Thursday, June 26, 2008


Yesterday evening as I called Elle to the kitchen for dinner I raised her booster seat to adjust her chair. She came running* in to the kitchen and the timing resulted in Elle running face first in to the seat as I raised the chair behind me (almost drawing my arm back like getting ready to toss a bowling ball).

Elle immediately covered her face with her hands and cried, for all of 15 seconds. I think my reaction is what scared her the most since I was all "oh my God I just hit my child in the face with a chair!" Once she let me peel her hands away, a goose egg raised on the bridge of her nose and a black eye started to turn dark. Every time I look at her face I feel a punch in the gut, a wave of guilt, and even though it was a total accident, I can't help feeling like a craptastic mother.

Elle is totally fine and unless she looks directly in a mirror, is not really aware of the fact she looks like she finished 3 rounds in the octagon with Rampage Jackson and won.

*Elle is a runner. She rarely walks and if she is walking, she probably doesn't want to make you aware she is entering a room. She's sneaky that way.

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This photo perfectly captures one of my favorite parts of summer. Line dried clothes may feel a bit stiffer but they smell like the perfect combination of fresh air and flowers. Hauling the clothes outside, taking the time to shake them out and hang them up with the wooden clothes pins is extra work but for some reason I really like it. It reminds me of my childhood, running and playing hide and seek between the shirts and sheets that would hang to dry in our backyard.

I don't claim to be a photographer in any way, but I like this picture. You can almost feel the sun and the breeze is blowing right at you. I needed summer more than I realized.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oh dear.

Last night, I went out with some friends from work after work. It was fun. My peeps insisted that I do some de-stressing. Check.

I drank way way too much and played pool badly. This combination has made for an interesting day. My question is: why do my fingers hurt so bad?

Also, Guinness + SoCo and Lime + J├Ągermeister + Chicken wings = Headache

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stiumulus? Ha! Surely, you jest!?

Part of our recent financial issues have stemmed from the fact that good 'ole Uncle Sam has put the hammer down on the deferment of my student loans. Forebear you say? Been there done that. I even made several attempts to work out a payment plan with said crazy uncle and the student loan servicing center (SLSC). I explained to all parties that I am the sole income for my family right now and that I have a child with Down Syndrome who requires extra out-of-pocket needs like additional speech and occupational therapies that bill beyond insurance. I even explained that the reason why I had to defer for so long was the fact cancer cleaned out our bank and kept me out of work for a long time. The individual that was (and I say was for reasons you will read in a moment) is no longer working on my case and it was turned over to the devil's handmaiden for collection. Ms. Beelzebub filed garnishment papers and not so shortly after, 15-20% rolled off my check and right into my loan repayment. This is A LOT of freaking money. A LOT. This money was the difference between making it and being kicked while you're down. Oh, and the former individual who was my case worker? She informed me and I quote (I will never forget this, ever): "Mrs. Forrester, I'm sorry you had cancer and that your kid is retarded, but that is no reason why you can't pay more on your loan. You owe this money and I am here to get it." Nice, eh?

In addition to my garnishment, my $2,500 tax return? IRS wired that to the SLSC in January. I also get a rather large bonus from work each February, %20 of that went directly to the SLSC and the $1,800 stimulus check this May? You guessed it!! It was wired directly to the SLSC!!! That was over $6,500 I "lost!" That would have paid a lot of bills. That money doesn't even include what I paid from my regular check's garnishment. (I promise I will knock it off with the exclamation points!)

Don't get me wrong. I understand I am responsible for my student loans, I do not dispute the loan for a minute. I do however feel I am owed respect. I can't even get the SLSC to negotiate with me, I would like to knock off some of the interest so that all of this money will actually go to the principal and get me out from under this tidal wave of shit.

Now you are probably wondering the whole reason why I wrote all of this, and dear sweet reader, there is a reason and that is Jon Stewart. I was reading some of his satirist editorial and I came across the following quote, and it made me LAUGH!

(March 17, 2008 - speaking of the $600 tax rebate to help home owners)
"I think that'll work out great if your home is made out of plastic and located on Baltic Avenue."

Heh. I needed to laugh.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

she's gonna make it after all

Today was better than yesterday and I am glad for that.

I went to the doctor who confirmed what I had suspected, I have strep throat again. The ENT has suggested taking out my tonsils, adenoids, and putting a tube in my right ear. The nurse who gave me 4 shots (in my bum no less) is a parent and she said "oh my son had that when he was three!" Apparently, I am a late bloomer.

You may wonder whats with all the strep madness. I do take care of myself but I can't take a regular multi-vitaman because of the calcium (history of kidney stones). I also had cancer and received radiation treatment that has caused some residual issues with my ability to fight infection in my face and throat. I'm cancer free so residual effects are worth the pain. The doctor is also encouraging me to come in for weekly B12 shots to help boost my something or other. Ok. I am down with helping my something or other.

Today I hobbled out with 2 shots in each cheek, six scripts and the instructions to "take it easy."

I'll get right on that.

bring me to life

I have been under a bit of stress lately. Between family, finances, health and the general state of the world, stress has become my main emotion. I don't like it. I'm trying to fix it. I'm not depressed but I suffer from anxiety. I am in a constant struggle not to run around like chicken little, yelling "the sky is falling!"

I was trying to pin point where or what all of this anxiety stems from so I decided to actually write it down on paper. Here is what I came up with:

That end part is totally immature, I know. I just feel that way right now. I feel very back the fuck off and let me breathe. I really wish I could get to a point where I am not waiting for the other shoe to drop or for the shit to hit the fan, I am just not there yet.

Part of the reason why I am not there yet is because I stopped taking anti anxiety medication thinking saving $33 dollars a month would be money well spent on things like Pull-Ups and organic peanut butter. This was a stupid, stupid idea and the fact that I stopped taking the medication only gave me more stress.

