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Failed it!

31 Oct

So, I know it’s hard to believe with all of those fabulous forehead lines (*note to self: ask dermatologist “how much is botox?”) that I’m not 16, but nope, I’m 38 and taking my driver’s test… again.  [because remember this]

This is me in line, ready… or not… to go.  I passed the written portion with Jaxon, my 16 year old son, with flying colors a couple of weeks ago and spent a few hours prepping for my 2 point turn.  Maryland no longer requires you to do a 3 point turn or parallel parking, so yay, me… this is cake, right?!  Not so much.  2 point turns aren’t that easy, especially when you don’t have giant cars on either side of you to judge your side mirror distances.  I kinda sucked at it when practicing, but finally became more comfortable and decided it was now or never to take the test.  Of course, I was nervous.  I don’t often drive and when I do, I basically concentrate on the important things like stopping at stop lights/signs, using turn signals, checking my mirrors, not hitting cars or pedestrians and defensive driving tactics, so that I’m prepared for all of the idiot drivers making illegal maneuvers around me.  It’s a lot harder than you think (or remember from 22 years ago) to focus on turn signals (in empty parking lots), proper speeds, making sure to look over your shoulder and in all of the mirrors at all times, counting your trailing distance from the car in front of you, reading signs, following every minute traffic law possible, etc.. etc.. etc…  Though these things do come naturally over years of driving, you get into a comfort zone and stop focusing on 30 things at one time… and for good reason to be honest, because who can focus on 30 details at once and not be missing something critical because your focus is literally everywhere all at once?

Well, apparently it is critical to keep your hands gripped to the steering wheel with your palms facing away from you.  Seconds after the test started the instructor told me to stop and said “watch the position of your hands”.  I assumed that she was trying to tell me that I wasn’t keeping my hands at “10 and 2” and simply replied “ok” and resumed motion focusing on braking, signaling, mirror checking and her instructions on what to do next.  The 2 pt turn was straight out of the gate, as I started backing into the spot I immediately got flustered because those darn flags are just not visible in the mirrors until your turn is in place.  I noticed the instructor nodding in disapproval from the corner of my eye as I was backing up, so I doubted my position and decided to pull forward and reposition myself.  She nodded again.  Clearly, I was screwing up, so I sighed and thought “screw it, just back in”.  I had overcompensated when I pulled forward and readjusted.  Apparently, I was actually good to go on my first attempt and should’ve ignored her nodding.  Though close, I was still inside the cones and just continued on my way backing in.  She asked me to pull out of the space and pullover.  Focusing on blinkers and mirrors and cones and looking over my shoulder all the while, I pulled out knowing that her tone meant I failed even though I cleared the cones.  After I pulled to the side she said, “remember when the test started I asked you to watch the position of your hands?  As you turn your steering wheel, you turn your hands and grip the steering wheel with your palms facing you.  You can’t do that.  I had to give you a point every time you did that and you did it 6 times during the 2 pt turn, so you failed.”  She continued to say that it happens all of the time with drivers with expired licenses.  Us, more experienced drivers, get into a habit of gripping the steering wheel wrong or using palms to turn or letting our grip go of the wheel, so that the steering wheel slides through our hands (palming) as we turn.  Though, I never lost my grip of the wheel and didn’t palm it, I was turning my hand and gripping the steering wheel subconsciously from the wrong side.  She said she even does it all of the time and when she drives she thinks to herself “I would fail my own test”.

So, that was that.  38 years old and Failed it!  Though, I didn’t wreck the car or hit a pedestrian or run a red light… this failure sucked almost more… I mean, that’s a really obscure fucking technicality.  The instructor wished me luck next time and told me to go ahead and schedule a retake tomorrow, but as I drove home Mike and I noticed that this “moving my hand” thing is a pretty bad habit that is going to take a lot more practice to shake.  Poop.  I’m not going to lie, I did cry afterwards because what’s more embarrassing than failing a test that you easily passed 22 years ago… that your 16 year old son is getting ready to take?!  But that’s just it.  I have to take a deep breath and show my son that it happens.  Whatever.  Try, try, again.  I think I’ll try again after a bit more practice this time, though.  And who knows… since I technically didn’t get to drive the course at all, maybe there are a couple of more habits that could fail me that I don’t even know about?  Stay tuned for “Failed it: Part 2“.  In the meantime, watch out for a dangerous white minivan roaming the streets with a seriously old female student driver who dares to turn her grip when she turns risking the lives of anyone who is in and around her vehicle.

Gone are the days…

6 May

…of the funny stay-at-home-mom posts.  Posts about fighting with random people in parking lots, or toddlers locking themselves in the bathroom, or general moanings and groanings that an ‘ordinary’ mom might utter… have been forgotten and replaced with a couple of posts about my health.  I miss those random days.  I feel that they will come back.  Diagnosis or not, feeling good or not, clean house or not… I need to come back.

