Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day 2

We're all up and dressed and lunches made and ready to go by 6:15am! We get to the bus stop by 6:22am. The letter said pickup would be 6:30am, so I head to the office to confirm and am told that the bus had left at 6:18. But that's ok, I have time to drive them to school, so I calmly ask where the next stop is so that in future I can just go straight there like last year. These ladies are less than helpful (this is nothing new, they have been this way for the 7 years my kids have been catching the bus there).

So I walk back to my car and see parents from last year have now pulled up so I let them know that we missed it and am told, oh no we didn't... So a discussion ensues during which the unhelpful ladies come out to let me know they were wrong and that the bus is on her way. She is now coming from Millbrook. <sigh of relief>. Pick up is now 6:45am for the school year, but Tuesday she arrives at 6:52am. Still, not a problem. The boys board and away I go to my office some 50 miles away. I don't want to discuss work. It was painful. But little did I know the evening was going to be worse...

So I was informed by Baby Girl that the school wouldn't accept the sports physical from the pediatrician as they hadn't checked one little box that says she was cleared to play. So in the morning I call the office, let them know tryouts are this week, could they just get that box checked if I fax it over? I'm told yes, just include the explanation on the cover sheet and they would hook me up. On the way home, I call to make sure that it is ready. I am told yes. So I drive the long way home to pick up the boys and swing by the Pediatricians on the way to pick up Baby Girl. The receptionists all look clueless when I explain and I'm told it will be 3-5 days. So I explain again , the urgency and am told it would be 15 minutes... Really? To check a box and stamp it with the signature? 10 minutes later I am on my way to the middle school, only a few minutes late.

Baby Girl is in a good mood, so we head home, stop to get gas for the mower and I head inside with the boys to get their homework started and dinner on the stove. It's spaghetti night.

Baby Girl comes back in. The gas tank is leaking. She can't mow the grass. Grrrrr. The neighbour takes a quick look and confirms my worst fear. I need a new mower. <sigh> At this point I bust open my favourite wine. It costs me $15 a bottle and is next to impossible to find over here, but seriously, that was how bad my day was... So as we sit eating dinner, me sipping on wine, I start to chill out. The kids are beat and fairly easy to cajole into bed. I haven't texted Firefighter since about 3pm, so I'm sure he's annoyed, but I'm just too tired to think, so I collapse onto my bed, click on the DVR and try to stay awake through at least one episode. It's 8:20. I had been texting with NonProfit. He's a new guy... we'll talk about him another day, but he's fairly easy to just shoot the breeze with, so we were chatting about subjects throughout the afternoon and into the evening, but around 8:25 Firefighter pops up with "Just checking on you?" I can tell he's annoyed. I had been posting on Instagram, and I know he checks on me, and I can tell by his next text. Anyway, NonProfit then calls me to talk properly (something Firefighter doesn't really do) so I'm not trying to text and talk on the same phone. My brain hurts. I hang up with NonProfit who can tell I'm tired, say good night to Firefighter and then crash. It's 9:15pm

Back to school! Day 1

Alas, it had to happen... School is back in session. Now most Stay At Home Moms love this time of year. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to not have to pay for full time care, however.... Back to school means paperwork, school lunches, early mornings with non-morning lil peeps, missed school buses, homework etc etc....

This year I am determined to get off to a good start and keep it going straight through to June. Monday started off well. I got all the kids up and dressed and left the house at a reasonable time. The plan was to drive the boys in for their first day since we didn't know who their teachers were (I'm not getting in to why we had to miss the Popsicle-Pop-In on Friday, but let's just say their dad has issues). We got to school about 2 minutes before the bell, but spent 5 minutes trying to park... Generally speaking though, the day went well, but then I remembered that I hadn't enrolled them in After school.... So I call their daycare and am told that they are unsure if they have any spaces and would have the owner call me at 9am. At 9am, the daycare director calls and confirms that she had held their spaces. Yay! Win #2.

