Monday, August 29, 2011

Outta here.

I've moved. Mostly. Well, I've moved but just have yet to unpack everything and get it completely set up. But if I don't make the leap I'm gonna be all co-dependent on Blogger and then I'll never leave. So if you stop by here, please click another time and come visit the new Itch!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Flying the coop

My baby is leaving me. Plain and simple, he's going. I get it and it's a natural trajectory of healthy behavior, but still. He is vacating. Loren will be moving to Denver this Friday because he should. He's 18 and ready to go.

So far I've been incredibly cool about the whole thing, thinking I'd break down sometime after we'd dropped him off and were heading west over the passes. This afternoon we spent a couple of hours in Target banging out a list of Must Haves. Things like a coffee maker, laundry hamper, hangers, etc. We visually went through every room and tried to gather as much as possible so he will have all his creature comforts when he looks out over the LoDO skyline from his new abode. His excitement was palpable as he chose a color theme for his bathroom and just the right trashcan for his room. I loved every moment of it as I pictured Lo in his new life with so much Wonder ahead of him.

Tonight while I was working and listening to Pandora, one of his favorite songs came on and out of nowhere I lost it; tears on my keyboard and the knowledge that my ribs would not be able to contain my breaking heart.  Loren is the one person in the world whose soul I fully understand. He is my first, the one whose splitting cells began this whole adventure. I carried his undeveloped nubs, brought him into the world, nursed him, took him to the park, experienced all those Firsts with him and now this is the Ultimate First. He is going and I want to curl up and die just a little bit about it.

I can't be cool about this. There is no nonchalance. It will never be the same because this is real and while I am so happy for this Beginning, I am also grieving the End.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The aftermath of the Juice Cleanse

As I've mentioned a few times before, this past winter was a bitch with a mission. First Matt had his stroke and scared the hell out of us with his weird blood vessels that want to fill themselves up with pearl-like bits of cellular material and then deprive his kidneys of blood. Then Matt's father was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma and given five weeks to live. So Matt and Jen, his sister, went out to Utah to help out and ended up staying until the end of May because the five weeks stretched on to six months. Then I learned all the intricacies of planning a Mormon funeral, a good time for me since we just cremate people in our family and then leave them willy nilly in drawers and what not. Then I was working two jobs and trying to sift through the daily madness of keeping it all afloat while not being able to find footing on the bottom while simultaneously eating everything I could possibly fit into my mouth.

Sometime in July Matt sensed my brittle state and suggested he and I try a juice cleanse in an effort to spur order from the inner core on out, a ripple effect it you will. So I said sure, why not, anything to slow the flailing of my arms to a quiet whir. And so we did it. Sometimes it was hard, sometimes I wanted to snack on the softer parts of Devon because I have long suspected he tastes like vanilla creme. But we did it, I lost about 10 pounds and it was empowering. Now most of my panties fit, I have at least six pairs of pants in my rotation and I feel pretty good.

The next step in the efforts has been exercise. I've been doing a few bike training runs with my friend Beth who is one of the most graciously sassy woman I've ever known. Beth gives voices to children who have previously had none and looks as if she drinks from the fountain of youth because sister permanently looks to be about 29, maybe 32 on a rough day. Anyhoo, she and I are training for a century ride in late September and I'm trilled to bits to have this goal. Matt and I have also been going on some hikes. These usually involve me saying I know of a great place that's only slightly up hill and then feeling him staring heat seeking missiles into my ass as the mountain seems to go on for an infinity of painful hell.  I've also been swimming with both Matt and Cassidy. Cass and I started our swim excursions a couple of summers ago, it's an activity she and I can do together without either of our heads exploding on the other and at the end we are both too tired to push the other's head under the water. It's a win-win with a side of mother-daughter bonding tossed in for some parenting points on my end. This morning Cass was exhausted from last night's first soccer practice of the season, she is playing a league age up and it seems like a brutal group, but a tired Cassidy means a peaceful night for me.

This morning I got to the pool right when all the old birds were lined up, lest they oust me from a prime swimming lane spot I quickly changed and hit the water. I knew from the beginning it was going to be a stellar swim and it was. By the end I had 52 laps, one mile, in a few seconds under 52 minutes! A personal best for me and a moment that made me feel like The Baddest Ass Mo-Fo of the pool. Sure, I got smoked by a couple of old grannies with flowered swim caps and skirted suits, but if those old broads are swimming a mile like that I'm gonna stay the hell out their way. Swimming like this is a huge step towards long term fitness for me but it also quiets the noise in my head and brings me serenity, a concept almost entirely foreign in my soul.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Attending church is going to send me to hell

For reasons I can't entirely comprehend some of my least stellar moments occur at or during Mass. I'm not sure if it's because I'm trying to be good? Thinking I should be good? Fantasizing I could be good. Whatever the case, I more often than not fall flat and end up looking like an ass. Sometimes big, sometimes bigger.

