Sunday, February 26, 2006

Yep, folks, it's a two-post day

Top 10 Weird Moments in My Life
(in no particular order, and accurate only as far as what comes to mind tonight)

1. When I was about six years old, I distinctly remember looking out the kitchen window with my sister, who was 14 at the time, and seeing the fire hydrant outside our house engulfed in flames, in the middle of a snowdrift on a crystal clear winter night. No shit.

2. At J.'s father's visitation, the priest was giving his sermon (or whatever those wacky Catholics call it when it's at a visitation), and he said, completely seriously, that "Jesus was very busy with the hustle and bustle of miracle-working." Sitting in the family row on the side of the room, holding a borrowed rosary, I busted out laughing and had to cover my mouth to try to pretend that I was just sobbing hysterically. J. began laughing too, and I don't think anyone was fooled.

3. When I was in fifth grade, I was taking dance lessons that began right after school. It took about half an hour to get there so there was always a time crunch, therefore I dressed in my leotard before school was out and put my regular clothes over it. One day, I was wearing a short-sleeved blue terrycloth-like dress and didn't know what to do because my long-sleeved leotard would show awkwardly under the short-sleeved dress. So I made a critical and yet tragically flawed decision to just wear the leotard without any clothes over it back to class for the last five minutes of the day. Everyone laughed at me for wearing my "underwear" to class. I'm still scarred.

4. About six months ago, going to a "meditation maze" in the middle of a wooded area at a nun-run spa place with LilCherie at 10:30 p.m. on a cold night. We just walked around this little circular maze made in sand with stone borders to keep you going in the right direction, sometimes passing each other, sometimes walking behind or in front of one another. As if this isn't weird enough, we began to hear strange beastly noises from the woods, like a mix between a roar, a snuffle and howl all at once, with lots of noise in the brush as it was moving around. What the???

5. Getting the closest I've ever been to your traditional idea of "hysterical." I'd gone to the ER with J. because I had an infected abscess in my crotch that was proving to be a chronic issue, and it was kinda major--like, IV antibiotics, I really cannot walk without crying, take a week or two off of work, systemic illness type stuff. I knew what they were going to do to me--cut it open, drain it out, root around in there with a big Q-Tip and then pack it with gauze to let heal for several weeks, and I knew how fucking painful it was going to be. I snapped. When the nurse left, I threw on my clothes and told J. "I'm just not going to do it. I'm leaving. I don't care if this kills me." My voice sounded very odd to me, I'd never heard it that way before, like one of those "calm in a very creepy, cuckoo!" voices. Despite J.'s pleas I started walking to the door. I told the nurse I was heading out for a smoke and didn't wait for her reaction before I walked straight back through the ER and out the door. I lit up a smoke, J. came after me, and I really just began gibbering profanely about how I wasn't going to do it and nobody could make me and I didn't care if I died, etc. Just like in the movies, J. had to take me by the shoulders and shake me and say something to the effect of "Get ahold of yourself!" It worked and I went back in but wow. I freaked myself out.

6.Watching an old videotape of one of my dance recitals from when I was about 12 and realizing, "You know what? I really wasn't very good at dancing," after years of believing that I really was awesome at it.

7. Looking at the mole on my husband's best friend's penis.

8. Flashing my tits to a trucker who was passing us on the road (in my defense, he did have "Show Me Your Tits" written in the dust on the back of his rig). This might not seem that weird to some people out there, but it really kinda was to me. Especially since I was severely depressed that evening until I did this, and found that it lifted my spirits (and hopefully the trucker's) considerably.

9. Making a ceramic cast of my "snaggle nail" -- a little nail shard that grows on the nailbed of my big toe -- while my friend Tingle made a cast of her breast, which she feels has freakishly small nipples (they aren't by the way. They're petite and cute and just like the nipples I always wished I had!). FYI, I had my big toenails permanently removed years ago, but this little fighter just couldn't be defeated that easily, so now he just grows out of the middle of my left big toe and I get to shave him down now and then. We then presented these to our husbands as gifts with the notes "S., you're the breast!" And to J., "I love you TOE much!" I later had the snaggle nail cast mounted on a base with the note engraved on a brass plate. And J. hasn't taken it to work yet!!!!