Last Monday I had an axiallary lymph node, closest to my breast, surgically removed at Hopkins.  It measured 3 cm, which I’m told is really big for a “reactive” node.  In other words, it’s probably not cancer, but you’re pretty damn sick and it’s no flu.  They are currently still biopsying the node because… honestly, they have no idea what they are looking for.  I also, just shelled out nearly $2000, out of pocket, to have extensive blood tests run for Lyme, babesia, and bartonella.  The doctor seems suffice enough that I will test positive for all three, that she started me on meds for them while we wait for the results.  This Wednesday I have my first appt. with a cardiologist to see why the arteries on the left side of my body are so enlarged.  The left carotid is visibly and palpably enlarged and the artery in the left axiallae was so enlarged that the sonographer couldn’t even figure out what it was.  Later that day, I have a consultation with a surgeon regarding a hernia, that has been darn near excruciating at times since I was pregnant with Jax 13 years ago.  To recap:  I still feel bad and no one knows why.

*Sigh*  As I wait for results and a magic pill to make it all go away, I will post about funny things that Tess does… tomorrow…

F you and your postpartum

15 Apr

Where did I leave off? After hemorrhaging with Tess and then going into a super-mega-hyperthyroid phase, I was put on medications to lower my thyroid levels. Months later I never felt any improvement, but my levels had normalized. I was told I was euthyroid, that it was probably just postpartum thyroiditis and that my continued symptoms were due to postpartum depression. I glared at that doctor long and hard and upon her asking me “why does that upset you? Why are you rolling your eyes?”, I stormed out of her office. Now, I know to her that probably only confirmed her postpartum theory, but I knew she was wrong and didn’t want to waste another minute humoring her lazy theory. Many months, many doctors, and thousands of dollars later it would turn out that she was very, very wrong, indeed! I will not bore you with the details of my symptoms and how many tears I cried at the feet of countless doctors, in this post. Maybe when I’m not as weak I will be able to tie in some humor to these stories and blog in flashback mode. Today, I’m just going to go straight to it… The Diagnosis
In October of 2012, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Not one of the 3 endocrinologists that I had seen before then even bothered to test me for it. It wasn’t until my ophthalmologist said, in jest, that I sounded like I had an autoimmune disorder and maybe I should see a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist tested my thyroid antibodies and the were quite elevated. TPO antibodies are supposed to be 1000 (fact: they were higher than the testing range, so we actually don’t even know the exact level) and Thyroglobulin Antibodies were 1843, supposed to be <35. Apparently, my immune system had decided to attack my thyroid. Great, let’s treat it! Au contraire! Hashimoto’s remains untreated by most doctors, no matter the extent of the patient’s symptoms. After much research and dozens more doctors, it came to my doctor’s attention that my blood calcium kept coming back high. Some doctors ignored it, but a new endocrinologist wanted to see if my parathyroid was causing the problem. During a lengthy 5 hour radiology scan, they found a small tumor, so yet another diagnosis: hyperparathyroidism. Great, let’s do something about it! Au contraire! The tumor is still small so they want to do more scans in a month. Frustrated I sought the help of a holistic doctor to get a prescription for natural thyroid medication. While reading over my lab results to prepare for the appt, I noticed that my Lyme lab said negative, yet I tested positive for the P23 Bb antibody band. So I researched some more and discovered that because of CDC regulations my test was a false negative! The specific band that I tested positive for would ONLY be present if indeed I was infected with the Lyme virus! Guess what? I did some more digging and it has been documented that Lyme disease can, in fact, cause Hashimoto’s disorder. Holy hell!
Great, let’s do something about it! Au contraire, again! Because of CDC regulations the only way you can get treated for chronic (long time infected) Lyme is by finding a Lyme Literate MD. They are extremely hard to find, as they don’t advertise thanks to CDC and they don’t take insurance for the very same reason. Yay! In the USA it is easier to get a prescription for OxyContin to feed an addition than it is to get a life saving antibiotic! Insane!
I am finally going to see an LLMD today, but I was able to talk the holistic md into prescribing me antibiotics in the meantime. I recently had a mammogram because of my chronic large axiallary lymph nodes. The doctor went over the images with me. She and her assistant stared at the images of my nodes in amazement. She told me that the texture is not indicative of lymphoma or carcinoma of the breasts. I smiled and said “yay, that’s good news!” She didn’t seemed relieved in the slightest though. Her face was rather concerned and said that I have some sort of chronic systemic infection. She requested that my doctors test me for tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, Lyme, bartonella, and other infectious diseases. Great! Here we go again!

