at the clock, its now almost 11:30. Knowing Andy has to return to change and all before making his way to the arena I try to hurry us along. Time during game days never seems to be as much as you wish it to be.

12:00 pm-Lunch at our favorite hole in the wall restaurant. Yorkshires in Mannassas. During lunch Andy pulls out his phone once more, Logan by this point has crashed on the booths seat. We discuss tonight's game. He swears to me we will win. Just about promises we will. Throughout lunch we get customers coming up and talking to us. By this point most of them know he works for the team a few from time to time have asked about tickets. And getting autographs. Last Christmas a waitress asked if Andy could get an autograph from Ovi for her son who loves him. And no matter how many times we tell them he isn't allowed to do this sort of thing, its inevitable, someone still asks. He is a good sport about it though, and is patient with most of them. Tries to explain he can't even get his own son that sort of thing. As much as he wishes. But its a perk we don't get.  In fact, I paid for Laich's autograph last year at Dulles Mall.

We sit there for an hour, talking and discussing hockey. Most of the time I don't mind. I am as much of a hockey fan as he is these days. But there are times when I wish there was something else people around us would discuss. Even the grocery store knows. Thanks to a proud mom-mine-who likes to inform anyone and everyone...and while its great. We have things we need to get done, and do.

1:30 pm- I dropped my ring off at the jewelers to get re-plated, thanks in part to an allergy I need to get it done every so often. After two weeks of not having it, we finally decide it should be done and go pick it up. The mall is crazy. And we make our way as quickly as we can though the stores, bypassing as best we can the toy store. To an almost 3 yr. old, this is heartbreaking. But we have one thing on our mind. The ring. And time is running out.

2:15 pm-We finally make it home, Andy rushes up the stairs to change, while Logan and I play hockey, and golf on daddys Ipad. I decide the leaves in the front need to get raked, and seeing that the husband has others things on his list to do, I do them myself. Though I leave the bagging to him.-As of Monday, it had yet to get done-

3:00pm-Andy comes down. Looking exceptionally handsome as he always does in a suit. He is rushing out the door. I think back to last season, when he was leaving the house at 1 in the afternoon for the 7 o'clock game, and don't miss them. 3 is early enough, but at least we get to have some time as a family in the early afternoon.  He kisses us goodbye and is off for the day. The next time I see him the game will be over and little man will be out.

5:00pm-Two hours till game time, Logan decides he wants dinner. I make him waffles because I know he will actually eat them. And after two hours of playing golf, and hockey and trains I admit I am exhausted and don't feel like fighting the whole nutrition value of the meal. He is happy enough, and before I know it is back to playing. He asks for Wii, and I try to set it up for him, though the system is giving me trouble. And I do everything in my power including calling Andy to figure it out. I can't. I watch as Logan talks to daddy on the phone, his tears start overflowing and it breaks my heart that I can't get the damn system to work. I replace batteries, unplug and replug and pretty much bend over backwards and nothing works. I curse out the fact I can't get it, that Andy isn't there to get it..I know its unfair to him. He had nothing to do with it. Still he makes it look so easy setting it up.

Leave it to the same little boy to be just as understanding though, as he wipes his tears away. 'I'm not going to cry anymore mommy..its just a game.'  Bringing me back to reality that for one night, it wouldn't hurt him if I was supermom.

6:30pm-Logan is getting sleepy now. He is acting like it. The terrible twos attack him. And I try to be patient and for the most part it works. But with the upcoming surgery and my slight disability, I curse them both for not being able to handle him better. Still I struggle with my one hand to get pjs on the squiggling little boy who keeps saying, mommy your using your good hand. Thats your bad one right?' And then he offers to help out. And together we get him into jammies. He even allows me to snap some quite adorable Christmas pics, and I immediately forget about the struggles with the jammies, and fighting with the wii...and its just me and my little man and Christmas time.