10. That time I in memorized all the books of the Bible for Sunday School so that I could get a religious bookmark with my name on it. Okay, that's probably not one of the weirdest moments in my life, but I'm tired, okay?

Do you know of a weird moment in my past that I'm not remembering? Feel free to add to the list!

Operation Deep Swallow Underway

Hi y'all! Well, despite the lack of a formal inaugural, Operation Deep Swallow is now underway as of...let's say yesterday, Feb. 25. Yesterday was a seminal moment (ha!) because we FINALLY HAD SEX after almost or possibly more than 4 months. I began ODS Day 1 by watching Bubba while J. went out to bum around downtown and then go to a charity event for work. When he came home, he was obviously tired, so I kindly volunteered to take over for the rest of the day watching Bubba so he could take a long nap, which he did. At one point during the day, I even told him what a great dad he was. Awww!

Later on yesterday evening, I brought up the subject of sex with J. and told him I missed it, and that the reason I hadn't been banging down his door about it for the last several months is that I haven't felt very emotionally connected to him AND I am feeling very fat and ugly lately, that it wasn't an issue of not being attracted to him, and that I think that maybe we should make a point of just doing it even though we may not feel like it because the act in itself is a way of staying connected.

Even later on that evening, I initiated and it happened, and it was very nice--no rockets went off and no bells started ringing, but it was comfortable and loving and satisfying. I feel this is a major accomplishment. And in case you're wondering--there was no swallowing involved, thank goodness, because I think we were out of Pepsi.

I slept in this morning and J. watched Bubba, but when I got up I worked my butt off all day--cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, going to the store for a big grocery shop, going to buy another humidifier for Bubba who I think came down with the croup last night, unloading the groceries, playing with Bubba, giving him a bath, making dinner (beef stew) and cleaning up. AND, as further evidence of how seriously I am taking ODS, I told J. two or maybe even three times today how much I appreciated him watching Bubba all day and doing the laundry (even though I folded a couple loads, but I didn't point that out to him). And I didn't go all apeshit when I had to ask him to compliment my excellent beef stew. And now he is sleeping comfortably on the couch. Do you think he'll come to bed with me? Well, faithful readers, you'll just have to wait in suspense until tomorrow.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Training bras and Easter dresses

Tonight I had to run into K-Mart for some diapers. It was a "surgical strike" trip as we call them, a "get in, get out as fast as you can" emergency run. Bubba and J. were waiting in the car and it was getting perilously close to Bubba's supposed bedtime (he actually stayed up until 9 p.m. tonight...surprise!)

Anyway, I'm cruising through the baby section to get to the diapers and I see little pink Easter dresses hanging on the racks at the front of the section. Even in my haste I stopped for a moment and looked before heading to the checkout counter.

Later, as I was thinking about the moment, it struck me as odd how the yearly commercial ritual of the Easter dress has become a moment that brings me to my daughter, my little girl I lost in 2003 (see "My life in a long nutshell" post if you're confused).

When I first lost Hope, I had no idea of all the things that would remind me of her. The first year, in fact, nearly everything did. It was either a commercial on TV featuring a little baby girl or a pregnant woman selling cocoa butter cream for stretch marks, or the "stroller brigade" at the mall. If it didn't remind me of Hope, it reminded me of Hope's absence. The empty house, the Christmas without a little baby for us to fuss over, the empty yellow room that was supposed to be her nursery.

Over time, many of those reminders dropped away, or if not disappeared, have moved to a different part of my emotional landscape. The commercials and the stroller brigade I now look at and remember the agony they caused me just a couple of years ago, but I don't really feel it now. Our house is now loud with Bubba's squeals, laughter and crying, and the yellow room is now my son's nursery. Little reminders of Hope have been placed in that room deliberately, but they do not sadden me--the room is a joyful place where I hold my son and tell him about his sister.