This last Sunday all was going well and I thought I was even in line for some extra Jesus Points because it was the second Sunday in a row I was attending and taking Cass and Devon. And? My mom wasn't even with us, I was there all my own thank-you-very-much. True, part of it had to do with the $100's of raffle tickets I have to sell for Devon's first school fundraiser and dressing him cute so he can pimp out the tickets is going to save me some cash. But still, we were present and accounted for, that's gotta count. All was going well until we were downstairs for the after mass coffee and snacks. Devon loves this part of church the best so I always make sure he can run downstairs and be first in line for any goodies that might tempt his tender palate.

While the kids waited in line I secured us an empty table a bit out of the way that would give us the impression of being social while not actually forcing me to make small talk. Devon and Cass loaded up a couple of plates, I sat, they sat. A pair of our favorite friends came over to sit with us and that left only one empty chair. So far good. Until the daughter of my All Time Nemesis sat down by Cassidy and started talking high school with her. I can't stand this girl, she'll be a junior this year. She is conceited and drives me crazy, but spying that there were no more chairs available I figured I could grin and bear it. But then? First the dad and then her mom pulled two chairs from another table and squished in across from us. Oh. My. Fucking. God.

I can't adequately describe how much I despise this woman. She is vile on every possible plane of being a human being. Our past extends seven years back to when she and her bland, boring husband first came to our wee neck of the mountains. She inserted herself into every organization possible and is universally despised by all the other moms and their daughters. She is fake, tends to gloat and loves to share just how much she enjoys giving all her time to those in need. This past summer she spent in Spain at a language school and on Sunday when she first sat down she said in an accent as bad as Peggy Hill's, "Buenas dias! Como estas?" When our other friend asked why she was speaking Spanish, the woman's reply was, "Well, doncha know that a lot of people speak it and I was, after all, in Spain this summer learning to talk just like them?" Really? No shit. I contributed, "Yes, actually, in many countries people speak Spanish, but none here at this table this morning." Then I gave her a big, toothy, fuck-you smile. She then tripped all over herself, gushing about how loooooong she'd been gone and how glaaaaaaaad she was to be back among her own people. At some point I got so sickened I left the table, pretending to be minding Devon. Cassidy claims I muttered in a none to quiet voice, "I can't take this damn woman anymore." I'll not publicly confirm that.

After I played with Devon it was time to collect Cass from the table when my nemesis turned to me with a huge grin on her dumb face and said, "Oh Heather, I just wanted to extend a huge thanks you to you for the little invitation you designed for the benefit this year. It was so lovely, blah, blah, blah.Will ya be going?" Then she extended her hand for a high five and held that stupid smile in place. For the tiniest millisecond I considered reciprocating her gesture, but then my true, inner bitch took over and I stepped back while she continued to reach out to the point of almost toppling out of her chair. "Yes, I designed that for the folks who actually sit on that board. Gotta go." (Because this woman does not sit on this board, my mother and her friends do. They asked me to do the design work and it had NOTHING to do with this awful wench. She just loves to be in the do-gooder know of all things. I had forgotten about the invite since we had finalized it a few weeks ago and the fundraiser isn't until sometime in September. I don't know the date because I have no plans on attending since the small talk alone is enough to make me itch at the mere thought of it all.)

I left her there in front of a table of people with her arm hanging the air and the expectation that I was actually going to be decent to her. Did she think just because we were in the church that I would actually be nice to her? No way, sister. It made it even better for me. I love being horrid to this woman, love it in a way that is so wrong it feels good. This woman has terrorized me through emails, notes, phone calls. She assumes everybody else around her is less than she is and makes every effort possible to showcase her spectacularness. So leaving her hanging in the church basement felt good, good and good. So much so that I giggled on my way up the stairs until I saw Cass' face going all Christian Jimminy Cricket on me and she said, "You know you're totally going to hell. Even for you that was blatant." Oh. My. Hmmmm. "Yes, but honey, she's awful. Don't you think? And someday you'll likely have a Mom Nemesis and this is good training for you. I'm just trying to be a positive role model here." For that I got an eye roll as she sauntered up the stairs.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I compensate with cheese

My love affair with cheese began in earnest sometime during my pregnancy with Loren. Up until that point I associated the word cheese with the word fat and that simply was not something to be allowed anywhere near my inner sanctum. But an unplanned pregnancy while still in college pretty much blew all my prior principles out of the water, and so when I met up with Sir Brie or his friend Blue I no longer shied away but embraced them as the true loves I now knew them to be.

