Friday, April 1, 2011

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

There are days, much like today, when I think I just can't take this anymore! When I feel the crushing of the cruel world breaking every bone in my body. And then I remember the spring of 2002 and tell myself Hey, you! You can get through this! This is nothing... you survived a hemorrhoidectomy. Remember?!

First of all, I didn't know what the hell hemorrhoids were. All I knew was that several months prior I had a baby and since then something just wasn't right. In the tail end, I mean.

Uh, Doc... there seems to be something going on. Or, uh, out. Something coming out. And there's pain. Quite a bit of that, actually. And once in a while some blood. Which normally wouldn't concern me, seeming as I'm a girl and all, but this blood isn't coming from the proper opening. Know what I mean?

And that's how I learned about hemorrhoids. And the fact that they are nothing to mess around with. Literally. Don't try pulling on those things, they ain't budging.

Then I learned about Tucks Medicated Pads and suddenly I was 80 years old, shuffling around in my house slippers and looking forward to my bi-weekly appointment at the beauty salon.

Then I remembered how once, when we were little, my Mom cracked up laughing because my Dad accidently used Vicks VapoRub on his hemmorhoids mistakenly thinking he was dipping into the Vaseline, and boy, did that get his attention, so then I asked the doctor if hemmorhoids were genetically passed on like cellulite and stretch marks, because if that was the case I was really getting the short end of the DNA stick. And then I threw out any Vicks I had in the house, just in case.

I put up with the pain and awkwardness for as long as I could. Then my handy dandy HMO granted me relief in the form of "Outpatient Hemmorhoidectomy" and I thought phew! Except I didn't fully comprehend what a hemmorhoidectomy included because if I had, I would've kept those suckers.

First of all, you can't be embarrassed or shy. Because they make you lay down face first on a table naked. Then the table goes way up in the air so the doctor and assisting nurse don't have to hunch over to get to your heiney. Then they turn on a super bright light. So there you are, lying ass up five feet in the air with a spotlight on your bum.

And then the nurse says something along the lines of we're going to numb the area now. And really, shame on them for not restraining the patient.

First, you feel too many hands spreading your cheeks. Which, in my opinion, is wrong. Because as I was laying there I was thinking how many times have I had numerous strange people pulling at the naked flesh of my rear end? and I couldn't remember one. (Albeit, college was a blur.)

And then the nurse injects the area.

Just sit in that for a minute, will you.

Injects. The. Area.

As in, the area the hemmorhoids are located in.

Do you know how many nerve endings are located in the area? Tons. Millions. A gazillion thousand billion. Hey, just for kicks, if you're not doing anything tonight, ask your partner to lightly prick you with the end of a safety pin right there and see if you can handle it. Or if you flip yourself off the table while round house kicking the face of the nurse holding the needle. Just saying.

Thankfully, the area is numbed quickly. And then the doctor and nurse happily set about spreading and slicing, but you won't care because you can't feel a thing.

Then you'll drive home giggling because *awkward* someone just had their hands all over your butt and you'll stop off and pick up your pain medication and take it right in the pharmacy because the nurse took you by the shoulders and stared intently into your eyes while saying, "For the love of all that is kind and good: do NOT miss your pain medication. Not even by fifteen seconds."

And a half hour later you'll understand how right she was because you have never felt so much pain in all of your life and you'll want to take all your pain medication right that very minute. Along with a bottle of whiskey. Birthing a rhinoceros without an epidural while hanging upside down as someone's slipping slivers of bamboo under your fingernails feels better than the pain of a diced rectum. Trust me on this.

And then. Oh, you know what's coming.

Eventually you have to do this thing called have a bowel movement which might as well be called pass a razor sharp anvil through one of the most tender openings of your body. Six jugs of prune juice, eleven stool softeners and something called ColonClenz picked up at the local GNC and I found myself hanging on to my dear life via the walls of my bathroom alternating between pleading with God to just let me die and begging Him not to let me die, because hello! Far too many people have seen my pasty white rump roast already.

For a week I slipped in and out of consciousness while lying on my couch. Face down, of course. Did you know that if you sneeze it really does feel like you'll blow out your uh, area?

But I survived.

I don't know how, but I did. And if I can survive a hemmorhoidectomy then I can survive anything life throws at me. But if those suckers ever come back then they're stuck with me because I would never, in my right mind, do that again.

And no matter how nicely you ask, no, I will not show you the scars.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dude! It's not just a shirt... it's a lifestyle.

Is it just me, or is it hard to find cute clothes for little boys?