For some reason, though, many moments of deeply missing my daughter, while simultaneously connecting with her in a more loving, wistful way, happen in department stores. I remember particularly one day, just before Bubba was born, going to JC Penney's. It was a moment unto itself because I was finally feeling positive enough about the pregnancy--literally a few weeks before he was born--to be able to buy anything for him. J. and I went together. As we were moving toward the infants' section, we had to go through the older kids' section. Suddenly I was standing in front of a whole wall of training bras. A sea of flat white triangles connected by the thinnest of elastic bands loomed before me. The little bras were so innocently sweet that it hurt, and all I could think of was that I would never be taking Hope to get her first one. I cried openly in the store, then went on and got a few things for Bubba. But that moment stuck with me, and whenever I see that section, I think of her.

The Easter dresses have become a similar reminder. Even though the dresses come at the same time of year, every year, they somehow still always surprise me. I will just be doing odd shopping and then see the pink or purple or foamy green spun-sugar fluff of dresses floating in the little girls' section. The first year, it blindsided me much like the training bras. I fingered the soft fabric with tears coming down my face, thinking of all the beautiful things I would have bought for Hope to wear, how cute she would have been in them. Since that first year, the pain has eased, but those dresses still cut to my heart like a symbol of all she would have been, all she should have been, all I should have had with my daughter. And, to be completely honest, now that I have a son who will most likely be our only living child, those dresses remind me of all the "girl stuff" that I will never have the chance to do with my own child.

I know I am lucky to have my son--losing Hope has made me all the more aware of that. I laugh when I hear him already making car noises at 17 months, and I love how enamored he is already with his boy parts. I still manage to find him adorable little outfits that, for the most part, don't have sports symbols emblazoned all over them (although that means he does have a lot of construction-themed clothes in his dresser), and I do think he is the cutest little boy in the world.

But the Easter dresses can't help but remind me of what was lost on that June evening, and remind me of how much I always will love my little girl who never got to take a breath in this world. I think when I am old and gray and hobbling down the department store aisle for my Ben-Gay and Depends, I will still stumble upon those Easter dresses and think of my daughter, who lives on in my heart if nowhere else. And for that, I love those Easter dresses.

This post is inspired by and dedicated to my coworker, whose 16-year-old son tragically committed suicide last night. I can only imagine how many reminders will loom before her after having had 16 years to love and experience her son. I hope with all my heart that someday, she will find at least some of them comforting.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Story of the Couch

Tingle's comment about how comfortable our couch gave me the idea for this post.

Our couch began as my parents' couch, purchased in 1976 when we moved into our red-siding-and-cream-brick ranch house. Thus, the couch entered my life when I was just 5 years old. I barely remember the old green one we had before that, something circa the early to mid '60s judging by its stark squareness and the spindly legs that held it a good five inches off the ground.

This was a big couch, long enough for my Dad's 6'2" frame to fit on it comfortably. It was a FlexSteel, my parents' favorite brand and now mine, after seeing how long this couch has lasted. The background was a yellow-brown, babyshit color, and emblazoned over the somewhat rough upholstery were large flowers of many varieties, in shades of reds, yellows, and browns. Very hip in '76.

The couch used to sit at the end of our very long living room, underneath a forboding painting of three ships sailing through stormy waters. That picture was hideous and frightening all at once, and god I was happy when my parents finally ditched it (within the last 10 years, no less). Anyway, since back then I was a spry, lithe, energetic little girl, I didn't get a whole lot of couch time — unless I was sick.

I can't remember how many feverish evenings, sore throat mornings and vomity afternoons I spent on that couch. Mom brought the piano bench over to serve as a sidetable, and on it were my tissues, barf bowl if necessary, books if I was up to it, and a half-flat half-full glass of Orange Crush, with a straw of course. Back then, we didn't have a remote control, or even cable, so there was no point in watching TV. Usually I just lay in anguish, living for the moments when someone would come over and ask me how I was doing. I was very needy (still am) when I was sick. If I was lucky, "Little House on the Prairie" would be on and I'd be able to break through my feverish haze to watch Pa and Ma teach Laura, Mary and Carrie all about right and wrong.