When all hell broke lose…

30 Jan

On the way to the recovery room after Tess was born, I immediately started having problems with my vision and I felt very dizzy and disoriented. I remember thinking at one point, while being wheeled around, that Mike should take the baby out of my arms. “If this dizziness gets any worse I might pass out.”  I blew it off as exhaustion, heaved my weak legs into my new bed, and met my new nurse. She asked me general questions as she checked me into my new room. I told her that I really felt like I needed to pee and had her help me, still dizzy, to the restroom where she promptly left me sitting on the toilet. I couldn’t pee and the dizziness suddenly intensified. This time I felt I needed to trust my instincts that something was wrong. I yelled from the bathroom to my husband, “Michael, I feel like I’m going to pass out!”   Mike called the nurse to the restroom and I fainted as they lifted me off of the toilet. When I came to they were carrying me to the bed and blood was gushing out of me, through my giant hospital maternity pad and onto the floor. I told the nurse that I couldn’t pee and begged her to put a catheter in me. The cramping became unbearable. Suddenly, I felt like I was in labor again and no epidural. Figures!

I began moaning as she searched down the hall for a catheter. She attempted several times to put the catheter in as more blood gushed from me and I continued to moan in pain from the awful cramping. Another nurse came in to try to help her. They had no luck. Finally, the head maternity nurse came in to help. By this point my blood pressure was dropping enough to set off the bells and whistles. I could hear the blood gushing from my bed to the floor. I begged the nurse for help as I was in extreme pain. The catheter was in and several nurses rushed around my bed massaging my uterus as I moaned and cried. They rolled me and sopped blood from my bed. I could see handfuls of drenched red towels being discarded in the hamper at the foot of my bed. I was worried, but in too much pain to think to much about it. The nurses whispered frantically, the machines beeped wildly to the point they shut off the sound to try to keep me calm, and I began crying out loudly as they continued to massage me. Every nurse on the floor was now in my room. Some were soaking up blood, some were massaging, some were on the phone with my ob (who was supposed to be rushing up to my room), some were reading my monitor, some were grabbing emergency carts. Everything was happening so fast, but too slow at the same time. I started to go in and out of consciousness. I could hear the head nurse say, “Where is she (ob)? She’s taking too long! She didn’t approve the (some medicine that I later found out was an anti-coagulant). Get it, anyway! I’ve got to give it to her.”   She injected me with this “shot” as they hooked me up to IVs. I could see a little panic on her face as more soaked towels were dumped into the bin. At this point I was screaming in agony and clawing at the nurses. I knew, as I could feel, the amount of blood that I was losing and I knew that this was not good.  This went on and on for what seemed like an eternity. “Where the f*ck is my ob?”, I thought. Coming to, I stared at a blurry clock on the wall and tried to make out the time. I had been writhing in and out of screaming terror for almost two hours as a dozen nurses hovered over me. As I begged for someone to knock me out, my ob finally walked in my room. She reached inside of me and I yelled loud enough for the entire floor to hear me. “Please knock me out!”, I begged again as I writhed with every muscle in my body. My body nearly lurched itself out of the bed instinctively. The nurses asked Michael, who I had asked to stay by the baby’s bassinet, to leave the room. He declined and instead came to my side. I gripped his hand, looked him in the eye and said in between shrills, “It’s ok! Let me go! It’s ok to let me go! It’ll be ok. Please!”. I know, I know, it probably seems a tad dramatic, but that was not drama, that was the reality situation. No blog could describe the totality of what went down that day. It was… that bad! I tore at the nurses massaging me. With every massage, gut wrenching, worse than labor (and I was experienced… see previous blog) pain and more soaked towels making slurping sounds as they were tossed with the rest. I gripped the tilted bed (tilted to aid my blood pressure) as the ob reached in again, elbow deep this time, and pulled out a grape-like cluster, only the grapes were clementine sized, blood clots. Some nurses moaned for me and everyone had this look of horror mixed with disgust on their face. She reached in again as I yelled out and pulled another cluster out. A couple of more times and she seemed convinced that I was empty. They continued to massage me and tilt my bed as they stared, oddly hushed, with all eyes on the monitor. I laid there sprawled naked on the bed probably looking like a pale victim of a vicious slaying for a dozen of nurses paused, waiting, around me. Though my blood pressure was still desperately low, the gravity of the situation seemed to have lifted with the clots removed. I was now drenching in sweat and complaining to Michael how hot I felt. I nervously asked my ob not to leave me for fear that it would happen again.

