Monday, June 23, 2008

My Greatest Fear

My greatest fear isn't of walking naked into the grocery store or being eaten by a bear. It's the fear of Death. As a Roman Catholic who has had the idea of God and Heaven and Angels and all of that stuff beaten into my head since I was a kid, the fear of dying would seem like a pretty stupid thing to be afraid of. Yet, I still am - mainly because I just don't know what's really out there, what really happens - it's the unknown.

My husband, my family (mom, dad, brother, sister) and many of my friends seem to have a pretty good handle on the whole dying issue and seem to have a healthy acceptance of it. They must figure it's pretty stupid to be afraid of the one common denominator among us all.

Last year I was home visiting my parents and I ran into my cousin, Dave. Our cousin, Paul, had recently died from prostate cancer. Dave and Paul had grown up together and he was having a hard time dealing with Paul's death. Dave told me that he had went to see a Medium - he needed to know where Paul was and if he was "okay". I was instantly intrigued and hung on his every word as he told me about his visit with this woman. He said she contacted Paul and several other relatives and conveyed messages from them about things that only Dave and that particular person were privy to. I was hooked. I told him he had to get my into to see her the next time I was in town.

Well, it seems my chance has come. I'm flying out to visit my parents this week and Dave called and said I have an appointment this coming Friday. I'm leaving Captain Crazy with his Nona and Papa and I'm going to see this lady. I've been looking forward to this for a while but I'm still nervous. What I get there and I quickly deduct that she's a fruitcake? What if she opens some unknown portal to the afterlife and unknowingly lets demons and other not-so-nice to have around spirits into the room? I only ask this becuase one of my lovely co-workers said that's what he would be concerned about. Anyway, I hope to hell (er...heaven) that she's legit. If Dave felt comfortable with her than I'm going to go for it. I just need to hear something that will ease my fears and help me find some peace with the whole idea of kicking the bucket. Is that asking too much? Am I being silly?

Last year our next door neighbor, Dennis, died unexpectedly. Captain Crazy was only 2and a half at the time, but Dennis taught him the "thumb's up" sign and always made him laugh. Just last month, Captain Crazy finally asked why he never saw Dennis around anymore. I had been dreading that question ever since Dennis passed away. I explained that Dennis died last year and that we would never see him again. Captain Crazy took this news pretty well, but he of course wanted to know what it meant to "die" and where someone goes when that happens and shit if I could tell him. I just left like everything I said was a hollow reply - devoid of any true belief or meaning. I'm hoping that after this weekend I'll be in better place with the idea of death. I'm hoping too that when my kids ask me about it again, I will be able to stand comfortably behind my answers, what ever they may be.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Our little big adventure

This Father's Day, DH decided to fore go his usual Father's Day solo fishing trip and try our luck with a family hiking trip instead. This was significant because we have a 3-year-old and a 14-mo-old and it was going to be their very first "real" hiking trip - and because nothing is ever easy with kids, right?

Our adventure started out smoothly enough. We waited until after lunchtime to leave. The Destroyer slept in the car most of the way, but Captain Crazy was antsy and did a lot of complaining that it "was taking too long".

We finally arrived at our destination - one of the highest points along the Pacific Coast Range. We hopped out of the car and set off for the mile-plus hike to the top. The trail up was nice and wide with incredible views the entire way up. When we got to the top, we were surprised to find quite a bit of snow left on the meadow. The boys had a fantastic time walking on it and playing in it.

I was quite pleased with how well the boys handled their first "real" hike. The Destroyer didn't freak out about riding in the backpack like I thought he would. And Captain Crazy walked all the way up and back down. He wiped out once but suffered only minor scrapes to his knee and forearm. A band-aid and a couple of kisses fixed things up nicely.

Overall it was a really enjoyable day. But I do have to say this one thing. I was in the Army for 8 years and helped plan many, many multi-day long "missions" involving 100+ people, convoys and tons of equipment and I swear to God, I think that was easier than getting two kids dressed, fed and watered, sun-screened, and into the car for an afternoon outing.

As for DH, he decided he's going to take the day off of work this coming Friday and go on that solo fishing trip after all. He's a great dad and does so much for the kids and around the house that he definitely deserves some time to himself. And as an added bonus, I told him he could throw in another trip on Sunday for good measure. I think that might just have been the best Father's Day present yet!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Something wonderful happened over the weekend and I must say the timing was perfect since I have been feeling rather blah and droopy lately.

It was Saturday morning and Captain Crazy and I had driven down to the grocery store to buy some cake mix and baking stuff so he could make a cake for "dadda" for Father's Day. I hadn't showered yet and my favorite pink "Life is Good" baseball cap was pulled tightly down over the bird's nest that was my hair that morning.

As we were leaving the grocery store parking lot, we slowly passed by this guy in a truck. As he rolled past, I smiled a polite "have a good day" smile at him. He smiled back and then stuck his head out of his window and yelled "you're beautiful!" as loudly as he could. I was surprised to say the least since I thought I looked pretty crappy, but that didn't keep a huge smile from spreading across my face.

