Thursday, October 30, 2008

Miscommunication

Super Boy and I were up in his room late yesterday afternoon playing with his stuffed animals. I was playing the part of the posable T-Rex dinosaur while Super Boy played the part of the giant stuffed shark. Oddly enough, the T-Rex and giant shark were friends who could play together despite the fact that one is a land dweller (not to mention extinct) and the other is a water dweller. At least they're both meat-eaters. But I digress.

After about 20 minutes of playing stuffed animals, my T-Rex suggested that we snuggle and watch a movie. Shark answered that it sounded like a good idea, but then added, "But you need to get your mommy first."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now, let me put the brakes on this little story for one second here while I tell you another little story. From the time Super Boy was just a suckling infant of a handful of months old, he has been extremely tactile. And by tactile I mean that he liked to use his teeny-tiny little fingers to PINCH my tender skin. It started out with a 5-month-old Super Boy pinching the delicate skin on my chest while he was nursing, to the point where my chest was perpetually bruised with little black-and-blue marks, and then as he got older (closer to a year old), he'd reach up and pinch my neck while nursing or just cuddling. Once he was weaned (at around 10.5 months), he'd only pinch me while we were snuggling or he was drinking a bottle, or if he wasn't feeling well.

As time went on and he became more of an upright mover and shaker, he stopped pinching my neck and progressed to pinching the soft skin on the inside of my wrists, right at the connection to my hands. However, he's very picky about bending my hands forward (palms toward the inside of my wrists) so that there are wrinkles in that space for him to pinch. Now, at the age of 5-1/2 years old, he no longer pinches, but instead just rubs that skin on the inside my wrist with his thumb. He says I have "smooth skin" on my wrists. :)

I have no idea why he does it, but I think it's a comfort mechanism. And while it's peculiar, I think it has to do with him being a very hands-on kinda person. He is constantly touching things, and he's very big on textures and tactile sensation. Nonetheless, I did ask Super Boy's pediatrician about it at one of his baby appointments. Contrary to what I believe, the doctor thought it was an aggressive behavior and urged me to make him stop. I never took his advice, because it was clear to me that Super Boy wasn't at all conscious of the fact that he was doing it; it truly was one of those things where he'd climb in my lap and just start doing it, whether he was falling asleep, not feeling well and wanting comfort, or just snuggling to watch a movie or read a book together. And the fact that he still does it to this day - albeit more rarely - convinces me that I was right that he wasn't doing it to hurt me or dominate me, but to comfort himself.

OK, back to the other story...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When Super Boy's shark told my T-Rex to go get his mommy before they snuggled and watched a movie, I couldn't help but ask, "Why does T-Rex need to get his mommy? So you can rub her wrists?"

Unfortunately, Super Boy didn't understand me correctly. He gave me an odd look and said, "Mom, you don't have rubber wrists!"

I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants, couldn't catch my breath and ended up having a 30-second coughing fit.

The kid is too darn cute for words. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whisper: to speak softly

Super Boy has this little habit that I absolutely adore. He developed it about this time a year ago, and I'm tickled that it has carried forward to this point. I pray he doesn't outgrow it anytime soon!

Whenever my sweet son asks me if he can have a toy he saw on t.v. or that one of his friends has, I say to him, "Maybe you can ask Santa for that for Christmas." And as soon as the words are out of my mouth, Super Boy will turn away from me (or go to a quiet place in the room), close his eyes tightly and whisper his wish to Santa.

The softly spoken wish is generally worded something like this:

"Santa, it's me - Super Boy. Can you please bring me a ___________ for Christmas? Thanks, and I love you."

It's enough to melt your heart from the inside out....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween: It's Not Just for Kids

I love Halloween. It's my third favorite holiday, behind Christmas and the 4th of July.

Mainly because it gives me an excuse to dress up, wear crazy make-up and make an ass out of myself for at least one day.

Who doesn't love THAT?!?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh Yeah... Uh-Huh... Oh Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

I sooooooo totally did it. Cut my hair short. Yep.

And I LOVE it! (At least for today, while my stylist's handiwork is still fresh.)