Because I find tons of clothes that tease me into thinking I want another girl, but then my teenage daughter enters the room and reminds me why perhaps I ought not to. I'm not sure if it's the eye rolling or the fact that someday I'm going to have to accept the fact that she's going to have sex. Either way, it's way too much to think about with a little girl. I know. It's sexist. Although, to be fair I don't plan on high five-ing my son when he decides to knock boots.

So guess who gets excited when she finds cute things to force her son to wear? This girl!

Can I just say I absolutely adore the label? "Uncommonly Sweet..."

The t-shirt fabric is heavy, thick, durable! No flimsy t's for this boy.

Embracing his Dude Pride!

"dude" shirt courtesy of Miss Mindy Mac Designs

I am *so* hoping she does a "punk" version.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Grab the saddle, kids.... Mama's gonna check out a bathroom.

So, you know I'm deathly afraid of horses, right? What with all those teeth and all. And by all I am specifically referring to their deadly bucking skills. But did you know I also love horses? Really. I do. From a distance, I mean. A very far distance. I really do think they are beautiful, graceful animals and there's a part of me that envisions myself sitting high in that saddle, galloping through an open field with the bright sun warming my face.

And then I remember in an instant it can all come crashing to a halt as the horse bucks my unsuspecting self off the saddle, stamps my body to a lifeless, bloody pulp and bites me. Hard.

Logically I know that if I ever want to reach my goal of enjoying a trail ride I need to suck it up and get on a dang horse. Teeth and all! And that is exactly why I decided to suck it up and talk to Chris Stebnitz at Stebnitz Builders about my whole bathroom hell situation.

It went kind of like this:

Look, I'm probably wasting your time, but there are 5 people in our house and only one bathroom and also I think there's a leak in the only bathroom we have and we're not wealthy so I don't know what we can even afford, but I priced out caskets on the internet, you know, just in case I actually do kill someone as a result from the stress having only one bathroom is taking on me, and those caskets are surprisingly expensive, so I'm thinking maybe you could help me? With the bathroom, I mean. Not the casket because I don't think we're going that route.

Luckily for Chris, we went to school together over two decades ago and I'm pretty sure he remembers how strange I was so he probably reminded himself that he needed call the authorities just yet. Chris was older than me and one of those uber cool kids with tons of friends and also he played the saxophone super awesomely and was in the jazz band. I played the clarinet. And wore think, purple, plastic framed glasses. "Uber cool" missed me by at least a gazillion miles which is partially to blame for my fear of horses that have teeth. (The other part to blame is my father and that goat obsessed horse he brought home when we were kids, but that's another story for another day.)

I sat on the phone and vomited words at Chris while he sat and listened:

We have no idea what we're doing. Or what we should do. We have a house that obviously needs help, but we don't even know where to start. We think of one thing but then quickly realize that affects fifteen other things - like a domino effect. Or worse, Jenga. A big old crumbling pile of blocks. We can see everything going quickly out of control. We don't know how to start or what to do once we get going; so we do nothing.

After my long-winded, one-sided therapy session, I felt relief. I felt lighter just putting my fears out there. At that moment I didn't care if he thought I was crazy, or stupid, or ignorant, or naive. Because I have felt all those things when it comes to home repairs and home maintenance. And there it was. All of it.

Then he said, "What I hear you saying is that there are parts of your house that just aren't working for your family." Yes! Exactly! Wait? I said that? I didn't realize I was so succinct and concise. Nice job, me!

Chris heard me. He heard what I was saying in between the rambling words of fear and offered this advice; homework, if you will. I was to get with Big V and write down everything we wanted done in our house. After that, we were to mark which items were the necessary ones in order to separate them out from the "we dream of's."  Those items which were safety or compliance issues would need to be dealt with first. (For instance, that leaking pipe in the main bathroom. That cannot continue because it would just cause more damage to the house.) Then we were to mark those items that would be necessary to improve the functionality of our family... things we needed to restore some peace.

I poured over my list. Walking through the house, looking at each of the rooms. The lighting, the flooring, the layout. For days I thought and wrote and changed and wrote some more. I typed up my list and used little asterisks to mark what I felt were the necessary items. I fixed my margins and printed out my two pages of size 10 font.

And then I asked Big V what he had come up with. He showed me the back of a wrinkled receipt with the words "laundry chute" scribbled across the top.

Laundry chute?


That's it? You want a laundry chute?


So, throughout this entire house, all you can think of is -- adding a laundry chute?