After school is a mess! I have to pick the boys up and get to their sister who stayed late for volleyball tryouts. I'm more nervous than she is (mostly because I'm not good with tears if she doesn't make it again like last year). We get to her school, I'm on the phone with my sister in the UK and then my security company calls. My younger sister ignored my text to NOT enter the house since it is armed. Third alarm she has triggered in her 3 month visit. <sigh>

The evening consisted of filling out the same forms in duplicate for the boys, running to Walmart for new shoes (again, their dad...) and whatever else was missing on their first day. I finally get home and into bed with a large beverage around 9pm, first time I got to relax since 5am that morning...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dinner with Baby Girl

So I am without my boys for the week and my lil sis has decided that she has no interest in spending time with us, favouring instead the guy across the street who she shall probably never see or speak to again once she goes home in a couple of weeks. But that's OK. Baby Girl and I have a cunning plan.

I've mentioned before that lil sis is a little on the selfish side. And self-centered. Conceited. High Maintenance. Don't get me wrong, she can be a lot of fun once she's had a couple of beers, but when she told me back in June when she first arrived that no one likes to talk to her, I can now understand why! No one wants to hear her criticism. For two reasons:

1. We're all entitled to our opinions. However, my sister is of the school of thought that hers is the only one. We all know someone like this. I am special and know two people, my dad and my sister.

An example: We have spaghetti night every Tuesday, my sister stated that I have an unhealthy diet and didn't want to eat the 'cow' meat. Because I eat pasta. Hers is so much better. Here is a day in her diet: breakfast (around 10am): egg white omelet with spinach and mushrooms. This is actually not bad. Lunch: A bag of Ruffles. If she eats anything at all. This may also substitute as an afternoon snack. Dinner: She doesn't eat dinner. Midnight snack: May consist of anything from Taco Bell, McDonalds, Nachos etc etc, accompanied by copious amounts of alcohol, because in her words "Can't have just one. I only drink to get drunk" Because that's so much healthier than what I eat. Compare:

Breakfast - 8am: Turkey sausage, egg and cheese on either a bagel or toast with Earl Grey tea. Successfully hitting three food groups: Protein, Dairy and complex carbs. Some days I will also have an apple around 10am
Lunch 11-1: Usually ham, salami and Swiss sub, with lettuce, a small bag of potato chips and green tea
Snack 2-3pm: A fiber One brownie, or cereal bar
Dinner 6-7: Spaghetti with low-fat ground beef bolognese, a glass of wine (for example) There are veggies in the bolognese sauce, and I recently discovered hidden veggie pasta, which the kids LOVE.

So I don't know. Who do you think is the healthiest? I may not be a stick figure, but I can be described as having an athletic figure. Because I work out to maintain my size, not starve myself with a ridiculous 'diet'. If I sat around on my butt all day, drinking beer and playing games online, I would probably continue to be overweight like I was during my unhappy marriage!

This is a fairly tame issue that she has expressed an odd opinion of. There are other much more serious ones that show a distinct lack of maturity.

2. Her conceited nature. No one is as perfect as she is. I call this narcissism a coping mechanism or distraction technique. She is deluding herself. She has told me that our mother has said that I was worse than her at her age. I fail to see how this is even possible, since at 22 I had a job, a home and a child. She is barely managing to stay in school, lives at home and is fully financially dependent on her parents. I haven't been FULLY financially dependent on either parent since I was 16. I've always worked. Oh she's had jobs, but she has never had to contribute to any bills. Like I did (yes, I'm bitter, this pisses me off). She's never had to face responsibility. Mum has always been there to mop up her messes. She is book-smart, but only in the subjects she has learned in school. During her time with me, I've found several 'gaps' in her knowledge, but when you find one, her excuse is "I don't need to know that" or "Well, how am I supposed to know that?" Uh, here's a crazy thought, read something, watch something new, don't be so myopic.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but suffice it to say. I'm frankly fed up with her. And the excuses I hear from our mother. So Baby Girl and I have elected to pretend she is not here. So we went out for dinner last night, tonight I may be going out to dinner with a friend, Wednesday it's the movies with a friend, Thursday I have another dinner (it's Raleigh Restaurant Week, what can I say) and then the weekend is all sewn up as well with plans to go to Lazy Days and hang out at a wine bar. Next week will be fun, with the boys going back to school there will be a whole new dynamic in the house, but the coup de grace that Baby Girl and I are particularly proud of: Buying up all the snack foods that lil sis loves to eat and putting them on the 'untouchable' shelf in the pantry... we have Ben & Jerry's (this is in the freezer, not the pantry), Ruffles, take'n'bake bread and Heinz Baked Beans - Baby Girl wasn't happy that she ate her Baked Beans!