When I stopped gobbling gluten a couple of years ago I think it was not as hard as I thought it would be because I still had cheese. Had my issue been dairy? Somebody would have had to pay and pay dearly for that loss. I can roll with rice crackers, but take away my dairy? No sir, that would be like taking away Sarah Palin's crazy. It just doesn't work. Also, cheese helped me to avoid that emaciated look celiac sufferers tend to get. Cheese left me with plenty o' padding.

During the most recent eating nuttiness, the juice cleanse, the hardest part of the elimination phase was cutting out dairy. Matt and I both saved it for the last day because we both love cheese so much. In fact, now that I look back on the time line of things...Matt knocked me up, and then introduced me to cheese and the happiness derived from consuming large quantities of it. Bastard. I'll have to remember that little nugget for future warfare. Anyway, during the cleanse we both talked about how happy we would both be to get right back on that wagon as soon as the fast was over. And he did. But me? Not so much.

Turns out I'm having a much more difficult time rolling with the solid foods. No, it's not from my days of ballet dancing and tendencies to not eat. It's my damn stomach. There were afternoons during the cleanse when I would fantasize about cheese and yogurt and all the fun things we would soon do together.We were going to frolic in meadows, take baths together, fall asleep thinking of each other. We had plans, dammit.  But the few times I've tried to ingest them the results have been smelly, loud and not over all crowd pleasers. I didn't sign up for this and it's starting to piss me off and break my heart. What if I can't do it anymore? My social anxiety is bad enough, if at the few gatherings I do attend I can't busy myself with the cheese plate? What then? This is really no good.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Yes, I live with my mother. Shut up.

As mentioned above, I do indeed live in my mother's house. No, I don't live in the basement, have pasty skin and litter the floor with Cheeto bags while I play Wii. My skin is naturally dead, fishbelly creme, I can't eat Cheeto's due to my gluten issues and the Wii resides upstairs, thank-you-very-much. I actually live in one of her lofts, that makes me a high class live-in if you ask me.

I've been at my mother's house for a smidge over five years now. Sometimes it's been good. Sometimes comforting. Sometimes it's so difficult I think my head might burst. I know this is a distinct possibility because of the one sided conversations I have in my head with her about the importance of boundaries. Sure, we could have these chats be two-ways but it wouldn't work. My role is, and always has been, to be agreeable, take it as it comes and not, and I mean ever, rock the boat. Right now though? Because my head axploded all over the wall this morning? I want to tip the whole damn boat over. Know why? Although she can swim, my mother hates to get her face wet. Yup. I wouldn't tip it in deep water but it might take her a few panicked moments to realize the water was just five feet deep before she found her footing. And being the mean, awful daughter I am, those bits of panic would bring me satisfaction. I'm not proud of my intentions, but the mental image has stopped the head noise and I already feel better.

(Sometimes being evil is the best way out of madness. Plus, don't judge until you're co-habitating with your family of origin.)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Because I'm wildly mature and a clear thinker

So. I've quit my job. Yes, in this economy where stable jobs grow on trees or fall from the sky like rainbow covered gumdrops, I said thanks, but no, I gotta go now. Holy. Fuck. Yup. Sure did. In my defense I have to say that this year has been an ass kicker and it opened my eyes to some realities I hadn't before grasped. I also have another gig and a half lined up and big plans to work on a bunch of personal flotsam and jetsam that has been piling up and making noise in my head over the last couple of years. Again, holy fuck with a huge side of YUP!