Are you being sarcastic? Because I know when I'm being sarcastic but sometimes I have a hard time knowing when you're being sarcastic because, well, obviously I've known myself longer than I've known you.

I'm not being sarcastic. You asked what I thought. And I think we need a laundry chute. Everyone chucks their dirty clothes down the basement stairs and leaves them there until someone else moves them. It's dangerous. A laundry chute would solve that problem. Besides, the bathroom is directly above the laundry room so it makes sense. It's an obvious, easy fix. And I want it.

You do realize if we get a laundry chute you're not allowed to dive down it pretending you're in some sort of Mission Impossible-robbing-a-casino-bank-robbery movie, right?

.... well, maybe just once....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Someone wants me to Pay It Forward but all I want to do is sleep.

I would have posted sooner but I was doing this thing called vacationing. And by vacationing, I meanthe 9-year old and I spent 3 hours alone in the car driving to a crappy hotel in Normal, Illinois. And by crappy, I mean our hotel window didn't even shut all the way and I was too scared to ask for another room because be careful what you wish for and so we just cranked the heat up to 78 and it seemed to be okay. Also, for about an hour of the drive the 9-year old was bleating. Like a sheep. Like a whole herd of never tiring bleating sheep.

And I tried really hard not to lose my cool because she's the only one of my kids that actually gets upset if I get angry and she really does take things personally so I tried really hard to be one of those cool, calm and collected mothers.

"Wow. You really are very good at sounding like a sheep. Are there any other animals you know how to do?"


"Huh. Mommy's getting kind of a head ache. I guess she doesn't like that many loud sheep noises."


"Okay. That's enough now. I don't want you to hurt your throat."



Yep. It was a fun drive.

In other news, I got an AWARD! No, not for my superb mothering skills, but rather for my blogging ability (which is ironic because lately I've been feeling like I've hit a slump). But Confessions of a Corn Fed Girl believes in me and presented me with the fabulous Pay it Forward blogging award.

First I felt happy. Then I read the rules ... the ones that said I had to further bestow this award to 5 other bloggers that inspire and entertain me and actually tell them (because how else would they know they got the award?) and then I felt utter panic because are you kidding me? I don't actually talk to people! Obviously Corn Fed is under the impression that I am well adjusted. Surprise!

So, what I am going to do is keep reading Confessions of a Corn Fed Girl and encourage you to do the same because she is funny as shit and you can find out all sorts of things about her like how she has no idea how to ride a bike and that totally makes me feel better because maybe I'd probably, for sure die if I had to approach someone I didn't know (even in Blog World) but at least I know how to ride a bike. Shah!

And I'll also do the other part of the award that says I have to tell you 7 things you don't really care to know about me because I'm pretty sure my readers are just as nosy as I am.

1) I cheated on my 4th grade timed multiplication test and totally got away with it. To this day I feel guilty when I think of it. Worse than that is I still don't know my multiplication facts. I think God was looking down on me going, "What is she doing? That's the worse cheating I've ever seen. Kids these days... I know, I'll let her get away with it, but punish her by not allowing her to become a mathematician. And then I'll give her children who will ask for help on their math homework and she won't be able to help them and she'll always regret cheating." God was right. I do regret it.

2) If I had a bag of gummy worms I would not share any of the red and white ones. Not even if Brad Pitt asked. I'd treat everyone the same and let them eat a green one but no one is getting a red.

3) I will never, ever, ever scuba dive. Not even if you offered me a million dollars. Because (a) I really don't trust that whole breathing apparatus thing, (b) there are sharks and fish that have teeth and biting and nibbling tendencies in those waters, and (c) I have crippling fears of drowning.

4) I will never, ever, ever eat black licorice. Unless you offered me a million dollars. Then I'd convince myself I was eating NyQuil Jello and imagine how I was going to spend all that money.

5) In high school a girl once looked right in my eyes and told me, "You're never going to amount to anything." For a long time I believed her. Fifteen years later I saw that girl again and quickly realized those were her fears, not my destiny. (Oh, how I wish I would have realized that at 16.)

6) I long to bake homemade bread. I have tried. And I have failed. I got the yeast and made the dough and I put it in a bowl with the little hand towel over it and - nothing. It was the exact same size. I threw the dough in my kitchen garbage can and forgot about it. Here's something you might not know: given the right conditions, bread dough really will rise to fill a 10 gallon garbage can. And, yes, I did consider taking it out and baking it.

7) I don't get that thrilled when I hear 80's music. In fact, I change the station. It's true.