So if we're lucky, the last laugh will be on her. She has been spoilt and pandered to her whole life by our mum and her dad. I will not be another one that lets her think that her behaviour is ok. I debated letting my mum know how rude she is being and being disappointed that she has made no effort to hang out with us, but then I thought why? Why allow my mum to make more excuses? And reiterate how this is 'exactly what she's been trying to tell me'. I can see where the problems stem from, and my mum is right there in the middle of it. I wish I had HALF the attention my lil sis gets from OUR mother. I wouldn't feel so damn cast-out!

There will be harsh words said at some point in the next week. She needs to know this is not how you treat family. I am not afraid to be the one to tell her.

Monday, August 19, 2013

So I don't know where to go from this weekend.

Firefighter requested several weeks ago to return to the previous 'casual' status of our relationship. Which was fine with me. However, this week (for nine whole days!) I am without the boys. It's just us girlies, my daughter, my sister and myself. So, Saturday we had planned to drive down to his friend's house at the beach to visit with them and their new daughter (who is now 7 months old and not exactly 'newborn'). Firefighter asked me to pick up some gifts because "I'm good at that sort of thing", so Friday afternoon, off I trot to Saks. I picked up a book, The Velveteen Rabbit, with matching rabbit cuddly toy and a Ralph Lauren dress. For mum, I bought Kiehl's shower gel and body lotion. Of course, I had Saks gift wrap it all for me. I told Firefighter he owed me $30 (It was more like $120, but what he doesn't know...). So Friday, I rush around trying to pack an overnight bag, sort the boys out for their week with their dad, pick up snacks for Baby Girl and her friend who was sleeping over and then head out the door. I was feeling pretty rough from the head cold I'd had all week, so on the way to Firefighter's place, I stop at the store for salad, wine and Dayquil!

Now, a few months ago, Firefighter and I had talked about fantasies. I've fulfilled most of mine, lol, but he's very reserved, but he had said that he had a thing about school girl uniforms and nurses. Well, I had gone to a British school, which of course had a uniform. I mentioned it at the time, but it never came up again. So this weekend, I figured what the Hell. He had had pneumonia and it had been over two weeks since we'd had any sex. We were both trying to be 'normal' Friday night, but around 9pm, he claimed exhaustion and wanted to go to bed, so I said let me go to the little girl's room... I came out wearing my "Whorey Potter" Halloween costume (so called by me, because of it's ridiculously short length on my ridiculously long legs!). Now, remember, he's very reserved. We once watched a show where two people literally jumped each other and he made a statement along the lines of "that doesn't really happen, does it?" I said "sure it does". Well, when I came out that bathroom... let's just say, he'd never physically grabbed me before. I'd also had a Brazilian wax the day before. It was amazing and he enjoyed EVERY second of it. We will be doing that again...

We both woke early Saturday. Around 6am. So we lounged around for a bit and got up around 7am. Ok, he did. My happy little butt was told I could stay in bed if I wanted ;-) He said we'd go out for breakfast, since he hadn't gone to the store, but he asked if I wanted coffee, knowing I don't drink it. Then he said "Or tea. I got the tea that you like..." I was rendered speechless. Earl Grey is not cheap, and he is typically frugal (I hate the toilet paper he buys!) I eventually managed a "Sure". We dress and head for Breuggers for bagels. We get in line, I order first, and I tell him I'll get it. He said "No, I will". I didn't argue.

So the drive was comfortable, we chatted off and on. No awkward silences. He told some funny anecdotes about he and his friend and warned me that he was very much stuck on whether a person has gone to college. I went, but didn't finish, but I do ok for myself as far as my career goes, I'm way beyond where I ever thought I would be, so we joked it would be awesome for him to ask, because I am the exception to the rule that his friend applies to people without college educations. We arrive and meet the gorgeous little girl. I was smitten immediately!! She stared at Firefighter, lil flirt! But we played on the floor. They were worried because she wasn't crawling yet, so I reassured them that maybe she will walk straight away like my daughter did, but when I played with her on the floor, it wasn't that she couldn't crawl, but that she couldn't get traction on the floor!!

