30 October 2008

Happy Happy Happy

... That's what A's sweet Mamaw's been repeating since September. "Happy Happy Happy. I'm SO HAPPY!"

We lost her tonight to a swiftly growing brain tumor, discovered just over a month ago.

We saw her last weekend for her "Celebration"- a party she dreamed up on her own, right down to the music and balloon launch, when she learned about her cancer. When she addressed her crowd on Saturday, she said, "I just come here to LOVE somebody. And I just love you all SO GOOD!"

Yep, that pretty much says it.

We'll miss Mary's kooky stories, her open door, her kindness, her no-nonsense advice, her Christmas celebrations in March and her overall Mary-ness... if you knew her, you know.

Tonight, Bird said, "When Mamaw stops feeling sick, I want you guys to stop crying. Because I don't want you to be sad."


What a year.

Peace, Mary. We love you so good.

29 October 2008

Scenes From A Marriage

"It seems like it might need a little more... something."

"Something like what?"

"Rice, maybe?"

"We're out of brown rice, but I bought some white rice this week. It's in the pantry."

"You are such a ricist."

28 October 2008

And some more about my hormones

Also, as my hormones level out, my skin is freaking out a little bit, and I have a giant zit just under the outside of my right nostril. Like GIANT giant. So giant that when I told A. I was meeting two friends for lunch, he asked if we would be getting a table for FOUR.

I've taken to calling it the Zit Mustache, and making feeble attempts to cover it with makeup, which I am not so good at, and which you might think I might be good at having spent so much time in the fine arts department with paints and such, but no. I cannot successfully cover up a zit on my own face. I must have completely skipped that lesson in Junior High—when all of the other girls my age were learning how to convincingly apply cover-up, I was probably practicing for the Spelling Team. (You think I'm kidding. I was a competitive speller. Explains a lot, no?)

But the zit. It will go down in history along with the monster zit that appeared in the middle of my left cheek a week before my wedding, the one I fiddled with and poked at so much that I actually had to wear a band-aid over it. And apply Neosporin.

We will mark time by this zit. When I am old and gray and I drag out my ancient crock-pot to make some spicy black bean soup at the holidays, my adult children and their spouses will gently joke with me about how old that crock-pot must be, and I'll turn to A. and say, "honey, how old do you think this crock-pot is?" And he will say, "Well, you got it the year you had that zit mustache. That makes it thirty-four years old this October."

27 October 2008

$15 well spent

Well, it's finally caught up with me. The fifteen-dollar lady gave me a really shitty haircut. Maybe the worst haircut, actually.

As in, visibly uneven.

As in, may have forgotten to work on ONE WHOLE SIDE OF MY HEAD.

I didn't notice it when I left-- she doesn't really blowdry/ style much (hello, $15) and we were chatting away about something or other and I was excited to meet my friend J. for dinner and drinks afterward*. So I guess I just didn't see it then, but holy shit, my friends. Holy Shit.

And do you know that for a second, I considered trying to fix it myself? Both for the sake of immediacy and because I didn't want to hurt her feelings? Because it is totally sane to walk around-- and go to one's JOB, live one's life, be photographed with one's relatives at significant family events-- with some kind of bizarre experimental and asymmetrical hairdo. As if my crap-tastic highlights weren't already winning the beauty contest, now I have to sit with my head cocked to one side until I can get in for a rematch.

* because I'm the kind of cheapskate who will meet you for dinner with a damp, uneven haircut.

26 October 2008

Cry Baby

So, apparently my hormones are not completely leveled out post-miscarriage.

A list of things that have left me fighting back tears:
Stories on NPR
Any hymn, even the ones I don't like
My dog's morning arthritis
My sleeping daughter
An awkward, socially needy waiter at Waffle House
Many, many blogs about having babies and losing babies
Some blogs about cooking
A high school marching band

Things that have reduced me to weeping:
Making a grocery list

25 October 2008

What a crock

I bought a crock pot from a woman in my neighborhood for $35. I looked it up new. She used it twice before selling it.
I have scored.

And I almost brought the seller half a two-liter of diet coke when I went to pick it up, because it was sitting around my house and I didn't want to drink it, and I figured that hey, while we're in the swapping spirit, you know, she could have my diet coke because maybe she really likes diet coke? A. said that was weird. He was right.

So far I've made spicy black bean soup out of dried beans and a few spices and next to nothing else, but it was delicious and ready to go when we fell in the door at the end of the day. And friends, I would eat broken glass with cinnamon on it if it was ready to go when I got home from work, so you can imagine how excited I am about this crock pot of mine.

Oh, and when I say, "made soup," I mean "made an ass-load of soup."
And when I say the second part, I mean that maybe we shouldn't have been eating spicy black bean soup for so many meals in a row.

24 October 2008

Today it is gray and raining, fall-feeling but not too gloomy.
I got up early and left before it was really light out to get to an early meeting about a tv ad script. I attended the grand opening of the new bus transit station and took some pictures. I wrote rationale for my recommendations on the longest tagline project ever. I put what I hope is the final polish on a big chunk of web content. It's been a productive day, I've enjoyed it. And now I'm staring at an ad in need of a headline and nothing. Nothing.