She and most of the nurses stuck around for another hour. I complained to my ob that my vision was very blurry, almost double vision. She gave me a “hmm, see an ophthalmologist”, but didn’t seem concerned. I also told her that I was anemic and concerned about all of the blood that I had lost. She ordered a transfusion. A couple of nurses stayed with me for the next few hours during my transfusion. I was immobile with weakness in my bed as Michael told his mother (who had come with my children to see the new baby, not knowing the aftermath) in the hall that they would not be able to visit. It killed me that I was missing what was supposed to be such a joyous visit with my children. I smiled towards Tess peacefully sleeping in her bassinet at the end of my bed. Sweet baby girl, slept through the whole thing. The nurse showed Mike how to bottle feed her as I would be stuck immobilized in my tilted bed for the rest of the night. I began to cry. My new nurse caught me crying and said, “You know dear, postpartum depression comes sooner than most people think.”. If I could have launched my weak body out of that bed, I can guarantee you that I would’ve clawed the eyes right out of her head!  My glare seemed suffice to say to her “B*tch, you better leave!” and she walked out of my room. My hospital stay was extended two extra days as my blood levels showed that I needed yet another transfusion.

After the “postpartum” accusation, I faked my way through the awful situation, as I told visitors that labor was wonderful (I wasn’t lying, the labor part was great) and when I returned home I only admitted the whole story, through sobs, to my two closest friends. I had to sob to someone about it or I would burst, but to be honest… part of me was truly worried that they thought that I was an over-reactive sufferer of postpartum, too. *sigh* “Postpartum” would be a reoccurring theme, even months later after an actual blood born non-postpartum medical diagnosis was made.  If you have run into a medical professional that utters this word without even glancing at your lab work, run… don’t walk out of that doctor’s office and find a different doctor.  I promise you, there are doctors out there willing to do their job, it just takes a lot of time and searching.  This “battle” continues in what I would like to call “F*ck you and your postpartum!”…

Admission- the first half of the battle

28 Jan

For a while now I’ve been, for lack of a better word, sick.  Like, I feel like I have the flu (+ a dozen other symptoms) every single day of the week for the past 10 months.  It is, quite literally, mind-numbing how awful I feel some days.  Every ounce of “fake healthy” that I can muster up, I reserve for hugs and kisses/quality time with my kids and the few social hours I get.  I don’t blog anymore, not just because I have less and less time (because I have been uber-lucky enough to have more and more babies), but because I just don’t feel well.  And there it is… the admission… “I don’t feel well”.  I just didn’t want to admit it.   Fake, fake, fake… I thought if I just smiled through it that I wouldn’t have to whine about it and eventually, I would just feel better.  I mean, I’m freakin’ only 34 years old, I get sick, but I’m young, so eventually I’ll feel better… right?  But doctor after doctor, symptoms on top of symptoms, worse after worse later… I’m still “sick”… and I’m just going to have to admit it, to myself, at the very least.  I’m not “scary” sick, at least I don’t think know that I am, but it is definitely “scary” not knowing exactly what I’m dealing with, as well.

It all started… well, maybe sooner, but that’s speculation and I’ve promised myself to go on fact from this point on… a couple of weeks before or after I found out that I was pregnant with Tess.  Sometime in June 2011, I complained to Michael that I had a “weird chest pain”.  I couldn’t quite explain it.  It was unlike any other sensation that I’ve ever had before.  I asked him to try to crack my upper back because surely, it must be something as simple as needing my back cracked.  He couldn’t crack my back, but the pain eventually went away and I forgot about it.  Then I started feeling uncontrollably tired all of the time.  I just chalked it up to the pregnancy and pushed on.  That same month, I called Michael into the shower to come look at all of the weird bruises that I had found all over my body.  I remember nervously giggling and asking him if he remembered me falling or what I could’ve done to cause myself to look like I’d been in a street fight from the neck down.  My hair also started falling out by the handful and I was losing so much weight.  I think I was somewhere around 93 lbs.  Something was wrong, I just knew it.  I asked my primary care physician and my ob, but they kind of just shrugged and said that my blood pressure, which was low- always very low- wasn’t alarming and that maybe it was just the hormones.  As for my weight loss, on paper it was “gradual”,  so just “eat more” they said.  Whatever!  I spent most of the month of July in bed sweating, yes, sweating, sweating, and sweating until the sheets were soaking wet and feeling as though I had the worst flu of my life.  Oh, and the muscle spasms in my legs… it was unbearable!!!  By the end of August, I was a little better, though my hair was still falling out.  By October, I was gaining weight, thanks to the pregnancy.  I was better, but still different.  I felt weak all of the time and started fainting, especially if I was on my feet for longer than 15-20 mins.  The ob just said that I was anemic due to the pregnancy and that it was all normal.  Take more vitamins, drink more water.  Blah, blah, blah.  Though I felt like I was getting a lot of bs and very little acknowledgement, I did what I was told… always in hopes that “maybe it’s just that simple”.  A couple of months before Tess was due, my heart started skipping beats… full on pauses and not just your average joe irregular heartbeat, it was more frequent more intense, like my heart was hiccuping.  It didn’t matter how much water I drank, or how active or inactive I was, or whether I laid on my left side or right side… there it was a dozen or so times a day… this very intense heart hiccup!  And almost always present when I bent over.  Weird, I know.  My ob said that I could see a cardiologist, but it was so close to my due date that I shouldn’t worry and that after I gave birth it would probably go away.  The puzzled look on her face was so convincing on how “not worried” I should be, though.  That damn puzzled look that I would get from doctors almost a hundred times since!  Since I was gestational diabetic and gained like 50+ lbs during the pregnancy and I was swelling, the ob scheduled induction a few days before her due date.