The guys did a lot of catching up on who was doing what now, the question of how we met came up - we really need to work on that story. His friend gave us vacation suggestions and told us we should plan a getaway... It's so hard to have a conversation with people who think we're in a relationship, when we know otherwise. They seemed to already know a lot about me, but they were polite and asked a few questions anyway. So I answered the questions about my job, yes I'm a homeowner, the ages of my kids etc etc....


He didn't ask about my college degree!

We laughed about it on the way home. I was so disappointed!! They made plans to come up for Firefighters's 40th in December. I was careful to stay out of that conversation. Who knows where our relationship will be in 3.5 months.

The drive back was quick, but we were both completely shattered as we hit Raleigh. We had planned to grab a bite to eat and head to my friend's leaving shin-dig, but once we'd sat down, it was pretty much game over. On the way in to town, he said I could get online with his wifi, and then asked if I needed to pick my laptop up, so I said, no I always lock it in my trunk since I never know if I'm going to get paged for an emergency, so he said "OK cool". I had actually been planning to go home after the party... My first clue he'd expected me to stay was that morning, but I'd kind of brushed it off. After my shower, I had asked if he wanted me to throw my towel in the machine, he had said "Aren't you going to use it tonight?" I assumed he meant before the party... By 9, we were both in bed, I set my alarm for 12:15am and I'm fairly sure was knocked out by 9:05. I woke at 12:10am and went in to the other room to get online. My back was hurting from the drive, so I sprawled on the floor. He got up around 1am and got a snack, asked if I had much longer and then went back to bed. I was done by 2:30am, but when I went back to bed, my back was spasming so bad I couldn't sleep and I hadn't brought any meds with me (thinking I was going home). I must have fallen asleep eventually, but it had to have been close to 4am, so when I woke, he was already up and it was 8:45. He'd closed the bedroom door, but came in around and told me I could stay in bed when I said I needed to get up. He'd already been to the store, he said, and done his tidying up. I waited 10 minutes and then couldn't stay in bed any longer.  He made me breakfast. Waffles, with my favourite tea. It seems like such a small thing, but it was strange. He was also making meatballs. I LOVE meatballs, lol. The sensible, sane part of me says, it's no big deal. He had picked up a movie for us to watch... after lunch he said. After previous sleepovers, I was usually gone before lunch. When I said I would leave around 5 to go get dinner, I was told "Why? Have some more meatballs here." So after some afternoon 'delight' we had dinner and caught some of the game, but then I had to leave around 8pm to get my daughter ready for school.I was home and in bed by 8:30.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

There is no I in TEAM

Have you ever worked with that person who sits in every meeting and at every opportunity talks up what THEY have done in a previous position? You know, the "I built some code...." or "I wrote a document....", "In my last position I.....".... Ugh!!

So I went to look at the documents this person 'wrote'. They were copied from Microsoft's sites....

I know, I know, I sound like a petty, jealous child, but honestly, that is not it! I have worked with SharePoint for a number of years (I won't mention how many because it makes me realise my age), but I have actually got more years of IT experience and have done so much more on my own that to see someone else bragging about what they have done, and knowing that it came from other sources is beyond frustrating! I have not yet heard her say 'we' in reference to any achievements. This does not bode well for a team player.... I intensely dislike narcissism in all it's forms. It's not all about you. I'm sorry.

I've been at this company for a couple of months now, on an 18 month contract and rather flatteringly, I was asked this morning what my plans were at the end of the contract, would I be interested in being brought on permanently, so I had a candid conversation with my manager and let him know that I would. So he's getting the ball rolling on getting me in the budget for next year. Awesome.

But this other person, who isn't on my team, needs to adjust her language and her thinking. We are a team, there is no 'I'. We are all here for a greater good.