Years went by and before long I was moving out, going to college, living in the dorms. No need for a couch, and my parents were still using it anyway. Then setting up my first home with J., we got a different hand-me-down, a hide-a-bed that weighed about 8,000 pounds and was never comfortable. We moved that fucker around to like 6 places, and still have it in the basement.

Anyway, about 5 years ago, my parents announced they were getting a new couch. What!!!!! Get rid of THE couch? No way. I was shocked. It would have been like selling my childhood home or something. Always a sucker for free furniture, and with this one entrenched so lovingly in my memory, I asked if we could have it, and they said yes. With delight I set it up in the living room. Two slipcovers later, it's still going strong. Yes, it's a little bony in the back and if you sit down too hard you might hurt yourself. And yes, it's a little bit low to the ground, so it's a struggle to get up (J., watching me get up off the couch the other night after watching figure skating, coined my motion the "double-hoist"). And when it's not covered, it's an ugly motherfucker! But sink down into the cushions for a night watching "I Love the 80s" or "Celebrity Fit Club" and I dare you to match the comfort.

My parents, unfortunately, don't like their new La-Z-Boy couch, and often pine for Old Yella, but I firmly refuse to return it. I still spend sick days cuddled in it's soggy embrace, and it's like being at home again, except that nobody is going to come over and ask me what I'd like from the store or tell me how bad they feel about me anymore. J. agrees that it is the most comfortable couch ever. We will ride that thing until it won't ride no more, and it will be a sad day indeed when it's long life comes to an end.

So, you can see now how the couch has the capacity to come between J. and me. Honestly, though, I don't think it means any harm.

I think it's all the couch's fault

So last night I came home tired and grumpy, but soldiered on through the dinner/play with Bubba/bedtime routine. Bubba fell asleep while I was rocking him in the living room, and it was lovely. First I could hear his breathing begin to change, then I could feel his body relax into mine. That was one of the things I completely loved when Bubba was a little tiny baby--that moment when he would turn the corner between dozing and sleep, when I could feel his body become heavier in my arms. Back to last night, he then started his little twitchy things he does with his hands and feet while he's sleeping, and we sat together for awhile just enjoying it before putting him down. It was nice.

After that J. and I went out to the porch for a smoke and to discuss what Therapist had said, for now, just about the sleeping and eating together issues. J. was receptive. He said the main reasons he sleeps on the couch are because he either falls asleep watching TV and is so comfortable that he can't make himself get up, and sometimes it's because he's afraid that someone's going to break into the house and he feels like he's guarding the front and I'm guarding the back. I asked him if he realized that was a little bit paranoid, and he said he did. I explained that these basic patterns are things that are going to affect Bubba as he grows up and it's a good place to start, and he agreed.

So, about 20 pizza rolls and a Dove bar later, I settled in with J. to watch one of our Netflix movies, "The 40-Year-Old-Virgin." It was funny and I really enjoyed it. I think J. enjoyed what he saw of it, but he did doze off a couple times. It was kind of a weird feeling watching it with J. Since we haven't had sex in so long, it was a little uncomfortable watching a movie centered around trying to get somebody laid. It was almost like watching something like that with my parents.

Anyway, the movie ended, we went out to have a smoke together, and J. announced he was going to bed. And then, he went into the bedroom and went to bed. He slept until 7 a.m.

And, I know you're wondering, what did I do? I hate to admit it, but I started reading a book (Please Stop Laughing at Me by Jodee Blanco, about her experiences being bullied throughout her school years--pretty compelling) and....I fell asleep on the couch and stayed there all night! Nice.

As for Operation Deep Swallow, I haven't officially started it yet. I'm gearing up and processing. Expect the kick-off to be in the next couple of days.