She did exactly what I wanted except that she left the very front layers and the crown layers a tiny bit longer than the pictures of the style I wanted because she wanted to ease me into the short hair thing a little bit by leaving it just long enough for me to still pull back. I'm so used to putting my hair in ponytails that she didn't want to totally cut me off cold turkey. Although that pony tail is going to be virtually nonexistent now anyway! When I go back in six weeks, she'll take those two areas shorter for me so I can really get funky.

But yeah - I love it. It's very different, but very edgy and fun. And sassy.

I have not had hair that didn't even reach my shoulders in YEARS. I don't even know how MANY years because it's been that long.

For my entire marriage to Super Man, I've had varying lengths of long hair. He's seen me with red hair, auburn hair, brown hair and blonde hair. He's seen me with medium-long hair and REALLY long hair.

But the man has never seen me with short hair....

And speaking of Super Man, he called me on my cell phone AS I was sitting down in my stylist's chair and repeated the words "Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it" in my ear until I almost - almost - caved and went with my old standby "mmm... just a trim."

Thankfully my inner sassy chick found the strength to tell him to shut his trap because it's MY hair and I'LL decide what to do with it (even though he's paying for it). He sat in shocked silence for a moment and then said, "You're right. You only live once. And it'll grow back. Have fun!"

Ha HA! Hahahahahaha.... Ha! I'll have fun alright. With my new short SASSY 'do!

I'm waiting for my digital camera's battery to charge, and then I'm editing this post to include a few "before" and "after" pictures. (Stupid battery...) Check back!!

Scary Hairy Stuff

I am soooo sick of my hair.

I'm equally sick of my chicken-shit attitude towards making BIG changes when it comes to my hair.

Oh, I'll change the color, but even there I tend to play it pretty safe. I've done red, auburn, dark brown and all manner of blonde highlights and lowlights, often within months of each other. Nothing too crazy though. No pinks, blacks, platinum blondes. Not for this thirtysomething suburban mom, no sirree!

No, it's cutting any significant amount of my hair that really sends me into full-blown panic mode. Sure, I'll look at magazines and website for hairstyle ideas, and I'll gaze longingly at the pictures of super cute short-medium hairstyles, looking all sassy and fun. I've even gone so far as to bring pictures in to my stylist and boldly declare that THIS is the day I'm making the change... only to wimp out once she starts fingering my long tresses. And then I end up having her do "just a trim."

Well. That's all going to end today.

I'm putting my proverbial foot down and sticking by my decision to CUT MY HAIR into one of those cute short-medium hairstyles. I want to be sassy, too, and it's about damn time! So there! HA!

I mean, really - WHAT is my problem??? Hair grows back! I should know this, since that certainly hasn't been a problem on my legs!

Sure, it might take a few months... or a year or more... to grow it totally back out if I don't like it.

But - so what? It's just HAIR. It's one of the easiest things in the world to change. Like painting a room; if you decide you don't like the color, you just paint it another color. With my hair, if I decide I don't like the cut, I can always get a different cut.

But... hm. Well, I guess it's NOT the same as repainting a wall because I can't just "go back" to having long hair if I hate having short hair. No, it'll take months of patience (something I lack in abundance), especially when the style goes through that icky in-between phase.

Hm.

A trim isn't sounding so bad after all...

Wait - No. NO! This is what I always do, and I'm NOT doing it today. It is time for a change.

Life's too short to have the same hairstyle for years on end. We change, our personalities change - and our hairstyles should reflect our inner selves. And my inner self feels bold and sassy. HA!

Done. It's comin' off.

(Ack. ACK!!!!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ah...Ahhh.. AHH-CHOO!

And AHHHHCHOOO again.

Phhhhlllllbbbbbttttttt

Excuse me. I had to blow my nose. Again. For like the 400th time today. And it's only 10am. Oy vey.

I have a cold. One that I could actually feel starting to come on a solid week ago, but that didn't really kick in in earnest until about two days ago.

Last week I was completely exhausted, from the moment I woke up until the moment I fell asleep. I could feel pain building in my sinuses, making my face and head ache, but my nose wasn't congested at all. Instead, I had a non-stop stream of obnoxious post-nasal slime oozing down my throat all day, making my throat tickle and hurt (and prompting me to make completely rude and disgusting noises in private while I tried to hawk all of it up and spit it out rather than continue swallowing it. Yuck. Sorry about that TMI, by the way - just trying to keep it real). A few times I wondered if perhaps it was more of an allergy thing than a cold, but I couldn't shake that heavy feeling in my sinuses, and I knew it was just a matter of time.