Of course, on a selfish note, she has had to come to me for simple answers a number of times, and has deferred to me on decision-making despite having the higher pay-grade.... We'll see how it goes, but I know I for one, will be driven crazy if I have to hear about her accomplishments... that she's plagiarized from various sources and probably previous co-workers too....

Smh. Time will tell

Ab Challenge Update!

I'm so proud of me!!

I am now at the halfway point of the 30 Day Ab Challenge. Today was 90 crunches, 70 sit-ups, 42 leg raises and 60 second plank. I started with the plank, knowing that I tend to get lazy. I made it to 60 seconds and only the last 13 seconds were a struggle!! Mind over matter though and I pushed myself to stay up. The strain on my lower back was a little concerning so I'll have to see how it goes incrementing up over the next day or two. I've been taking my meds, so I'm hopeful that I can get to the 120 second plank in a couple of weeks....

So being the workout junkie that I used to be, I'm well aware that in order to hit ALL the abdominal muscles, you have to work the obliques and back muscles as well, so straight forward crunches are insufficient. This has helped me reach the increasing numbers by switching up the crunches to include these muscles. I'm still doing the requisite numbers, just working all the groups. So 90 crunches was surprisingly easy especially when mixed with the leg raises and split into sets.

However, the sit-ups are becoming a battle of wills! I got to 40 no problem, by breaking them down into sets of 10, but the next 20 were completed by me cussing at myself and the final 10, I pretty much had to will myself up and back back down again.... How I will get to 125, I don't know. I'm determined to try and get it into one workout, but if I have to split it into two, so be it.

I know it's working though. I can see a little definition, but this morning I zipped up a size 2 skirt without having to suck anything in and with only a little muffin top!! It's been 18 years since I was a size 0. I'm not aiming that skinny, unless I can still look healthy, but that size 2 made me feel mighty good! I wore the size 4 skirt today. With a shirt that I love, but is now way too big for me. Such an awesome feeling. To be back in a size 2 by the 1 year anniversary of my divorce would be awesome. I had to give myself a new goal and I've decided that pre-ex-husband weight is a good goal to shoot for. Shedding the weight and the inches is like shedding the years of abuse and misery. Strangely cathartic...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Here's a dilemma...

So I'm not the kind of female to keep track of 'special dates'. Birthdays, of course, but not anniversaries (except wedding anniversaries, but I no longer have to worry about those). I may choose to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of my divorce, but just the once. And then it's time to move on. I don't tend to remember first dates, or kisses, I'm just not wired that way. I can be sentimental... I still have notes written to me in high school from my  first 'real' boyfriend. I keep pics and sometimes emails or messages that were particularly touching, but mostly, I like to enjoy the now and look forward to the future. Yes, very unfemale of me. Everyone I know with two x chromosomes keeps track of all the cute stuff. I sometimes wonder what's wrong with me, but then, I've had some rough relationships....

This one with Firefighter is different though. I feel like for the first time I've gone into it with my eyes open. I know what I want and how I like to be treated. I hope one day that he can get over his demons and try to make it last, but baby steps... So I spent a couple of weeks trying to show him what casual means to me. It confused him. He had clearly stated that he didn't want it to be more than casual. So I made sure that he knew what that meant. I stopped spending money on lavish dinners for him, stopped texting to make plans with him, instead waiting for him to ask to see me. He got sick with Pneumonia on his return from vacation, so I showed him how I care for those I care about. No 'L' word here. He's made it clear he doesn't want that, so I put it back on the shelf. He doesn't get to have that part of me, until he opens himself up to the possibilities. Oh, he's confused alright. But so am I.

How can a man identify someone as their girlfriend to everyone, except that person? I just don't understand. His best friend has invited him to visit them at the beach with their newborn (who is actually now 7 months old) and asked if his 'girlfriend' was coming with him. So he waited until I was free to accompany him. Even going so far as to tell them what I will and won't eat. His niece just got engaged to the guy she's been dating since 10th grade (she's now 22) and he's already hinting and talking about the wedding. I will not assume I'm going with him, but the implication is there. I did go so far as to invite him to go with me and the kids to a football game if I can find reasonably priced tickets. The game is in November, he said yes... And he's even stated that if his NFL friend gets a coaching job at the Packers that he would like for me to go with him to a game. And we've started going to his church together... Doesn't sound so casual, does it?