I was nervous, I mean any labor past the first you have a small prayer of hope that “maybe I’m an old pro at this by now and will be a champion”, but you also remember how excruciating the pain is and doubt everything.  And since, let’s see… labor 1, epidural worked for a few hours, but the last of the 10+ hours of pitocin induced labor were felt without a working epidural… labor 2, the stupid epidural didn’t work at all for the entire 15 hour again, pitocin induced labor and no time to numb me during the episiotomy OW OW OUCH… labor 3, epidural take one: fail; epidural take two: entered my blood stream “hello, I think I’m underwater!  what tastes like metal?”; epidural take three: no, thank you!  So, with that history I knew I was walking into a crappy, hold on to your *ss and pray, situation, I was understandably nervous.  Labor began and progressed quite nicely for several hours.  I was hanging in there pretty well.  And then she announced after 4 cms that she was going to break my water.  “Epidural?”, she asked.  “I think I’ll try to tough it out.”  She broke my water and gave me a little time to reconsider.  I decided that I might as well give the epidural another shot.  4th times a charm, maybe?  Well, it was!  It took him a couple of tries to get the right spot, but the epidural worked wonderfully!  I took a nap and when I woke up I was told to start pushing.  I smiled and giggled the whole way through.  So this is what all of this “epidural” hype was all about.  1 push- her head, another and she was out.  Woo hoo!!! Beautifu,l healthy, Tess!  Bliss!  Best day EVER!!!  The nurse bragged about how “easy” I made birth look as I immediately nursed her.  I was given a lunch to eat and within an hour after pushing her out, I was helped in a wheelchair and headed for recovery.  And that’s precisely when all hell broke loose…

Hostage

6 Feb

I am the cow in the “Animal’s Angels” against cruelty ad.  The only difference is that I’m not opposed to being shoved around by a forklift to get from point A to point B.

I want my body back!  It is difficult to breathe, you know, with my lungs, stomach, intestines, and other various organs being smushed into my throat.  I waddle down the hall just to go to the bathroom and I’m breathless.  The swelling has gotten so bad that I wake in the middle of the night every 15 minutes to examine my hands because OMG, The Pressure!  They are going to EXPLODE!  Can hands explode???  I don’t remember being so miserable during my other pregnancies, but Mike is quick to remind me that “Oh yes, yes [I was]!”  I can’t eat I’m not supposed to eat anything that’s worth eating.  4th pregnancy… 4th round of gestational diabetes.  I’m on that stupid high protein, low carb diet, that a lot of people are quick to tell me “is not so bad”, “I don’t mind it”, “I eat that way anyway”.  Oh go f*ck yourself, (sorry Tourette’s is also another awful symptom during pregnancy) I’m pregnant and have found this crazy, stupid, obsession with food… buttery, sugary, starchy, greasy, elephant sized portions of food… you know… Man vs. Food kind of food.  I eat until I can’t move without wincing and by the time it finally starts to digest and I can move an inch, I eat some more.  I have no idea why my blood sugar is out of control, nor why my thighs now have their own zip code.  All jokes aside, I’m going to ask my OB this week how she is planning to get a baby out from in between them, since I don’t think it’s physically possible for my inner thighs to separate.  When I went to the dietitian she said, “you can eat as much meat and cheese as you want!  Enjoy!”  She had a smile on her face as though she thought I should be pleased with this news, but instinctively my upper lip curled in horror.  Meat?  Cheese?  What are these things you speak of?  The closest I get to “meat” is a giant bacon covered burger from Five Guys… oh… and it has cheese on it!!!!  Does that count?

So, I curse and I complain and I’m all out miserable.  If when I eat the foods that I want to eat, I swell and a couple hundred fat cells all over my body loosen their belts.  If I try to stick to the diet, my swelling reduces and I can walk without seeing the walls shake and hearing sound effects, but I’m angry… Jack Nicholson “Here’s Johnny!” kind of angry.  To make matters worse, 1/1,000,000,000th of what goes in my body actually makes its way out.  There is an entire, wasteland inside me somewhere (probably in my throat hanging out with my lungs and all of the other organs) and I can’t tell you how great that feels.

Also, I have a plethora of these giant uber-awesome age spots that have popped up here there and everywhere.  My cheeks and the skin under my eyes have now slid down my face and flop like under-cooked scrambled eggs somewhere down my neck.  Now that I mention it… pregnancy just seems to make the throat/neck area a popular gathering place.  To make matters worse, pregnancy has also made me anemic, so the dark circles under my eyes and the age spots are only magnified by my almost translucent pasty white skin.