My husband tells me often that he thinks I'm beautiful and that I'm a good mom and so on and so forth, and his compliments always make me happy. But let's face it, husband's are supposed to think their wives are pretty - sort of like all moms are supposed to think their babies are the cutest on earth. But when a complete stranger tells a woman she's beautiful it's just different - ya know? Anyway, that sort of thing hasn't happened to me in a looong time and it was just nice to know that I'm not as invisible to the rest of the world as I sometimes think I am.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


"Fat girl" "Fat Ass" "Blubber Butt" - those were my nicknames when I was growing up. I remember how they stung every single time I heard them. I so desperately wanted to wear skinny jeans and cute clothes like all the pretty girls wore. I wanted to wear the cute two piece swim suits to the pool in the summer. Instead I wore baggy clothes and on the rare occasions I did go to the pool, I covered my ugly, frumpy one piece bathing suit with a t-shirt and I always wrapped a towel around myself for good measure.

Looking at pictures of myself back then, I wouldn't really say I was "fat". Chubby, definitely, but not fat. But you know how damned mean kids can be. I was lived with my lovely nicknames until the end of junior high when I finally grew taller and slimmed down - but it didn't matter anymore, the damage was done. In my head I was "fat girl" and in my head I have been "fat girl" ever since.

Jump forward to today. I'm 36 years old and I'm STILL battling my inner "fat girl". It doesn't matter that I've lost close to 40 pounds since I had my second son and I am back down to my pre-baby weight. Most women would be totally stoked to be back to "normal" after having two kids. But not me, oh no - that would be too easy. I felt fat before I had kids and now I still feel fat. I weigh 165 lbs - which isn't really fat, but it's not skinny either and that's where I've always been. Stuck somewhere between "not fat" but "not skinny". That shitty place between happy with your body and hating every dimple and lump. That shitty place between a size 10 and 12, but really wanting to be a size 8 or dream on, a size 6!

I lost my 40 lbs of baby weight on Weight Watchers so I know it works, and I only have 10 lbs to go to reach my goal weight. But damned if those 10 lbs aren't glued to my ass or something. No matter what I do, nothing is budging. It's pretty frustrating really. I'm so tired of floating between love and hate with my body image. It's time to open a serious can of whoop ass and KILL my inner fat girl once and for all! Now, where exactly did I leave my can opener?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bath Time Gone Bad

Yesterday was a hard day. I was running on 4 hours of sleep and by 10:30 I had completely run out of gas. I was staring down the barrel of a very long and trying day. But, thanks in part to a long visit to the indoor play park, and about a gallon of coffee, I made it through the day.

When bath time finally rolled around that evening, Captain Crazy asked to take a shower with me. My exhausted brain and body couldn't think of a reason to deny his request, and since I looked and felt like "shit on a stick" it sounded like a great idea to me. After all , I still take baths with him sometimes. But no sooner did we step into our little one-man shower did I realize why showering with my three-year-old son was a bad idea.

To begin with, we were very close together, and he was eye-level with my crotch which he thought was just fabulous (his vantage point - not my crotch) I spent the rest of our shower swatting his hands away from me as he tried to yank out my short hairs one by one. Oh, and I must mention here that he has a nickname for my crotch. Yes, indeedy - my three-year-old has a nickname for his mommy's crotch. He calls it a "stit". Sometimes he calls it a "pooty". I have no idea how he came up them, but my husband thinks they're pretty bitchin' nicknames and laughs like hell whenever he hears them.

Another reason I will never take another shower with my son is because every shriek, laugh, yell, whine, and chorus from "Laugh Cookaberra" was amplified to ear-splitting decibels in our shower stall. My poor tired head nearly exploded right there.

I hustled us out of the shower, stuffed him into his jammies, and handed him over to his daddy for tooth brushing and book reading.

I took my pooped out "stit" and went to bed.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pillow Talk

This morning Captain Crazy came into our room as usual for his morning "snuggle time" with me. I swear the kid is addicted to snuggling - he just LOVES, LOVES, LOVES it and I love it too. I know all too well that eventually he'll outgrow his desire to snuggle with me and then I'll be lucky to get a high five in passing from him. So, like I was saying, I love snuggling with him too. We burrow under the covers and I wrap my arms around him and we either nod off to sleep again or we talk about our day ahead.

This morning I was telling Captain Crazy that I would miss him while I was at work today, but that I would be holding him in my heart all day until I saw him again. He looked at me with his big, beautiful brown eyes and asked "But Mommy, how can I get in your heart? There's no door to open to get in." My heart melted a little and I just told him that my heart doesn't need a door because it's was always open and that it was always very full because he and his brother are always in it, filling it up. This explanation must have satisfied him because he smiled and promptly moved on to more pressing issues like the morning's breakfast menu.

Now I know my kids are too young right now to fully grasp the depth of love I have for them -sometimes it still surprises me. But I do hope that some day they'll understand. I hope that some day they'll understand why I kiss them so much, why I tell them I love them so often, why my husband and I have gladly sacrificed so much for them, why we work so hard to keep them safe and healthy and why, if anything ever happened to them, our reasons for living would be gone. They are little now, but I hope that when they're grown, they realize how much we love them and that they go on, long after we're gone, holding us in their hearts too.