Anyway, the dilemma is this. We've been dating what will be a year on August 25th. He remembers all of our first few dates... I don't know many men who can do that (I couldn't). We were watching one of our favourite shows on TV and talking about how quickly some people fall into bed with people they're dating. I'm not perfect, I've had one night stands. Plenty of them, but with Firefighter I made him wait. It was at least a month and several dates in before he got to 4th base. So, do I plan something? Buy him something? I'm lost. One year is a big deal for him. He's never dated anyone for longer than 6 months (the girl who broke his heart). My fear is if I draw attention to it, will he withdraw? I'm ready to get serious with someone again. Not necessarily marriage, but I would like that one special person to spend my time with. My kids are growing up, they won't want to snuggle with me on the couch on cold winter days for much longer. If a ring comes with it along the way, I may be persuaded. But for now, I have two weeks to decide what to do.

My neighbour said I should do something. Even my sister agreed and she's not sentimental at all, but she's met him and says that she thinks he would appreciate the gesture. And if he doesn't think of it? What do I do then? Casual dating doesn't have anniversaries. I'll look like a proper idiot...

Tooth Fairy is on her last warning!!

So this morning has not been good. I went to sleep around 10pm, after a long phone call with a friend, but was woken at midnight by a horrendous summer thunderstorm. I'm astrophobic, so naturally I was a quivering wreck for the entire duration... which was well over an hour! I kinda dozed off again around 3am, and my alarm went off around 4:30am... I woke up groggy and did my usual morning wake up ritual: check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email, then got up and dressed around 5:45. I made my lunch and woke Baby Girl at 6:15 and made sure she was up before I left the house for the gym.... I had a niggling feeling that today was not going to be a good day.

I had a good workout, but since I had got there a little later than usual, I had to cut my cardio time. As I was showering I realised I had left my razor at home... and I had brought a dress for work :-\ Then as I was putting my makeup on, I get a text from Baby Girl "I missed the bus", the neighbour who would normally take her for me was not home, so I tell her to give me 20 minutes, throw all my stuff back in my bag and put my dress on. Somehow, it's now too short and I remember that I picked it out of the basket with all the other recently dried clothes - not on the clothes horse where I usually hang it. Someone (Baby Girl) had not hung it and it had shrunk slightly. So. Now I have stubbly legs and a too short dress... Good thing I have to go back home. I text her on my way to make me a cup of tea in my travel mug, but arrive to find that my teen who is ALWAYS on her phone, did not get that text message.


I go upstairs to change into trousers and both boys are awake and watching TV. So the baby comes in my room, all proud of himself and announces that his tooth came out. Last night. And he still has it. Because the tooth fairy didn't come.


So I think fast and respond with "when did it fall out? Did you put it under your pillow?" He says yes, so I say "Well, there was a huge storm last night, so maybe she couldn't make it. Put it under there tonight, I'm sure she'll come" And then an epiphany. "Did you lose it before you went to bed?" "No, I woke up and pulled it out" "Ahhhhhh.... well, if you had already slept, then you have to wait for tonight.... She needs notice of a lost tooth, it doesn't count if you're already in bed asleep" "Oh ok. I'll leave it here until later" And places it on my nightstand.

Seriously. This tooth fairy, Santa Claus crap is exhausting!

Baby Girl got the riot act read to her on the way to school. An accident on the way to the office delayed me even further. There is not enough wine in my fridge to get me to Friday!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ab Challenge. Ouch!

So the struggle for better health continues...

An old friend of mine who now lives in San Antonio with his beautiful wife roped me into doing the 30 day Ab Challenge. This is a progressive calendar of sit-ups, crunches, leg raises and planks. Each day increases the number of reps until by the end of the 30 days you're doing 200 crunches, 125 sit-ups, 65 leg raises and 120s planks with a rest day on every 4th day. Today is a rest day. Thank God!! Day 7 was 35 sit-ups, 12 crunches, 12 leg raises, 25s planks. I broke it down into sets, but struggled to get 10 sit-ups in a row!! I'm used to doing crunches and have absolutely no worries about reaching 200, but I'm having trouble envisioning 50 sit-ups, never mind 125!! On the plus side though, you do not need to do them all in one go. You can break it up, as long as it's all in one day. Yay!