Tonight, the women's figure skating long-program will keep me glued to the couch, eating my pizza product of choice and/or sugary cereal while I watch tiny fairy-women glide around the ice in Torino. I'm really rooting for Emily Hughes after she got screwed by the Kwan debacle, but realistically I think Sasha Cohen will go away with the gold. I like Irina Slutskaya's personality, but you know, she's had her day in the sun. I'd like someone new to get a chance to shine. Whatever. Let the best skater win!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And Therapist says.... marriage is in deep shit. Could it be that we never eat supper (or any other meal) together? Or is it that we never sleep in the same room since J. always wants to sleep on the couch? Maybe it's the fact that we haven't had sex since somewhere around October? Or that we can't keep ourselves from fighting even when our innocent and oh-so-patient friends are around? Or that we don't discuss our 'issues' so nothing ever gets better? Oh, there are so many things, so many places to start...or to end. Therapist says the "basic tenets" of marriage are eroding for J. and me and if we care about that we need to at least try to restore things like eating and sleeping together as a starting place.

I discussed the unconditional love issue with Therapist and she didn't give me any yes or no answers on that question. But what evolved from this conversation was another question I have about myself. Often when J. and I are embroiled in fighting or just indifference, I think to myself, "If I could just be a 'better' wife [and by that I mean be more loving, more patient, more appreciative, and not expect much in return] would J. respond to it? Would it help our marriage? These questions need to be answered for myself if for no other reason, Therapist said. So I have almost decided to give this a shot--a real, wholehearted, committed, grit-my-teeth, swallow a lot of shit (and maybe other stuff) -- for a month, a) to see if I can actually do it; b) to see if J. takes from my example and starts returning the love; and c) to answer this question for myself, so that I will know that I've at least tried this thing to keep our marriage alive. In order to keep myself accountable, I'm going to try to post updates on "Operation Deep Swallow" on this blog so my many readers can keep me in line and offer suggestions.

My first question to you would be this: How would you go about trying to make your husband/significant other/partner feel appreciated and loved? Any suggestions gladly accepted. Watch for more "Deep Swallow" updates in future.

Unconditional Love

In about a half an hour I am visiting my therapist again, for the first time in about two and half months. The last time I went, we decided it was time for J to come back in and we could start doing couples work again. I told J it was up to him to make the appointment, since his schedule is less flexible than mine, and he never did. Finally, after our weekend with our friends, I decided it was time again.

I've been feeling depressed and a little hopeless about marriage, motherhood, my life in general, coupled with my usual anxiety attacks. I often feel that I'm just a person who cannot be happy. I know I was happy once, when I was a little kid and in high school and college for awhile, but since then, not very often. I am confused about what to do with our marriage. I think J. is clinically depressed but after one trial last summer of an antidepressant which resulted in the oft-mentioned sexual side effects, he just stopped taking it and hasn't done anything since. So there are days when I think he is completely unfair to me, completely unloving and unkind and possibly even malicious. But then there are days when he makes me laugh, when he does something nice or looks sweet playing with Bubba, and I feel that love I used to feel so much more often.

Today on the bus I was thinking about this and realized that I am loving J. conditionally, only when I feel like he deserves it. I think he is doing the same to me, but still--that's not really what a marriage should be. I wonder if marriage is supposed to be unconditional love, or is that just reserved for our children? How does one build a relationship that is unconditional? I wonder if it's even possible. I don't think I can just keep pouring love into someone who doesn't return it. Yet, on days like today, I feel I should work harder to love him unconditionally, to give him some stability to count on, to help him feel not so alone in this world.

But then there are those other days, when he's just downright mean to me, that I can't stand him and think divorce is the only answer. So back to therapy I go, even if it's just me, by myself, instead of the two of us.