Well, by Saturday I knew it was finally progressing into a full-blown cold. I started sneezing violently several times a day, the hallmark of my impending doom. Which each sneeze, I could feel the congestion inching its way into my nasal passages. By the evening, while we were out to dinner with my Super Parents and some Super Friends, my nose was thoroughly congested and I sounded vaguely like Elmer Fudd when I spoke.

Since then, I've been miserable. I tend to be a side- or stomach-sleeper at night, neither of which is fun when your head is congested. On my side, I end up with one nostril completely clogged; yet when I roll over to the other side, there is that "transitional period" when suddenly BOTH nostrils are completely clogged as the congestion works its way to the other side. On my stomach, it all just settles into my face or makes my nose run like a faucet. And yet, lying flat on my back feels suffocating because the congestion is in both nostrils AND I can feel it sliding down the back of my throat. NO good options there!

I'm not one who terribly minds colds, ordinarily, but I feel as though my colds get worse the older I get. Or maybe it's that I just don't tolerate the symptoms as well as I used to, physically or mentally! It seems like it takes me forever to get rid of my colds, too, and that's just not fun. I'm not kidding - I'll easily have total congestion for a solid week or longer with little to no relief from OTC cold medicines. I long for the morning when, while standing in a hot shower trying desperately to inhale the rich steam, I can feel the last vestiges of the cold break up and disappear, allowing me to finally - FINALLY - breathe deeply through my nose.

Anyway. Pardon me now while me and my box of Kleenex and my book retire to the sofa for a day of rest, hot tea and nose blowing.

Ahh.... Ahhhhh... AHCHOO! Times two.

I always - ALWAYS - sneeze in pairs.

Oh - and excuse me. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thoroughly. Grossed. Out.

Super Dog disgusts me sometimes. And this particular time, she really knocked it outta the park.

As if it weren't bad enough that my beautiful yellow Lab rolls in unknown animals' crap whenever she comes across it, completely mucking up her beautiful coat and stinking to high hell.

After what I saw yesterday, I'd gladly have her roll in a huge, steaming pile of fresh elephant dung. And then leap into my arms.

Sadly, Super Dog has moved on to something even more disgusting and foul than rolling in shit: She's apparently decapitating bunnies in the backyard now, and tossing their heads around for fun. Ick, ick, ICK!!!

I'm not joking about this. Not at all. I wish!

Yesterday afternoon, with my parents at our house for a visit, we let Super Dog out to go potty. My mom stepped outside for a minute to get something from her car, and when she came back in, she was grimacing like she'd just smelled something bad.

I asked, "What's wrong?"

The perma-grimace continued. "Um... I think Super Dog killed something in the backyard. She was tossing it around. And it's bloody."

Good God...

I threw on my Crocs and raced out the back door to find my lovely pooch standing over something mangled and - yes - bloody. I shooed her away as I crept slowly closer to the thing on the grass near Super Boy's swingset, cringing as I caught the unnaturally crimson-colored fur.

From a distance, it looked like a dead chipmunk, perhaps. It wouldn't be the first time Super Dog has managed to capture one of those, although she's never chewed on one to the point where we've seen blood.

As I got closer, I saw long-ish flat ears. And then a cute little nose. And big black eyes. But... no body. Ugh....

I turned my face away as I felt bile rise in my throat, and then suddenly recalled seeing Super Dog hanging out in the very back corner of our yard, just another 10 or so feet away. I moved in that direction with one eye closed and the other barely open, praying I wouldn't find the rest of the poor rabbit's carcass.

No such luck.

In the back corner, hidden in the trees, was a large old rabbit's body missing its head. And it was stinky. (Naturally. Leave it to Super Dog to be attracted to the stench.)

Before I tossed my lunch, I ran back into the house and quietly informed Super Man that he needed to go dispose of the rabbit carcass before Super Boy went outside. He asked where it was, and I explained in a largely spelled-out conversation (due to Super Boy's presence in the room) that it would be a "two step job." His olive skin blanched as he gritted his teeth, grabbed some plastic shopping bags and trudged out the door. He came back in a few minutes later looking as thoroughly nauseous as I felt. Ick...

