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Monday, September 20, 2010

A Long Sip...

I've subjected you all to a serious blog drought, haven't I? I do that from time to time in case you didn't already know. ;-)

It's not that I haven't been writing. On the contrary, I've started tons of blog entries, I just have little time and energy to finalize them. I've been terrible about keeping on top of my HemAware blogs too so don't take it personally. The blood flow to my brain has been redirected to my uterus which means I haven't been very happy about my writing lately. "Pregnancy brain" has hit me hard. But hey, it's no fun for me either when all is quiet in my little corner of blogland.

For the sake of getting you all up to speed on what has been going on in my neck of the woods, I've condensed/summarized all of my would-be entries into this one post. Consider this the Cliff Notes version of all that has been going on in the den. Please excuse the typos.

Drink up 'cause the drought is over! This is going to be a long post so take one hell of a "sip" and enjoy. :)

My Updates:

Aside from being exhausted at the end of a long work day, I've recently recovered from dealing with some work drama. Apparently, someone has something against me and the supposed "special treatment" I get because of Niki's condition. (Totally untrue by the way. I had FMLA time-off denied before.) Someone even went as far as going into my manager's office complaining about my sonogram picture on Facebook! They were annoyed that I wasn't "acting like I was pregnant" at work. I didn't even tell my manager I was pregnant yet because I was waiting until I got the results of my amnio! But, after I found out that someone took it upon themselves to spread my pregnancy news, I was forced to tell my manager about my pregnancy sooner than I wanted to. My manager didn't care either way, but I would have preferred to tell her about my pregnancy on my own terms.

Apparently, there is also underlying animosity in regard to how much "special treatment" I'll be getting if Diamond Tiara were to also have a bleeding disorder. I couldn't believe it when I found out how people were feeling about me, my pregnancy, and Niki! I don't know who it is, but most of the people I work with were the same folks that supported me after Ethan passed away!  I can't help it if my kids have special needs and the whole thing really broke my heart.

I really hope that the treatment I'm receiving isn't a precursor to how Niki's life going to be when she joins the workforce.

Apparently, this person (or group of people) also lied to my manager and said that I was "always late". They claimed that someone else was clocking me in on time and basically accused me of time card fraud. All. blatant. lies. The accusation is some serious shit, my friends. I could lose my job over that! The fact that someone would resort to such extremes really baffled me. I mean, I was really emotionally screwed up over it. Losing my job means I would lose my insurance! And, it doesn't only affect me, but my kids as well. I would never risk my job  for something so stupid. Unfortunately, the anonymous person(s) threatened to report my manager if she didn't "take care of it" and investigate me.

The good news is my manager believes me. I've made arrangements to prove that I am indeed on time and present when I clock in. That way, if the people decide to report me and my manager, then I'll have proof that they're harassing me. (Which is really all that this boils down to.) I pissed someone off and they want to get even. I consulted with our employee hotline, and I was told that I really have a strong case should a formal complaint be placed against me. My initial reaction was to run away from it all and transfer to another department, but that wouldn't be the answer. My secret nemesis will "win" and I'll suffer/be further away from the kids if any emergencies occur! I may be meek, but I'm a fighter when I have to be. Especially if someone is indirectly threatening my livelihood or the livelihood of my cubs.

Regardless, the whole situation sucks and it's been very hard for me to simply brush it off. I'm sensitive and I can't figure out what I did to these people to piss them off so much. Sometimes I wish I had thicker skin. :(

Shortly after all the drama at work went down, I went on an unexpected dinner date with my girls B, L, and I on 9/1/10. We barely see each other, but we always pick up where we left off. We had Japanese food, coffee, and of course, good times! I really admire those ladies. My life seems so boring and run-of-the-mill compared to some of the stories they shared with me that night. But let me tell you, it feels good to be friends with such amazing and hilarious women. I felt so uplifted after spending a night out with them. And, I can't wait until our next dinner and/or M&M date. :)

I also just got off the telephone with my very good friend J. I feel positively refreshed and rejuvenated. I haven't talked on the phone in....ages! Note to self: Reconnect with other girlfriends...quick!

P.S. Working on a post about my "rescuing me" progress. Post with pics coming soon!

John's Updates:

John and I have been together for 12 years and I've never seen him be so health conscious. He has adhered to a strict diet and exercise routine for the past few weeks. He even gave up his beloved Rockstars and drinks nothing but water!

What prompted him to change his lifestyle, you ask? Well, his recent CT scan of his liver was unchanged from last year. This is good and bad, I suppose. However, his ALT and AST (liver function tests) got worse even though he still doesn't have high cholesterol or diabetes. This my friends, is not good. You see, John was diagnosed with NASH last year. And at that time, he was supposed to adhere to a strict diet and exercise regimen. His primary doctor even referred him to a nutritionist so he could get help with weight! The problem is, he never did follow up with the plan. John ate horribly, continued to smoke, drank whenever he wanted to, and didn't exercise one bit for the last year. (Of note: John gave up smoking a few months ago so that was good.)