7:00pm-Logan decides he wants to go to his room and watch Meet the Robinsons and so I tuck him in and kiss him good night, and rush down to watch the hockey game. It being 7 I am not sure he will be asleep long, and am expecting him to come back down in a matter of minutes, but he doesn't. I hear the door open and shut twice before it falling silent for the night and as I order myself dinner from a local sub place I settle in, watch the game and enjoy dinner hoping for a Caps win.

If we win I think, the husband will be happy. Maybe I will get lucky. It will be a good night in the household I think. I sit and wait on the edge of my seat for the rest of the night. Inhaling my food and picking up during intermissions.

12:00am-On a good night my husband comes home around 11:30-12. On a bad night even later. Tonight wasn't so bad. On a good night my husband comes home in a good mood and is generally happy with the team performance. On a bad? On a bad its better things aren't discussed. On a good night, we can stay up a little later than we should-especially since tomorrow is Sunday-and go over the game. On a bad. I may as well go to bed on my own and hope I am asleep by the time he is home.

After all, on any given week, we have exactly 48 hours before we repeat the whole process over again.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Five Question Friday 12/2-Brr

Welcome December!
Once again its time for another installment of Aleisha's Five Question Friday.

Topic of the week: Brr

1. What’s your favorite thing about cold weather? 

 Sweaters. Warm inviting sweaters. I love breaking them out for the first time and wrapping myself in them. That and my pea-coat.  A pair of cute gloves, and a knit hat and its awesome. But dif those sweaters.

2.Soups and hot beverages seem to be everyone’s favorite cold-weather culinary combatant, but what’s another food that seems to take the bite out of the cold?

Spaghetti, its always been a cold weather sort of meal for me. A nice hot pot of spaghetti on a cold winters night, what more could a girl ask for?  Especially my moms. But lets face it, nothing beats moms anything. 

3. When the weather is just starting to turn cold but is not yet in full frigidity, what do you add to your bed until it’s time to break out the heavy artillery?  (I said what, not whom!)

A fleece blanket. I think we inherited from my husbands parents before he moved out.  But its always on the bed in the few weeks in between the hot and the cold. Of course this does not help much when the blanket is quickly taken over by the one and only husband. I suppose I should give him a little slack, after all it was his long before it was mine.

4. What household chore seems especially unkind in these colder months?

I need to rake the yard. The leaves have taken over pretty uncontrollably. I tend to put it off way to long, and now that its freezing out, I am dreading it even more. So yeah anything yard work is pretty horrible in that sense. Besides, the leaves will just come back in a day or two. So whats the point?

Among people you know, who seems most oblivious to cold weather?

My husband Andy, who lives for this kind of weather. I could be freezing my booty off and he is as happy as a claim. He welcomes this. Then again, what should I expect from a guy who works at an ice rink all day?

Have a fabulous weekend. Stay warm!

Questions thanks to: FridayFive.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Welcome December.

Ah welcome to that time of year. The holidays. 

Not that it hasn't actually started. After all Thanksgiving is pretty much the official start. But come on this is December. There is something magical that happens once that calendar is flipped to the final page of the year.
One tends to start getting all nostalgic on everyone. Another year is coming to an end, its the same sort of concept that was discussed in yesterdays post.

And once again its looking to be a very busy month. In fact its the one month when I think how the hell am I going to do everything, get everything done and still be able to enjoy the time that I have. I mean five birthdays, a surgery, the holidays, and Christmas shopping which has really yet to be started just all seem to start rolling into one when one thinks about it.

And yet as much as I love the holidays, lately I don't know. I just haven't been into it. Thoughts of another surgery, the whole thing with the husband and I, and school has made me just not be in the mood. Not to mention the economy. Yes we are doing alright, by many people we are better than alright. But being the money person that I am, I always stress this time of year.

Which is sad because you would think I would be excited. Logan is at the perfect age to believe, to get the whole Santa thing. And still I sit here and I am finding it hard to believe that it is actually the holidays. 

Give it some time though.
It will come around I am sure of it.