To summarize:  Like, Fat Bastard, I’m damn-sexy!  *looking at belly* Yes, I want you to be healthy and perfect…

but Holy Hell… get out!  GET OUT!  G-E-T!!!!  O-U-T!!!!!!!  I want my body back!!!

things I learned about myself this week

27 Oct
  1. While taking out the trash late one night, I hear a heated argument coming from across the street.  Intrigued, I realize that I am not above
  • walking my trash can, past its usual destination, towards the light post and thus within closer earshot of the fight.
  • listening intently, as muffled profanity gets more and more enraged
  • wondering which house the yelling is coming while hiding behind my truck.
  • upon hearing a woman scream “Who’s the whore?!” I’ve pieced together that the argument involves a girl/woman who has walked-in on/discovered that her lover has another lover.  The fight’s not coming from within the house across the street, it is coming from someone’s front yard.  Probably the next street over?
  • hopping in my truck and driving the next street over to nonchalantly get a peek of the action.  Of course, I did!
  • getting severely disappointed when I can’t find the lover’s quarrel/street fight, drive home, and listen a while longer and contemplate if I should go inside to nuke a bag of popcorn
  1. I have no idea how to get bullets and tabs to number properly when used simultaneously.
  2. I can design, pattern, and make a wedding gown with hundreds of hand sewn beads in 2 days.  (Leila wanted to be a bride for Halloween.  Stay-tuned for upcoming photos.)  Though  designed specifically for a little girl, it turned out pretty decent.  Makes paying $1,500+ for a wedding gown seem idiotic.  I mean, *eh-hem*, Pshh! What dumb*ss would do that, seriously?  *Psst!  Wedding gown?  Over here!   Shh!  Don’t tell anyone because it’s a secret, but I still heart you, wedding gown, even though I feel robbed.*
  3. A chemical peel has the opposite of desired reaction on my face.  I am currently some sort of delayed pubescent joke of a 29ish year-old.  (Do not stay-tuned for photos.)  While bringing Leila her lunch last week, her teacher noticed me peering in the doorway and stared at me awkwardly.  After calling Leila to me to take her lunch, Leila’s teacher said, “Oh, hi!  I didn’t know who you were for a moment.  You look so… uh… young.  I thought you were a former student stopping by to say ‘Hi!'” Yes, I currently look somewhere between haggard teenager and meth addict.
  4. I like serial killers… well… actually just one… who is fictional.  Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not addicted to meth.  Instead, I am addicted to the series Dexter on Showtime.  Unfortunately, I don’t get Showtime, so I’ve only been able to watch very late night marathons of seasons 1 and 2 so far.  So, don’t comment with spoilers from more recent seasons such as, I don’t know…” Dexter killed someone… again!”
  5. Tonight, when I was sitting outside, a giant spider (You guys, I’m talking baby tarantula at the very least.) crawled past me, every muscle in my body tensed and instead of screaming I couldn’t help but think, “Well, what do ‘ya know?!  My kegel muscles are still going strong!  *heraldic* Awesome!”

If I was a category on Jeopardy: category option #1

12 Aug

Me:  I’ll take “Life’s Geometry According to Carol” for $0.01, Alex!

Alex:  In every aspect of her life, Carol uses this route to get from point A to point B.


Me:  What is the “shortest distance”?

Alex:  With a penny for your thoughts, you are correct!

About a year ago, I realized that my license had expired.  I’m not the best with attention to detail.  As a matter of fact, if it is not demanded of me in person, I chalk it up to not that important (i.e. never has to be done).  Then, about 6 months ago, I lost my license.  It’s probably somewhere in my house; in one of 20 or so purses that I own and switch out of daily.  (Speaking of which, do any of you switch out purses regularly?  If so, are you able to do this chaos-free… or is it just me who has trouble with finding anything after a switch?  I just have never found it as simple as dumping the contents of one into another.  I have about 5 handbags right now 1/2 full of junk, but sadly no license in any of them… yet.)