Other excitement for the week will be on Friday, when we take Bubba to the doctor to find out about his left leg. When he was a little less than a year old, we had him in physical therapy because he wouldn't crawl, and then when he did, he often dragged one leg behind him. Then it took some time for him to learn how to pull up on furniture and cruise, but he's been doing it for several months now. The problem now is that he is 17 months old, is not yet walking, and most concerning is the fact that while both of his legs turn out, his left one turns out much more dramatically than his right. This concerns me since he's already had trouble with his legs. I want to find out what is causing this, because in the back of my mind I worry about brain damage and cerebral palsy because he was born six weeks early and he did have to have oxygen those first 24 hours of his life and what if he didn't get enough, etc. Hopefully we'll start on the road to some answers on Friday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Words come out too rough...

Our friends Tingle and her husband S from Ohio left this morning for their drive back home. Luckily, they have better weather today than they did when they were driving out.

We had a really good time for most of the visit, but there were some tense moments. There's always a little bit of pressure to have a "really great time!!!!" during our visits because we don't get to have them enough. For me, it is difficult to balance the wife and mother roles I have while still trying to have fun with my friend. My husband J and I have always had a tumultuous relationship, but over the past couple of years it's deteriorated, and right now I'm never quite sure where I stand with things. Some days, I'm sure divorce is the only answer, other days I still think we could work things out. But over the weekend, there were some times when J would really jump on me for something I would consider minor, and I always feel that if we fight (and we always do) then our friends won't want to see us again. I know that sounds pathetic but it's the truth.

Now that our son Bubba (don't worry, it's not his real name) is here, he is the center of our lives and our time even when it's not convenient, obviously. So sometimes I feel that it isn't as much fun to visit us because we have to work around who is going to watch Bubba, or when Bubba is going to need to eat or sleep, etc. These are all things that marcygee reassures me about, but when Bubba's screaming at 8:30 p.m. because he's over tired and won't go to bed, I can't help but think they'd rather be in their peaceful house.

But on a brighter note, marcygee and I got to spend some time with my other best friend LilCherie. They really get along well, and that warms my heart. We had a "Girl's Night" on Friday night and LilCherie read me the most beautiful thing--my eulogy! We had talked earlier in the week about writing each others' eulogies as a journal exercise with the benefit of being able to tell each other how we feel BEFORE we die. It was so lovely, it made me cry. I want to get a copy of it. It was one of the nicest things anybody's ever written/said about me. Maybe I can post it here someday. We also had a great time going through LilCherie's past lovers and making fun of them, and we all laughed a lot. I also got to take Tingle to see LilCherie's funky house and meet her sweet little 4-year-old son. We went shopping (until Bubba couldn't handle it anymore) and then hung out for awhile before coming back home. Tingle and I also had a great time karaokeing on Saturday night, even though our husbands spent most of the evening with their heads in their hands, playing video games, or staring longingly at the video games they weren't playing. And this is something that J has been bothering us to do together as a group since our very first visit. Even when I was singing the Eagles song "The Best of My Love" he was playing a game. I picked it specifically for him, thinking he might listen to the words, but I guess I was wrong.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

My life in a long nutshell

Today I awoke to thunder, lightning, rain, sleet--pretty much every aspect of a "wintry mix." This is troubling as we have friends driving from Ohio today, so we will be nervous until they arrive tonight.

So it feels rather ego-centric and self-absorbing to start writing all about me...but oh well! When I read a blog, I like to know at least a little bit about the blogger at the beginning.

I'm 34 years old and married to my "high school sweetheart" (I hate that phrase) who will be known on the blog as J, or alternatively, depending on the day, "asshole," "dick," etc. We started dating when we were 15 (me) and 16 (him), got married after college. Struggled through crappy jobs and now trudge to our not-so-crappy but boring and low-paying jobs as an editor (me) and a personal banker (him). We live in a town that's large enough to have two (count 'em, TWO) WalMarts, one Target (not even a SuperTarget), an Olive Garden, a Red Lobster, and a huge mall, but not big enough to have suburbs, tall buildings or an opportunity to be anonymous. In the 12 years we've been married, we've been through a lot. J's parents died in the same week in 2000--his mother from brain cancer, his father four days later from a heart attack. Sibling estate battles ensued, and now we are estranged from most of his family. Pretty much throughout our marriage, I've been ill with something weird, like a pilonidal cyst on my butt, or a polyp in my ureter, or a cyst on my "unmentionables," etc., involving us in a near constant state for several years of surgery-recovery-depression-therapy-recurrence-surgery --you get the idea.