Hence, the unchanged CT and increased ALT and AST levels this year still aren't good. Zero improvement is a bad thing. The good news is, this scared the living crap out of John, and he's tried to been healthy ever since then. On Friday, 9/3/10, John decided that he wanted to take the boys for a random family outing. He was wearing slippers (with socks I might add!) and somehow, we ended up having dinner at Bubba Gumps.  Despite all of the tempting, delicious yumminess there, John ordered a veggie burger.

And, I'm pretty darn proud of him.

Kev and Boo in food comas. :)
 They perked up after they got their Make-Your-Own-Sundaes though.

Kevin's Updates: 

Two weeks after school started, Kev told me that two older kids (he didn't know their names) were going up to him during recess and calling him a "nerd" and a "whimp." Yep...we're dealing with bullies again! He didn't seem bothered by it, but I was. You see, John was a born fighter. He was never bullied and if anyone tried to mess with him, he would fight. Unfortunately, Kevin didn't inherit that personality trait. The kid was destined to be my son -- meek and non-confrontational.

I know I can't teach Kev to be a fighter if it's not who he is. However, this was one of those situations where I wanted him to do more than remove himself from the situation. Violence isn't the answer, but I also distinctly remember what it feels like to be bullied. And how much I wish I had the courage to stand up to those elementary school bullies. (And the ones from Jr. High!)

I wanted  to tell Kevin to fight for himself,  but I held back. John gave Kevin the "you should knock 'em out talk" while I told him to "ignore them because they're just stupid kids talk." Kevin dealt with it in his own way and eventually the recess bully stories subsided.

Kev also disclosed to me on a separate occasion that he played by himself during recess. When I asked him why he thought kids didn't play with him he responded with, "Eh, maybe I'm just too cool." I was somewhat concerned that he was being ostracized, but at the same time he didn't seem to care. Kids are cruel and Kevie is awesome!

Kev kept getting distracted as I was talking to him about his school situation. Boo was playing video games (Toy Story 3) so Kevie kept turning his head to the television screen while he spoke with me. I had to remind him multiple times the importance of eye contact whenever you're speaking with someone. This was the conversation that followed:

Kevin: "Well, uh, can we hurry this up because I have to get back to my video game?"
Me:  Kev, you can pause video games, but you can't pause life.
Kev: (Turned back to face me and looked puzzled for a few seconds.) Oh, I didn't know that.

Needless to say, he maintained perfect eye contact for the remainder of the conversation. I'm also happy to report that Kevin has finally settled into the 2nd grade nicely. I'll write about Back to School night and Kev's trip to the Principal's office in the next few posts.

On Friday 9/10/11, Kevin threw me a curve ball. He asked me if he could call me Mom instead of Mommy! Apparently, Kev felt that he was "old enough" to call me "Mom" because the term "Mommy" is "baby-ish." I damn near shed a tear when he asked me. John and I were on our way out to get groceries so I hurriedly told Kevin that we would talk about it when we got home.

I cried in the car when I told John what Kevin asked me. He's my baby! I foolishly believed that he would call me Mommy forever. He calls my MIL "Mom"! Evidently, before I came home from work that day, Kevin asked John if he could call him Dad instead of Daddy too! John was surprised when Kev asked him, but he didn't say no either. I guess John's having an easier time accepting the fact that our young cub is growing up. After John approved Kevie's request, Kev asked him, "Will Mommy would be alright if I started calling her Mom?" Holy shit ya' boy is growing up! They're already leaving me out and having father-son conversations!

When John and I came home from grocery shopping, I convinced Kevin that he could call me Mom in public, but Mommy in private. I made a deal that he could fully transition to calling Mom once he's ready to accept more responsibility around the house. I'm stalling, can you tell? ;-)

Boo's Updates:

I picked up Boo every day for the first two weeks of school. And EVERY DAY he acted like a big ol' grumpy goose. He would give me one-word answers when I would ask him about school. The boy was totally disengaged when it came to talking to me about his day! (Isn't it too early for him to be anti-social with his Mommy?) I know he was probably tired but still...I wanted to know about his day. The good news is he would soften up by the time I got home from work. But I swear, that child is the moodiest little creature, ever!

Boo also spent the first three weeks of school insisting on writing B-O-O instead of his "Anthony" because as he so eloquently complained, "Why'd you named me something so long?" My headstrong little boy finally broke down and agreed to write his full name, but he then insisted on only writing his name in upper case. Thank goodness he has the same teacher that Kevie did! (Mrs. C also happens to be an old friend from high school.) With a little encouragement, Boo has finally completely broke down and got used to writing his name in proper upper and lower case.