Anyway, I haven't been consistently taking my meds, for various reasons mostly related to social events (i.e. I cannot consume alcohol while taking the meds). They tend to knock me out about 45 minutes after taking them so I only take them when I know I can go straight to bed. This is a rarity in my life though.... Yesterday one of my best friends received an awesome job offer and wanted to celebrate so she planned a girly dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Now, I hate to be flaky, and I hate letting people down. I was exhausted and could feel the pain and numbness beginning to set in from the disk pushing on the nerve in my back. It started out subtle, but by the end of the work day, movement was becoming stiff. I figured, what the Hell, I can manage an hour or two at dinner. This girl has been there for me, she's super excited about this new opportunity and I don't get out much. So I brought lil sis along because she likes Mexican and the company on the hour long ride was nice.

By the time I got to the restaurant and sat down, I was on the verge of tears. I drive a stick shift. My entire back was on fire, pain was radiating down both legs and my fingertips were numb. Conversation was difficult, I could barely concentrate on what anyone was saying to me.

SIDE BAR: Our server gave me a ego-boost on checking my ID. It took a second for the age to register with him, but when it did his response was "No way! I don't believe that for a second". I can tell when they are just trying to sweeten me up, but his reaction was pretty genuine. Made me feel good :-)

Back to the story. My wine arrived, I figured it might help me relax a little. No. My chest started to hurt. I was pretty sure I was going to have a heart attack as the pressure was intense. My food arrived and eating was equally as difficult as conversing, but I pasted a smile on my face, ordered a stronger drink and did my best. I've delivered 3 children naturally. No pain relief. That was easier than sitting at dinner for a couple of hours last night! The walk to the car was slow, the drive home excruciating and even though it was almost 11pm and I knew I would wake up groggy, I took my meds. Firefighter stayed up and texted with me until I was finally knocked out into a drug-induced slumber.... I love him for that.

I woke up late this morning. Got to work on time. I'm stiff, groggy and dreading sitting in my chair all day, but it was so good to see my girl excited about where her life is going.

(And she's my only follower, so I get to say I love her to pieces and I'm so proud of her!!).

All I can say at this point is that the results had better be worth the effort. I've seen before and after pics of others who have tried it, so I'm encouraged that I will at least see some change. And I have the encouragement of Willy D to keep me going. I'm no quitter!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Man-flu opens up opportunities

I'm in kind of a weird space right now. So after discussions with Firefighter a couple of weeks ago, where I very nearly ended what is quite possibly the happiest and healthiest (non) relationship I've ever had, we decided that we should just stay 'casual'. Now, I have no problem with this, because let's face it, after 10 years of Hell, I'm in no hurry to tie myself down again. The problem was understanding what we both expected from 'casual'. Are we exclusive? Do we date other people?

Now, don't get it twisted. I am not that girl who gets clingy and crazy about who he's with or where they're going. I've always given him his space. Which is where it gets interesting. From day one we had only planned on it being casual, which to me meant, if I'm free and he's free and we wanted to just kick back and chill, catch a game or a movie, we knew who to call (text). I mostly expected to see him once or twice a month. And it did start out that way. But 3 months in, we were up to once a week, by 4 months it was every weekend and by now I had slept over. After 6 months, I had been to a couple of his family functions, and met his mother (who is a sweetheart), sister, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins... you get my drift.

But we were still, according to him, 'casual'.

And then, it happened. Right around 10 months, I dropped the 'L' bomb. I didn't mean to. It slipped out while watching TV one evening. He took it well, I played it off. But then it started to niggle. I don't expect to hear it from him. He's been burned pretty bad and is determined not to go there again, and that's ok with me. But I did decide that I needed to know if he recognised the change in our status. I was still not sure how he viewed me. I won't go into detail, but let's just say, I had a very difficult weekend while we tried to sort ourselves out. He sent an email. Yes, I cringed too, because I hate having what should be a 'grown up' conversation over text or email, but he prefaced it with an explanation that he is not good at talking face to face and it's true, he gets tongue-tied (it's actually kinda cute). He basically stated that he realised it was more than casual and that he hadn't intended for it to go there, that he didn't want to have to feel like he needed to tell me where he was going and who he was with. Now at this point, let me remind you: I have never asked him to tell me anything of the sort. If he had other plans, that was cool. I either made some of my own or chilled at home with the brats. So I calmly reminded him that I had never asked. He always freely volunteered the information.