Then we decided we wanted a baby, and spent five or six or seven (we lost count) years trying to have one, thwarted by my body's inability to conceive one of J's admittedly numerous and healthy swimmers. After some drugs, some injections and an IUI (intrauterine insemination), we conceived our daughter. Then, at 21 weeks of pregnancy, in June 2003, I lost her unexpectedly after waking up bleeding in the middle of the night. Turns out I also have an incompetent cervix--a totally unrelated condition to the infertility. It was devastating, and something I will likely refer to on this board often. Grieving her was the hardest thing I've ever done....and I'm not done.

We tried another IUI and it failed, but in February 2004 it succeeded. I had a cerclage to hold the baby in and in September 2004 we had our son, six weeks early but healthy and beautiful...and way too much for me to handle. I had spent years and years creating this perfect little being in my mind, and when I got....A REAL, what a shock. To this end, I really recommend reading "Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It" by Andrea Buchanan.

I (of course) had post partum depression and still struggle with motherhood, motherhood after loss, motherhood after infertility...pretty much every motherhood issue except anything along the lines of "I just can't leave my baby for more than five minutes because I'm sooooooo happy and soooooooo blissful and even his cries make my heart sing with joy...." I have issues with the "Let's compare our babies!" game that a woman I know tries to engage me in every day, and whether or not I suck at parenting, and how my baby seems to love my husband more than me....oh, it will all come out later.

I can't end this entry without talking about my friends LilCherie and Tingle.

Lil Cherie has been my friend since 2nd grade and my "best" friend since about 6th. She is hilarious, warm-hearted, fun, serious when necessary, irreverent, eccentric, and is kind of a grounding force for me. She has a four-year-old son and struggles with many of the same motherhood issues I do, and it's been so helpful to me to know that it wasn't just me who felt that way after my son was born. She is a big part of why I'm even writing this blog. Just about every weekend we have a "Girls' Night" where we get together and just cut loose (by this I mean, we leave our children in the care of our husbands, get inebriated on various substances, and then laugh our asses off and write down the particularly funny bits for later hilarity). We sometimes do Tarot, sometimes make collages or draw or share journal entries...whatever we want! That's the beauty of it. It was during one of these Girls' Nights when we came up with "snicklesnackle," which led to our website, our message board, and now this blog. She's family to me.

Tingle has been my friend since February 2004. That may not sound like such a long time, but for us it really was like meeting a "soul mate." We met over the Internet on the SHARE website for parents (mostly women) who have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss. We gravitated toward each other's posts, and found that we have much in common. Like me, she struggled with infertility and sadly lost a son at about 21 weeks of pregnancy. We feel like our children really brought us together, and that our friendship is somewhat magical. We live 8 hours away from each other, but we talk almost every day. She was a large part of my healing process after losing our daughter. While Lil Cherie is like a counterpoint to me--mostly sane, level-headed, and calming, Tingle is like a mirror image of me, and we can relate to each other on the familiar plane of our shared personalities. Tingle is one of the most generous people I've ever met. She always looks for the good in people, but not so much that she can't make fun of people with me. She's also hilarious, an excellent poet, and the definition of what I would call "a good person." She's wonderful, involved, loving aunt to her nephew, and I hope so much that she and her husband, S, get the chance to be a parent to a living child.

And I hope they make it here safely from Ohio today, because I miss them!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Getting Started

Hello fellow SnickleSnacklers and anyone else who happens upon this page. This is my fledgling attempt at setting up a blog, so please expect "issues" and be patient as I figure this out!

I want this blog to serve as a way to stimulate thought and discussion and also a place to just vent, ramble, and see if anyone out there feels the same way. So here goes! I hope you'll join me as I begin the journey into blogland.