My last day of office work is August 30, although I've been doing a tiny slice of my other gig at night for the last month or so. And? That job totally did fall from the clouds with a soft thud in my lap. And? It's for a company I would have willingly sawed off my left small toe in order to obtain employment there. Only now I get to keep my toe and get a paycheck. Not too slouchy indeed!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

There aren't enough veggies in the universe to fill the void within me

As I mentioned yesterday the juice fast has been going really quite well. Over the weekend there was an annual celebration, Mountain Fair, where there are crafts, jewelry, fabulous drinks and more food than one can possible dream of eating. It's what heaven would look like if I could make it so. Most years I plot which vendors I'll frequent and what drinks I'll have with them. This year I ended up buying a fabulous cashmere sweater because I spent no money on eats or drinks, and it wasn't a sacrifice to do so. Actually, the 100% truth to that last statement is that I had given the kids all my money and I talked Matt, who was perhaps or perhaps not delirious with hunger, into buying said sweater. But it's a fabulous sweater and once it gets cold again it will be amazing with a pair of leggings....

So no solid food was all good, juice was good, I had a new sweater and was shedding pounds left and right. Turns out yesterday I hit a wall. That wall was painted with the color bitch, it was still wet and I got it all over me. Yup. I was so hungry, as in HUNGRY, DAMMIT! Luckily Devon stayed the night with Matt so all I had to deal with last night was Cass and my mom. Fair enough. But no. Cassidy had been at her summer job all day, teaching swimming lessons and training to be a lifeguard for next summer and she had done a mile in laps on top of teaching three classes. Girl was hungry, too. And my mom was feeling slightly peckish from her day. So they decided to go all out. I'm talking soups with sausage in it, some sort of gourmet bread dipped in olive oil. And then, if that wasn't enough? Cass decided she wanted brownies. As they baked I thought I had died and gone to the hell I have long deserved for all my daily, hourly, caddy comments. It was a smell so divine I would have gladly sold Devon to the circus for just one bite. I informed Cass and my mom I believed them to be truly evil minions of Satan and they laughed as they informed me that the gluten in the brownies would send me to the ER. I told them it didn't matter, they were horrid, awful humans and I was planning to abandon them and go live in an ashram to find inner peace. Again they laughed. So I went to bed and fell asleep in a puddle of self-pity, which I tried to eat but it lacked flavor.

This morning I woke up hungry and shaky. I've had some juice: beets, carrots, spinach, a few grapes, apples and radishes. The scale wasn't overly kind this morning, I lost a quarter pound yesterday. Really? REALLY? For all that self-discipline all I get it a something the equivalent of McDonald burger and it doesn't even taste good? Namaste. Three more days of this and then I'm-a-gonna chew me some food.


Below are a couple of pictures from the above mentioned fair. Devon had just finished singing on stage. He had spent the week at a singing camp and had learned such classics as "Crocodile Rock" and "Sweet Home Alabama". Precious beyond words. As far as family portraits go it's slightly awkward with Lo's hands stuffed in his pockets while he seems to be thinking, "Why is my mom doing this to me?" Whatever.

The next picture captures the true joy that is Cassidy and her BFF Ticah. The two have been thick as thieves since they were in diapers. Notice the cup of lemondae Cass is holding. I suspect after that she ate a funnel cake and then had a piece of pizza anf then perhaps a gyro. There are words for people like that....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 6 of the 10 day cleanse. I don't smell too bad anymore.

As mentioned above, today is number six out of ten days of the juice fast. Depending on who you ask things are going really quite well. If one were to ask me, I would point out that my tongue is no longer covered in white goo in the mornings. If you one were to ask Cass, well she might point out that right before my feeding times I might appear slightly bitchy. Whatever, she's 14 and prone to drama. Not to be trusted , her. Thus far I've shed nine pounds. That's right, count those! I now have a staggering number of maybe five pairs of pants in the rotation and a couple of dresses. My breasts aren't bursting out of my bras and I'm even back into some of my fun panties, not just the extra large Hanes, five to a pack that I get at Costco.

Despite my new found wardrobe expansion I don't intend to stick out 60 days of this madness. This ends Saturday night. At that point I'm going to make friendly with a zu-canoe and then On Sunday some more veggies that I'll actually be able to chew. Simple things for simple minds.


A couple of weekends ago, Matt, the kids and I went to Denver to check out Loren's soon-to-be new pad. We stayed in LoDo close to where Lo and his friend Evan will be spreading their wings and living out in the real world. It's going to break my heart when Loren leaves but I fully understand this is the natural progression of events and he needs to get out of the nest. Across from our hotel was an enormous blue bear peeking into the convention center. It made for some good fun.

This summer I've been taking every opportunity possible to capture my three children in one place at the same time. Not an easy task and one that inevitably ends up with somebody pissed off. Big deal, they can just deal with it. In about a week Loren will move to Denver to work for a semester before attending film school so these moments will be even farther and fewer between.