So. We were back on track. Yay.

I figured we would dial back, you know, maybe for a couple weeks he would suddenly have a bunch of friends he wanted to catch up with, so I settled in and began reaching out to a few of my own to see if any wanted to hangout, catch a movie, shoot some pool.

Well... that's not quite what happened. Sure we texted a little less. I guess neither was sure how to behave, but then the weekend rolled around and hey, guess what? Yep, nothing had changed. Well, maybe one thing. The expectation is now set - on his end - that my Friday nights are spent at his place, Saturday he comes to mine, Sunday is church and then back to mine. Then he went to Green Bay to visit friends for the weekend...  I had a weekend planned with the girls, so I expected radio silence for a few days, barring a few "Hey, how ya doing"... Uh, no. I got almost minute by minute updates of the entire trip. It was really sweet, but left me and my inner circle of friends, confused. He had a rotten trip, so we planned, or so I thought, for us to hangout at the weekend (he got back on a Wednesday), drink a few adult beverages while he vented. Naturally he texted to let me know he was back, but then he stunned me. Could I come over that night? He asked. Just the day before he had said he would be tired from traveling and that he'd let me know about the weekend. So I made arrangements with my sister to stay with the kids. Half a bottle of wine and 3 shots of Goldschlager later, I've heard damn near his life story, which he claimed was necessary for me to understand why his trip sucked so bad. It wasn't necessary, but I did learn how and who broke his heart. Thursday sucked at work.

So ok, with our newly reclaimed 'casual' status, I figured I'd see less of him at the weekend. <sigh> Nope. It seems to have kicked into a different gear altogether. So Friday, I went to his as usual, stayed and then headed to my mani-pedi spa. He wasn't feeling too good, but we put that down to the travel. He came over to my place to chill after I got done with my errands, but still wasn't feeling good, so I gave him some Dayquil and just let him rest, but by early evening, he was feeling worse so I went to the store, got some Nyquil, a toothbrush and deodorant so he could stay. Well, I woke up to him blazing hot Sunday morning. Took his temp: 102°. So my Sunday was spent playing nurse, while also getting online to put in some emergency overtime. Monday he finds out it's pneumonia. He gets two shots in the butt-ocks (you've got to say it like Forrest Gump), is given a bunch of prescriptions and sent home to rest. Monday evening he contrives another excuse for me to come over after work on Tuesday. I brought him dinner, played nurse for a little bit and then kicked back on the couch with him fully intending to get up and make the 30 minute drive back home. When I dozed off for a minute, he woke me and said "You didn't bring any clothes." "Huh?" "Why didn't you bring any clothes?" In my head I heard myself answer 'because, you numpty, you wanted casual.', out loud I said "Because I hadn't planned on staying". I had asked him what they had said at work, but he hadn't spoken to anyone. One guy, who is gay and I believe has a crush on him, asked if he needed anything. I got a chuckle out of that. But then he said that one of the girls Crispylivin (her screen name), would no doubt have something to say about me looking after him, so I said just don't tell her. His response: "Of course I will, I don't mind it".

So. The words haven't been said. I'm trying not to see what I want to see, but the old adage "actions speak louder than words" keeps popping into my head. He has thanked me repeatedly over the last couple of days, for fussing over him. Today we joked about him remembering  his 'nurse' if he wins the lottery tonight. I said "she's not fussy, dinner or something would be nice..." he said "she would get a lot more than that", so I joked "ooooh a movie too?" He answered "yep and more." I left it there with "she's one lucky nurse, if you win of course". I'm not one to push my luck! The banter is fun, I can tell there is some affection. We are coming up on one year in a couple of weeks... For now I'm enjoying the butterflies in my stomach and thanking man-flu for the opportunity to show him he doesn't have to be afraid.