Needless to say, there've been NO doggie kisses to speak of this weekend. In fact, every time Super Dog even brushes her face against my leg I feel like I need to go take a really hot shower. I'm completely grossed out by what she did, even though I know that it's the hunter in her that reared it's ugly head.

I think maybe we need to consider going with a Chihuahua next time...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Me Can Take Pictures

Yes, even I - your Average Everyday Super Woman without virtually any discernible artsy skills whatsoever - can take a halfway decent picture, as it turns out. Who'd have thunk it was possible? Not me, that's for sure!

We have a nice little Canon PowerShot SD1000 digital camera, which I love, but I'd never really messed around with the features before. I was bored yesterday (oops - don't let Super Man hear me say that or he'll make me get a job), and felt like taking some random pictures, so I started pushing the buttons on the back of my camera without a clue as to what they were for.

That always makes me a little nervous because I've been known to cause SERIOUS damage to other electronics with my willy-nilly random-button-pushing approach to learning, but I took a deep breath, said a little prayer and pushed those buttons anyway.

Turns out, I discovered some cool features! My favorite discovery was the "Color Accent" feature. It essentially produces a black and white image but infuses color into a select colorful object to make it totally pop. I'm sure this isn't a very scientific manner of describing the feature, but I don't really care. Heck, I consider myself lucky for just stumbling onto something cool - you can hardly expect me to know what I'm talking about in those circumstances, right? Right.

So, anyway. Here are a few of the pictures I took with this color accent feature. I LOVE them and I guarantee I'll be messing with that feature more over the coming weeks.



If you have a digital camera and you only use it for basic point-and-shoot type pictures, STOP! Go get your camera and start pushing some buttons, sister! Mess around with it until you find something that blows your mind, and then run with it. Worked for me. ;)

And, please, share your pictures with me and the other readers, too - if you have a Flickr page or some other photo page that you can share, post a comment and include a link. I'd love to see what cool things you all have photographed using neat camera functions.

Have a great day!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Marriage is Fun.

Especially when your husband is on the opposite side of the political dividing line from you. In an election year. And, specifically, in a desperate, teeming, tumultuous election year.

Muah-ah-ah....

The thing that makes it SO fun is that I tend to be rather... flamboyant... in supporting my chosen political candidate(s), whereas Super Man will talk about his fave(s) until you're blue in the face but he isn't inspired enough to go out and get any symbols of his support.

It drives him CRAZY that I'm all about the swag. Muah-ah-ah....

For example. A few months ago, I went online and purchased an Obama magnet for the bumper of my Odyssey (while I love bumper stickers, I'm leasing and am not yet sure if I want to buy out the lease at the end or not, so I have to resist the urge to defile my bumper). I giggled the whole time I was centering it perfectly on my van's backside.

I didn't tell Super Man I was doing this. When eventually we went outside together to head out somewhere and he laid eyes on the little magnetic beauty, he rolled his eyes and insisted - INSISTED - that I remove it. Remove it from my vehicle.

Aw, hell no! My car; my candidate. Sorry, pal.

To further fan the flames, after the debate last night, I informed Super Man that I'm picking up an Obama yard sign from our local Obama campaign office today, and he'll find it on the left side (heeheehee) of our front yard when he gets home from work tonight. He glowered at me from under furrowed brows, his eyes narrowed to slits and his beautiful lips set in a firm line.

I innocently batted my eyelashes and told him that I'd save the right side of our front yard for his McCain sign, if he felt so inclined. (It was a safe bet: We both know that he won't make the time - or pay the few bucks - to get a McCain sign in the next 18 days...)

And then I laughed out loud, realizing that while many of our neighbors have competing signs right next door to each other, we'd be the only house in the neighborhood with competing signs in the same yard. Wouldn't surprise anyone, I'm sure!

What Super Man doesn't yet know is that I'm also scouring the internet trying to find the perfect Obama t-shirt that I can wear EVERY SINGLE DAY until the election. Just because I love him. ;)

There's just one thing that bothers me: What'll I do for fun once the election is over?

Muah-ah-ah....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Missing My Man

This is one of those "good news, bad news" things. More good than bad, certainly. But still...

GOOD NEWS: Super Man started his fabulous new job today. HOORAH!!!