Boo detests coloring his homework pages like Kevie did, but I gotta admit that he takes pride in his work. Boo has got to be the neatest five-year-old on the entire planet. He works very hard to stay clean at school (he refuses to climb up the side of the truck in the morning) and he tries his best to write/color as neatly as possible. I was always worried that Boo would be defiant once he started school, but he's an excellent student. And perhaps, maybe not as hard-headed as I initially thought. (Again, I'll write about Back 2 School night in another post.)

Diamond Tiara:

Still no word from London.  I'm getting antsy, but I'm enjoying this pregnancy! I love the feeling of the baby moving in my tummy. Here's Diamond's latest picture from my ultrasound on 9/7/10. :)

She knows where her nose is! ;-)
Boo has suddenly taken great interest in my expanding belly. He keeps asking when the baby will come. (I think he's finally gotten used to the idea of having another little sister.) We had a hilarious moment together (the "three of us) a few weeks ago and I'm compelled to share it.

Me: Boo, the baby is moving!
Boo: (Stops playing video games and puts his head on my tummy) It's not moving.
Me: Well, talk to her and see if she moves.
Boo: Hello? (pause) It's not talking. Why is it not talking?!
Me: She can't talk yet.

Boo looked at my belly/Diamond Tiara with a "babies are dumb" face and turned back to his video game. I can't wait until this little girl adds more pandemonium and broke-ness to our household.

September Weekends w/ the Lion's Den:

Labor Day Weekend:
We spent Saturday 9/4/10 at our good friends D&V's house for their housewarming/September birthday celebration. I was utterly exhausted, but it was nice to catch up with our friends. :) I'm slowly falling in love with the idea of moving to Hayward, but our main support system is here in DC. I know our friends would be there for us should we ever have an emergency at 3am, but John and I aren't "imposers." We need to be close to family. So, John and I are working on a compromise for our next Home Sweet Home.

Sunday 9/5/10 - We spent some quality time at my sister's house in Hercules. I love spending time with my family. We're a small and rowdy bunch, but we always have a blast when we're together. I also discovered a whole new level to my sister's  infamous "nice & tidiness."  The woman folds her plastic bags (grocery bags she uses to line trashcans) into perfect, tiny little triangles! I've got the video footage to prove it. LOL!

After spending the day there, I became infatuated with the idea of moving to Hercules, too. My sister's house is ginormous and the lucky ass has her own room devoted to scrapbooking! You can't get that here in DC!!! I spent most of Sunday scrapping with my niece, getting Cricut tutorials from my sister, fiddling with her awesome cartridge collection, and finishing up invitations for my nephew's bday/housewarming party. I  was totally craving for a swig of some chocolate wine that my sister had, but settled on HiChew to satisfy my sweet tooth instead. I'll just have to get "chocolate wasted" some other time. ;-)

Monday 9/6/10 - John had work. It sucked, but I couldn't do much anyway. My sciatica flared up from sitting on the floor in my sister's scrapbook room. ( was so worth the layout I made. Again, I'll post a pic of it soon.) I was completely out of commission the whole day --I even puked because I was in so much pain-- so John took the kids out to fly their kite when he got home from work. All was not lost for the cubs, after all. :)

Saturday 9/11/10 - We woke up early Saturday morning to take Kevin to an orientation/Mass held for all of the incoming CCD students. He'll be starting CCD on 9/25 and I'm still in awe that time has flown by so quickly. Kevin whispered to me during Mass that the stained glass flowers at St. Augustin meant that "God loves us." He also told me that he learned from Veggie Tales that the Isralites were mades into slaves. I swear, that kid never ceases to amaze me. He's like a sponge -- so thirsty for knowledge! I can't wait to see what he sops up from his religious education and faith formation!

Later that day we attended our friend's daughter's 5th birthday party in Brisbane. The cubs had a blast enjoying the weather. :)

Later that night, we spent some time with family to celebrate John's grandfather's speedy recovery from a recent health scare in the PI. As always, it was nice to lounge around and catch up with the familia.

Sunday 9/12/10 - I was supposed to do my first switchboard shift at SFSI, but I had no one to watch the kids. Needless to say, I was bummed, but we made the most of our day anyway. I took the cubs to visit Ethan and run some errands. We checked out the new Dollar Spot that just opened up, made a trip to Michael's for my SIL's bumped up 13th birthday party (I have less than a week to pull it together), and I took the kids on a trip to the park & Krispy Kreme. Wrangling the kids while 5 months pregnant and alone is totally stressful, but we made it all home in once peace. Yay, me!

9/18/10 - My SIL's 13th Birthday Luau. Niki and I took turns being sick all week, but I still was able to pull of some party decor and baking. I'll post pics soon!

So there you have it long-winded update is complete. Hope you enjoyed your sip. More posts are coming your way.

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