So, I haven’t had time to renew my license until today.  I did my hair and makeup and made sure that I wore a shirt that wasn’t wrinkled and baby food stain-free, so that I could look undead (at the very least) in my new license photo.  Then I had to search for bills with my name and address on them to prove my residency… and, oh yeah, I needed to find my birth certificate and social security card.  They were in lock boxes for which I had to find the keys and subsequently drop one very heavy lock box on my bare toe… just because I didn’t think that things were going as hideously as it should be.  About an hour later, I was ready to head off to the MVA and battle the long lines.  When I got there, I had to stand in a long line to speak with a clerk who would check all of my documentation, give me forms to fill out, stand back in the same line to have my forms checked and then given a number to wait to in another much much much longer line.  However, I never even got to the reentry of the first line.  Upon looking me up in the system, the clerk said “Oh my!  It’s been a long time since your licensed expired!” Me: *playing stupid* “What’s that mean?” Clerk:  “Well it’s been over a year, so you’ll have to take the tests to get a new license.” Me:  “Tests?  What tests?” Clerk:  “You’ll have to take the written test and then you’ll have to pass the driving skills test.” Me:  “Crap!  Are you serious?  It’s been so long… I don’t think that I’ll pass.  Do I have to, like, parallel park and stuff because I don’t do that.” Clerk:  “Yes, you’ll want to practice that before you try to take the test.” Me:  “How about I do what I normally do in a situation that requires parallel parking?  I switch with my husband and let him do it OR if he’s not available I drive around and around until I find a space that doesn’t require me to perform the ‘parallel park’ maneuver.  Are there points for that?  I mean, knowing your limits should get a person bonus points?” Clerk:  *a bit amused* “Nice try, but you’re gonna have to do it.  Ride around DC for an afternoon and you’ll be good and skilled!” Me:  *laughing… surprisingly laughing* “It’ll be more like bumper cars.  Not a good idea.  So, what do I do now?” Clerk:  “Well, if you don’t think you need the practice you can go ahead and take the tests now, if you want.  *glances around at the identification I brought in*  Never-mind, we don’t except short forms anymore.  *points at my birth certificate*  You’re going to have to get a long form.” Me:  “My birth certificate is not valid?” Clerk:  “No because that is an old birth certificate.  We only accept the newer issued longer forms.”

So, I have no license and I have to take a test to get another one because I’m too stupid and irresponsible to keep track of the one that I had.  Also, apparently I’m old… like, so old that my birth certificate is historic, practically a museum worthy national treasure and therefore, not valid.  I applied for a new birth certificate online.  While I await it’s arrival in the mail, I will be studying for the written test and practicing my parallel parking for the road test over the next 10 days.  Here is a little test for you:

Carol will probably

A. drive locally anyway

B. use an old license that I lost years ago and then found it soon after I got a new one in order to get in and out of Jax and Leila’s schools during their first week

C.  fail the tests miserably and be without a valid license for some extended period of time

D. all of the above


Facebook will be the end of me

5 Aug

Sweet, Jesus!  It’s been a long time!  I’m obviously busy as I haven’t even had time to post my regular “flashback friday” editions.  A couple of weeks last month I was overwhelmed with getting my first line of Elléciel Vert children’s clothing into the side-boutique of Europa’s Salon and Spa in Cambridge, MD.  I didn’t really get anything fabulous or impressive into the store, but it’s a start… somewhat of an accomplishment… of sorts.  I took several unprovoked low-blows from one person when I posted this “accomplishment” on Facebook.  At first, I thought nothing of it.  In fact, I chuckled when I read it.  This person has made several rude comments on my posts over the course of accepting said person as a “friend”, so needless to say, I was not surprised.  I was actually beginning to be amused by said person’s random thoughts about people.  However, my Blackberry started madly chiming with messages from people who were offended both personally and for me by the rude comments.  I was deeply embarrassed and for those of you who pretended to disregard the whole weird vibe, “Sorry about that.”  Anywho, make no mistake Facebook isn’t always the best support system.  Also, guess what? Just because you defriend someone on Facebook doesn’t mean you’ll never hear from them again.  In fact, I’m totally expecting to receive a nasty message about this blog post.

So I lost a couple of weeks of my life hovered over my sewing desk and then I acquired some old furniture that belonged to my grandmother and had to redecorate the entire house to make the pieces work.  Then, there is Mike who is a workaholic (God bless him.  He’s got to be in his line of work.) and spends most of his free time with his tournament softball team.  Jaxon has started a golf team, Phoebe has started the “terrible two’s” early, and Leila is still bi-weekly training for gymnastics competitions.  Seriously though, I’m not that busy.   I just don’t have time!  The hands on the clock seem to rotate double-time the day after your 29th birthday.  Funny enough, Mike just walked passed me and asked me if being on the computer was “the reason why I go to bed so late?” Hilarious, right!  I told him his comment was as irritating as it was ironic considering the subject of this post.  As usual, his timing is bad.

Ughh! I haven’t been able to even pop onto Facebook other than to send a quick message (basically an “email”) to someone or read a couple of posts (whichever ones are at the top of the news-feed when I happen to pop on) once every three or more days.  That’s crazy, considering the whole reason why “Flashback Fridays” were all that I had to post in previous months was because it was so much easier to post a little blurb about my day in a Facebook one-liner.  Who wants to read an in-depth essay about Phoebe saying “Guh Ger” when they could click a thumbs up under a barely-sentence form-quickie version?  Mark my words Facebook will be the end of this blog.