He was super excited this morning as he went about his morning routine, and naturally a little nervous, too. I was so excited for him to be setting off on this new adventure, because I think this opportunity is going to be great for him, and for us. I hugged & kissed him, asked him to drive safely on his hour-long commute, and told him to knock 'em dead. Super Boy and I waved to him from the back bedroom as he went out to his Element, and blew him kisses with tears in our eyes. We're really very proud, and I mean that with all sincerity.

BAD NEWS: I miss my husband. I miss him a lot.

After three-and-a-half months of non-stop togetherness, I feel like I've had a limb removed not having him here with me now.

Oh, I'll be the first one to admit that the first few weeks of our unexpected togetherness were a little scary and fraught with irritation on both our parts: We weren't used to spending anywhere NEAR that much time together and then suddenly there we were, bumping into each other every time we turned around. I think we both wondered how we were going to manage to not kill each other before Super Man found a new job! But it was funny how all of a sudden one day we woke up and looked forward to our day together, all those hours stretching out ahead of us side by side.

When Super Boy started school, I think we were both curious to see how that would change things, since we'd be one man down from 8:30am - 3:20pm Monday through Friday. To our pleasant surprise, it was lovely. We'd drop our son off at school together most mornings, then maybe go get a coffee together at Starbucks (if we were feeling lucky), and then go to Home Depot, or come back home and putz around the house until it was time to pick Super Boy up again at the end of the school day. That's not to say we spent every minute of the day together, but at least we were near each other.

Super Man talked to me last week about how much he's treasured being able to do those little things that I have come to take for granted, being at home the past year. Things like taking our son to school and picking him up, running errands during the day, going for coffee at 8:45am without having to rush off somewhere. He was so much more relaxed, so much happier than I'd seen him in years. I think he finally understood why I love being a stay-at-home mom so much, and why I don't find it at all isolating or lonely.

I think he also realized over the past few months that his priorities had gotten way out of whack the past few years. With all the changes that had gone on at his old company, things there had become increasingly stressful and chaotic, and I knew he felt a lot of pressure and uncertainty about that. He was constantly on edge, not taking care of himself; the easy-going, happy guy I knew and loved was gradually being replaced by an irritable, stressed-out workaholic. Being downsized - while it came as a huge shock to Super Man - was the best thing that could've happened to him, and to us. And it was amazing how quickly he felt better and was back to himself in the aftermath.

I think he finally realized that his years spent killing himself to prove his worth were all for naught at a company where his loyalty and dedication had meant so little, as evidenced by the way his position was eliminated. It's one thing to go the extra mile for a company that cares about and appreciates its employees and demonstrates that in ways great and small; that's the sort of company I worked for before I became a stay-at-home mom, and that made it hard to leave. It's entirely another to knock yourself out for a company that doesn't value its employees or recognize the importance of having a good work-life balance. I believe, based on his new employer's reputation, that he has found a rare gem, like my old employer, and I think it will be easier for him to keep his life in a good balance. He's the hardest working person I know and so incredibly smart and talented; I want him to be appreciated and rewarded accordingly.

Anyway. I can't wait to hear how Super Man's day is going. Heck, I'm just excited to hear his voice again. And I'll be overjoyed to see him tonight.

What can I say? I love my husband. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm back. And I'm sorry!

Hello, faithful, devoted, and - most importantly - patient readers of my blog. Yes, I'm back. And - I know, I know - I owe you an apology. A HUGE apology.

I've been away for far too long. Some of you who know me personally have gently hinted to me in recent weeks that you've been checking my blog every few days hoping to see some entertaining new posts only to find, well, nothing. And I feel really badly about that, I do. It's embarrassing, really.

I can't even give you a really good reason for my long absence from the computer. Because, technically, I haven't actually been absent from my computer; I've only been absent from my blogging responsibilities. And for that, I have no good excuse.

I've felt very... blah lately. I've wanted to write, truly I have. I just wasn't feeling particularly inspired by anything. Rather, I've felt periodic bursts of inspiration, but nothing to get me to commit to spending a solid 30-60 minutes on my blog putting my thoughts on the screen in a coherent and enjoyable manner. (Although, come to think of it, my thoughts are rarely coherent even if they might pass as enjoyable...!)