Sure, things could always be worse. I could be in the rubble of a quake in China or wiped out by a freak cyclone in Myanmar, but my "things" are all very real to me and they are making a pile of bricks on my chest. I am ready for some good times, you know. I need a teeny tiny bit of "things are ok" for just a little while. I am afraid I am letting life pass me by.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Go out there and do something remarkable

Dear Andy,

Wednesday you walked across the stage and left high school behind. I would say that you became a man on that summer evening but it began happening long before Wednesday night. I wish I could have been there to see you accept your diploma and to whistle like you had just hit a home run at a ball park. In a way, you did hit a home run Andy, and I am more proud of you than I have ever been before.

I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you and to tell all of your friends stories about you when you little and did weird things like walk around in power ranger underroos and cowboy boots or how you believed Josh's frat letters stood for "we eat small children on fridays." Have you ever told your friends that you made up your own dance to the song "Ice,Ice, Baby" before you had even turned 1 year old? Did you know that from ages 2-3 you greeted me only in french? Do you remember how you audibly sobbed and called out my name as I said my vows at my wedding, or how the the first time you ever held your goddaughter, she clung to you for three hours and when I took her out of your arms it was only the second time I had ever heard her cry.

Arie Pencovici said "Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you'll make a difference" I think you have a firm grasp on what awaits you. Believe in yourself. I believe in you. I think you are one of the most amazing people in the world I am so proud of you Pook. The best is yet to come, buddy. I Love you!

Friday, June 13, 2008

If it's Sunday, it's "Meet the Press."

Earlier this afternoon I received an sms from CNN breaking news reporting the passing of Tim Russert. I cannot say enough good things about this man. This is the first time a when I have felt moved to tears about the passing of a journalist. Tim Russert never new it but he is one of the individuals that made me passionate about America and American government. I have spent nearly every Sunday morning with Tim Russert for more than half of my life. Mr. Russert was the kind of individual that made you look at an issue from all sides but encouraged you to take the motivation those feelings gave you and turn them into something good and meaningful. I will miss his voice and input during this years election. I will miss his spirited, fair debate and reporting. Godspeed Tim. You will be missed.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Welcome back to Hockeytown Stanley

...I'm a few days late getting this posted but... Awww yeah! No matter were I reside, my heart is always with the Wings in Hockeytown.

A couple of pics from the Red Wings Homecoming Parade courtesy of my little brother. Both pics are shots of Nicklas Lidstrom, Wings Captain, holding THE CUP! GO WINGS!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

::beached wail::

On a lark, Josh suggested that we take a trip to the beach. We headed out to Normandy Lake, a TVA reservoir with beaches about 25 minutes from the house. We thought it would be nice to do something inexpensive and fun for Elle. The sun was shining, it was 88 degrees outside and we grabbed towels, sunscreen** and sand toys, iced down some lemonade and hit the road.

Our child is officially a beach bum.

Elle ran straight into the lake without a second thought*. It scares me that she has no fear of, well, anything. We stayed in the water for almost an hour and then we coaxed Elle up on the beach to play in the sand while Josh and I chilled and drank lemonade. After 20 minutes in the sand Elle took a look at me and Josh on the blanket and then a long look at the lake. We knew what was coming. She dropped the sand shovel and took off running straight into the water. I was running after her but the beach has some rocks and my feet were tender so I was a good 5 feet behind her. She stopped about a foot into the water, turned around and looked and me and said "MOM! HURRY!"We stayed in the water for another hour or so and then called it a day.

I derive the title of today's post from Elle's emotional farewell with the beach. TOTAL MELTDOWN. You would have thought we told her that there were no hot dogs left on earth. She wailed and sobbed and fought the buckles on her car seat. Only after we had completely left Normandy and drove a good mile down the road had she calmed down enough to stop hyperventilating. The promise of Popsicles at home finally mellowed her back to her normal pleasant demeanor so we could ride home with the windows down enjoying the breeze.

There were probably a total of 30 or 40 people scattered between the beach and the water. According to some other parent-types on the beach, today's population was typical for a week day. This has us totally stoked because my days off are week days and now we can hit the beach once a week and avoid the crowds.

We had such a great time today that if the weather cooperates, we are planning to go back next Wednesday with cookout supplies and floaties :) Good times. Yeah, it's summer.

*Josh just read this and requested that I mention that today was Elle's first time in a body of water larger than a puddle. She's been in pools before but she was always in an inner tube or a wading pool shallow enough for small birds. Today she went head first in to a big lake. Without an ounce of fear!

**I remembered to spray Josh and Elle with sunscreen but neglected to protect myself. You'd think with the whole "cancer thing" I would be more careful. Heh. You'd think.

Monday, June 02, 2008

cutie patooties

After blogging about illness, alcohol and alienesque actresses, I thought I would take a turn for the sentimental and share a pic of my nieces. This is the lovely Miss M, holding her sister, Bathtub. Bathtub is legally known as Abigail but do not tell Miss M. Judging from this photo, Bathtub* may be better served by the name burrito. Can you stand the cuteness? It almost makes me want another child, but not really.

I just wonder if Bathtub will grow up to throw heavy oak chairs at Miss M, just like their mother did to me? (I have the scar to prove this.)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

the ugly truth

What I am about to say is mean but I can't help it. (Truthfully, I can help it. I have a bit'o OCD and I cannot stop thinking about this.) I think Tilda Swinton is a fantastic actress. I have enjoyed her acting in several movies and that is the nice thing I have to say. On the other hand, she looks like she is from a different planet. Is it just me or is this women odd looking to you? I think the resemblance to THIS is stunning!