I recently watched Julie & Julia and was bothered a little by Julie’s initial thoughts about her blog.  Not all blogs rarely, blogs come from a narcissistic place.  I can’t tell you how many blogs I read used to read daily (due to poor time-management, but I will read daily soon) that gave me a great chuckle or provided me with free directions on how to make/cook something or let me peek into someone else’s life for a bit so that I could escape from my own.  For me, this blog, solidifies seemingly unimportant memories.  I have a notoriously bad memory.  No lie!  Ask anyone.  I actually look forward to most Flashback Fridays because I’m either shocked that the events in those posts actually took place or it’s completely nostalgic and a breath of fresh air in my fogging head.  It’s depressing to have missed out on documenting so many memories, especially while the kids are still so young.  Facebook is cool, yet twisted.

Updated the next day… after coffee. Note to self:  In the department of looking like an ass, you need no help.  Hence, you must spell-check before clicking publish!!!

The good, the bad, and the… OMG, that’s UGLY!!!

6 Jul

So, let’s start with the good.  Well, it was… not horrible… once upon a time. 

This is me with Jaxon.  (Also, wow!  I just noticed there is a guy doing a back flip behind us!)  Jax was about one and a half years old, so that would have been taken 8 years ago.  I can’t believe that I could actually wear a bikini!  I mean, you can tell by the way that I’m standing that I didn’t wear it confidently, but I could wear it nonetheless.  My belly was wrinkly from being stretched out during my pregnancy with him, so there are a bunch of photos of me sitting down with my arms folded over my abdomen to hide “granny belly,” as I call it.  But besides “granny belly,” I was pretty much the Carol, in need of a boob-job, that I remember.  Good thing, since I was all of the age of 23 in that photo. 

Now, somewhere around 29-ish, I wonder “where the hell did that body go?”   Moving on to the bad… I was in real need of a bathing suit this summer.  I have a maternity suit and a tattered old red halter one peice.  I decided that I really wanted a monokini because it would cover the “granny belly,” but not look granny.  Finally, I found a Victoria’s Secret (mistake #1) pink striped (mistake #2) monokini that I thought looked alright in an ad (mistake #3), but more importantly didn’t break the bank (mistake #4).  I ordered it online (biggest mf-ing mistake of all, #5).  When it arrived, I ripped it out of the package and immediately frowned when I noticed the pink in the picture was actually neon pink.  “Hmm, looks teeny-bopperish, but I’ll give it a go.”   I tried it on and my non-existent boobs were… non-existent, my butt was flattish and saggy, and though, I thought my waist was decent (you know, for having three kids) the monokini side cutouts only accentuated love-handles (apparently, I’ve been in denial of their existance).  Me:  “Oh, crap, crap, crap!!!  This is bad!  This is REALLY bad!  I can’t wear this!” Mike:  “How much did you pay for it?”  Me:  “$40?  I think?  Mike:  *completely unaware of the price of decent clothing because $40 is insanely cheap*  “$40!!!  You can and you WILL wear it!”  Me:  “Sh*t!”

Still in denial of my “new old body”, I blamed my horrid appearance on the cheap bathing suit.  I mean, really… what was I thinking?  Today, I went shopping (secretly becasue I can’t let Mike know that I’ve waisted his money) for another bathing suit.  I can’t tell you how depressing this shopping excursion was.  With each swimsuit that I tried on, I found a new feature of my body that appeared grotesque, magnified by the horrible florescent lighting.  Most significantly, I have “old lady *ss”.  It sags down as though it’s trying to reach the backs of my knees.  I realized after the 100th or so swimsuit that it’s not the suit that’s disastrous it’s my body.  Leila kept trying to perk me up in the dressing room by saying “I think you look pretty in the red one that you wear to the pool!”  That was her nice way of saying, “stick to what you’ve already got, lady because these… they ain’t working for ya!”  But it was sweet that she tried to cheer me up, so I thanked her and then told her that we’d better leave before I start crying.

Immediately, I vowed that I would start exercising.  I just need to tone up my muscles.  All this time I thought that my million laps around my house, squatting to pick up dirty socks, stray toys, and trash (what is it about kids that they think that it’s perfectly fine to toss their trash in the floor?) was all the exercise that I needed… to get by, anyway…  I knew things were getting “sloppy”, but not to this extent!  I asked Mike what was a great workout for the glutes and he said, “squats”.  Bugger, I could’ve guessed, but obviously they’re not working for me!  And nothing could be more boring than squatting over and over again everyday.  Up down, up down… blah!  So, I google “exercises for glutes”.  Enter: The UGLY!  The first couple of websites, expectedly, suggested variations of squats.  Disinterested, I click on the next suggested site and under a caption that read “Pictures of Amazing Glutes” were the following photos:

After I gagged, I closed google and said aloud “Umm, ok… I think I’m just fine with my “granny fanny”!

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