Is it my typical Seasonal Affective Disorder rearing its ugly head a tad early? Hm... could be, a little bit. I always get a little blue at this time of year as the days get shorter and colder, heralding the imminent onset of my sworn enemy, Old Man Winter. And perhaps my dread of winter is worse this year because last winter simply would not end, and was chock full of record snowfalls, bitter cold and dreary, blink-of-an-eye days. I truly cannot bear even the thought of a repeat of last winter, and I mean that with all of my heart and soul. So, yes, it's possible that my annual tango with SAD has already begun.

I think there's also a stress component to my "blah" feelings of late. As I may have mentioned (if not here, then over on This Mommy Gig), my wonderful husband Super Man was downsized out of his job at the end of June. And while he recently received - and, most importantly, accepted - a fantastic offer from a superb company (he starts his new position on Monday - hurrah!), the span of time between his job loss and, say, two weeks ago was a difficult time for us.

I should note that Super Man and I agreed from very early on that we were NOT going to allow ourselves to completely freak out over the fact that NEITHER of us had jobs once he was laid off, and I am proud to say that I think we both handled the situation extremely well in the circumstances. He was diligent in his networking and interviewing; I was steadfast in my support and encouragement and assistance, and thus a situation that has caused many marriages to crumble only seems to have made ours stronger than ever. In fact, we both feel a certain sadness at the prospect of him returning to work: we've fallen into such a lovely routine of taking our son to school together, grabbing coffee together and then running errands or doing projects or housework together, that the idea of NOT being able to do any of that anymore is sort of depressing. Thank God for the weekends is all I can say! :)

But back to the issue of stress... While we were better prepared financially than many who face unexpected unemployment, and we had the resources at hand to cover our usual expenses for up to nine months or more, it was still a constant thought looming at the back of our minds, that neither of us was earning money. Him due to the "reduction in force" at his company, and me because I've been a stay-at-home mom for over a year now. That said, my SAHM status was definitely called into question by both of us as a result of Super Man's job loss. Neither of us wanted to make any rash decisions about my working status (we both knew that, with our luck, I'd rush to get a full-time job again only for him to get a FABULOUS new job the week after, and then I'd be stuck working full-time again when that's not what we had wanted for me at this point), but the longer Super Man was without a new job, the larger that possibility loomed in our minds. At the very least, the subject of me taking a part-time job has become practically an ongoing dialogue.

In all truth, I don't mind the idea of going back to work part-time. I just have NO idea what I want to do, or where I'd want to do it. And while Super Man DOES have opinions on both of those matters, at this point I'm not sure that I agree with them. And since it's MY life that will be most affected by my decisions on those two topics, I think that MY opinions and ideas should be my primary consideration in making the decision of where to work and what to do. Needless to say, my lack of focus, or purpose, or whatever you want to call it, combined with the struggle I'm having with Super Man to figure it all out, has put some low-key - but near constant - stress on me.

I need a plan. And for the first - well, no, actually, the second - time in my adult life, I don't have one.

For a borderline control freak like myself, that's a scary place to be, my friends!

On top of all of that, I've had my increasingly irritating yet ever ongoing health crap to contend with. It's not bad enough that my husband lost his job and had a finite period of benefits coverage, but then I had to have more medical mysteries crop up beyond the old standards in my life (i.e., the ongoing abnormal Paps for which they have no cause, etc.). The most recent addition to my medical portfolio has been pain in my lower right side. At first, I worried that maybe my appendix was involved because the pain came on suddenly and rather aggressively one night nearly three weeks ago. But by the time I went to bed that night, it had subsided enough that I was able to sleep, and although it was still there in the morning, it was fairly low-key, I wasn't running a fever, and I had no nausea or vomiting. Still, my nurse practitioner Super Sister felt I should call my doctor and at least talk to her about what was going on, if not go in to see her. She said she wanted to see me by the end of that week if the pain was not gone, and so I saw her two Fridays ago. She palpated my abdomen and pelvis and ultimately felt that the pain was more likely ovary-related than appendix-related, and she ordered a pelvic ultrasound for me.

I had the ultrasound late last week and found out on Monday of this week that the ultrasound came back normal. That said, they did see several small, benign cysts on both my ovaries, though none which were large enough to be causing my as yet ongoing pain. They believe that perhaps I'd had a larger cyst on the right ovary that had already burst, thus causing the more severe pain I'd felt the week before, but they don't know for sure. Aside from the small ovarian cysts, they saw nothing else of concern. My internist said that if the pain continues over the next few weeks, she wants me to have an abdominal CT to rule out anything else.