And what I'd really like to do? Is throw on a sweater and some thick socks, make a cup of coffee and sit on my front porch with a good book while the leaves drop. And I haven't thought about this for a while, but I as long as I'm dreaming I'll take a few cigarettes with that coffee, thanks.

About the getting up early: Bird has been waking up these dark mornings and coming into the kitchen squinting in her wacky-print jammies, saying, "too light, mama." And I have been trying my best to be more conscious of taking the time to sit down in the parlor and rock her long-legged sleepy self for a bit vs trying to speed everything up so I can get out the door on time. I'd rather miss ten minutes of work than ten minutes of my real job.

23 October 2008


Thank you everyone for your comments, your emails, your kind words, your offers of food, your not getting offended by me not taking your food. Thanks for knowing when to hug and when not to hug, for your sweet phone messages and for letting me not call you back, for telling me your stories, for taking the time to read mine, and everything else that comes along with you being your awesome selves. I mean that.

18 October 2008

One in Four Pregnancies

I miscarried.

And I waited and waited to write that here, because I wanted to say it right. I wanted to write it well. I wanted to really capture it for myself for later, so it doesn't get shuffled around and dismantled in my own memory, bumping against board meeting dates and grocery lists until it's just a few little bits of deja vu and a blip in my medical history. I wanted to write it as I felt it, the realities of it, the physical pain, the emotional process, the concerned friends, the crazy dreams. If I couldn't give this baby its life, our love, and a closet full of hand-me-downs, I at least wanted to hold some space around the short time it was with us. After all, I was the closest person to it. I at least wanted to give it a decently-written story. But I can't.

Our baby died, and I didn't know it, and my body stayed pregnant for weeks. And then my body figured it out and a few hard days later, I wasn't pregnant anymore.

I started spotting the day before my 12 week midwife appointment, and I knew.
The bleeding got heavier the next day, and I knew.
I laid down on the ultrasound table in the dark and held A's hand, and I knew.
The technician couldn't find the heartbeat, had to do an internal ultrasound, and I knew.
She told us the baby had died, and I was surprised anyway.

She left us alone for a minute in the dark, next to a bulletin board full of photos of newborn babies, and then led us out the back door instead of through the waiting room, where other women were waiting for happier news.

We met with my midwife directly after that, agreed that my body could handle losing this baby without a hospital D&C (thank goodness), returned home with a bottle of painkillers and cleared our schedules for the rest of the week. Birdy went to daycare as usual for a few days and we stopped bracing for the worst and started to let it pass slowly through our house.

That Tuesday was hard, and the next day horrible. By Thursday I was feeling stronger but not ready to be alone, so we splurged on take-out, cleaned out closets, mopped floors, and made a Goodwill run. We kept our plans to travel to Atlanta for my cousin's wedding over the weekend, and it was good to celebrate something, to balance again.

Not the right time to have a baby, not the right baby, not something. I don't know, and I haven't spent much time wondering. What I do know is that our plans changed, and I'm newly reminded that my plans don't really belong to me in the first place. That I don't control very many things after all, and there is relief and comfort in that knowledge. It wasn't the right time for us to have another baby. If it was, I'd still be pregnant. It's that simple. Simple, but not easy.

03 October 2008

Good Grief, it's already October

Pumpkin Spice hershey kisses? Exactly how I would imagine a softened "Fall Spice" scented Glade plug-in refill might taste.


A.'s words of wisdom about the EastSide softball league:
"It takes all kinds. But mostly, rednecks."

Honestly, there are more desserts in my office building on a consistent basis than any place I have ever worked. And I have worked in a wine + dessert bar. I will be 300 lbs by Christmas. I will have this baby in April and you won't even notice anything different about me.

I've kept quiet about the details and shared only the vaguest of stories and whiniest of attitudes with you for the past month or so, but what ended up finally happening this past week is that I almost left my new job for my old job. And then I realized that would be a really, really bad decision. And since my moment of clarity and closure, my current job seems about 300% better.

Fall weather is upon us, thankfully, even with its dark mornings and earlier sunsets. I'm getting up way too late in the mornings-- what I need is my dad, circa 1992, to walk into my room for the third time at 6:00 am and just flip the stinkin' lights on and walk back down the stairs. I would be pissed, sure, but I would be on time.

Big dog can open Bird's door if it's not latched just right. He can open a lot of doors, actually, with a combination of turning the knob with his teeth and ramming his body against it. But Bird's door is one of his favorites, because she has a rug in her room, and it's the only rug in the house. He likes to curl up and get comfy and commence making a calamitous noise chomping his own ass. Anyway. More than a few times, I've been climbing into bed and hear him bust into her room, all legs and stomping and clumsiness and clanky collar. So I curse under my breath and stomp down the stairs to find him not curled up with his ass in his mouth, but rather standing in her doorway wagging his tail furiously. And then I look at her sleepy little self, about a half inch away from falling out of bed. And he looks at me like, "see?"
So add that to his predictive abilities-- thunderstorms and little kids falling out of bed. We all have gifts. His are just unexpected.