There's a part of me that almost hopes the pain DOES continue and that I DO need to have a CT, because I'm praying that it might at least provide a concrete answer to ONE of the medical mysteries I've experienced in the past 18+ months, if not more. I mean, think about it: Super Man and I have been trying for over two-and-a-half years for a second baby with no success; I've been having on-and-off abnormal Pap smears (AGCUS type, not the more common and generally benign ASCUS type) for the past 12+ months; I had unexplained rectal bleeding last fall and ended up having a colonoscopy at 33 which thankfully showed nothing worse than a few internal hemorrhoids and a small area of diverticula; I had an unexplained 50% IMPROVEMENT in my vision in a matter of months for no known reason and had to have a full blood work-up because my eye doctor feared it might be a sign of diabetes (nope; I was utterly and completely normal); I've had the pesky problem of coming thisclose to passing out TWICE while doing strenuous physical activity despite being in pretty good physical condition (well, the second time, at least!); and now I'm having unexplained intermittent but ongoing pain in my lower right side.

Why are these things happening? No one seems to know! Every test they run comes back fine. They say, "Well, at least we know that X isn't being caused by cancer. But, sorry, we have no idea what IS causing X." While it's enormously reassuring to know that it's not The Big C causing the problems (at least as far as we know), it's still troubling that they cannot tell me what is causing the problems. I feel like I'm constantly waiting for the other shoe to fall, for them to run the one test that connects all the dots and puts the last - but obviously most important - piece of the puzzle into place. And my fear is that that missing piece is the one that reveals that some sort of cancer actually is behind all of it.

It's morbid of me to think that; I know. But I can't help it. I'm a reasonably young woman (34!) with a young child who is my heart and soul, a husband I adore, a stepdaughter at a difficult point in life, and a life I love; how can I NOT worry about the unknowns when they have the power to destroy my whole universe?

But... it hasn't all been bad. Super Boy started full day kindergarten and LOVES it. He's thriving, happy, learning, growing and eager to go to school each day. He's gotten the gist of all the routines, he's made a bunch of new friends, and I've thoroughly enjoyed being more involved in his classroom this year, both as one of the two room moms and as a general volunteer for other activities.

I've also been helping out the librarian at Super Boy's school - who happens to be a friend from my neighborhood - as she rearranges her book collections and updates her systems, which is something I greatly enjoy. You know me, the eternal book-lover, and I find the school library to be such a wonderful, enchanted place. In addition to that, I'm going to be helping out with some of the administrative work at our church on a volunteer basis, because they need the help and because I have a huge amount of skill and expertise in that area that I want to share for the betterment of our congregation. We've been woefully uninvolved in our church over the past few years and we're trying, very hard, to rectify that this year.

Super Man and I have also gotten a LOT accomplished around the house over the past few months. We purged all the unnecessary and unused stuff from every room on every floor of our house, from the basement to the bedrooms, and held not one but TWO enormous rummage sales about a month ago. We made a killing between the two sales, and still loaded up my Odyssey for three trips to Goodwill to take all the remaining items there for others to enjoy and put to use. Super Man and my Super Dad insulated our attic and the flat roofed areas of our house, and my Super Dad and I cut down three trees and did a bunch of work around our yard when he visited us a few weeks ago. And Super Man has redone our back patio, torn up the patio back by our garage so we can plant a garden next spring, and is also building a deck off the side of the house! We may not have been employed, but we certainly were productive. :)

Anyway... Back to the original purpose for this post: I'm sorry I've been away, sorry I haven't been writing, sorry I haven't given you anything entertaining to read lately. I've been thinking about it - and about all of you - often. Very often. I just didn't know what to say or how to say it, and I couldn't seem to stop riding the rollercoaster of my life long enough to just sort it out.

With my husband going back to work next week, I'm hoping I'll have the time and space to work out what I want to do with myself for 15-20 hours per week. I'll let you know once I figure it out! And since we'll have money coming in again, I DEFINITELY plan to get back to the gym again so I can at least get my body back in the shape I was in earlier in the summer even if I have to keep dealing with stupid unexplained health issues. ;) And with my husband out of my hair and not around to rope me into helping with any more of his big house/yard projects, I think I might be able to get some more writing time in. I think. I hope... ;)

Missed you, and I'll be back again soon!