It’s My Birthday!

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Okay, that title sounds way more exciting than my day was, but it was a decent day. I was up until 2:30AM working on that website, and got up again this morning and worked from 9-12.

Then it was off to do something fun. The girls and I, along with my daughter’s best friend and her mom (all of our birthdays are within 2 weeks of each other) went to the spa. The girls got mani/pedis, and I splurged on a pedi with reflexology massage and then a 30 minute back and neck massage.

I planned on a 15 minute chair massage, but the guy took one look at my knots and his first words were, “oh wow that’s not good.” He ended up beating the crap out of me for 30 minutes and he took the time to explain that it was trigger points through my trapezius muscles and behind my shoulder blades that were so tight it was causing my afternoon headache.

Though I wanted to cry at one point when he was pushing on my knots, I felt like a new woman when I left. Unlike my last two massages, I’m still feeling pretty decent hours later. My last two triggered a migraine and really sore muscles.

Don’t get me wrong, my muscles are sore where he was digging into them, but it’s a good sore. So good that I made another appointment for Thursday! I figured I put an ungodly amount of hours in for work Friday through today, I am doing this for myself.

Some I’m another year older, and it doesn’t feel much different so far. I got a lot of nice messages by phone, email, and Facebook. All in all it was a decent day. We went out to dinner, which was nice and got home in time for everyone to go to bed.

Since I haven’t slept well for the past few nights I’m taking a half of an Ambien tonight so I can get some sound sleep. I know these long hours are going to catch up to me, but luckily I don’t have much on my plate for tomorrow…except laundry. Did I mention that I hate putting clothes away? I don’t mind washing them or drying them, but what a pain in the ass it is to fold them and put them away.

Today’s autoimmune tidbit:

When I was doing some research about fibromyalgia, I came across the various trigger points associated with the autoimmune disease. The unexpected one for me was the one on the side of the knee. It’s not an area that bothers me in general, but holy crap, when that area is touched it’s darn painful. Let me know if you have sensitivity there as well.

I hope you all had a pain-free weekend. it’s rainy and cold here, which isn’t helping my RA, but all in all, it wasn’t a bad birthday. I’ll take what I can get.

 

 

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It’s Not That Bad

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I had a decent night of sleep last night, and I think it helped me feel better today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still thoroughly disgusted with how I look, but I’ve come to the realization that I need to see the doctor. I’ve been dieting and exercising for weeks and my weight is going up.

So…my To Do list for Monday involves making an appointment with the doctor. I thought a lot about it, and I realized I’m scared. My mom got sick with cancer at 41 and died at 43. The thought that there might be something wrong hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday and my first instinct was to push it aside. Then I stopped being selfish and decided if there is something wrong, I need to know about it. I can’t leave me kids…I mean, do you even realize the crazy people that would be taking care of them? For that reason alone, I need to take care of myself.

On top of that, I know what it’s like to grow up without a mom, and I promised my kids I’d do everything in my power to stay healthy. If my doctor comes back and says nothing is wrong, then so be it, and I just need to cut out all sugar for a while.

Today actually turned out better than I thought. I appreciate the kind messages on last night’s post. Sometimes in dealing with the craziness that is my in-laws, I start to think it’s me. I start to think I’m nuts, and then I’ll run it by someone and realize it’s not me in this case. I’m not perfect, and I’m sure I’ve said things that irk them, too, but I’m not mean.

I enjoyed my friend’s bridal shower today. This is her second chance at happiness. Her first marriage didn’t turn out so well, and the guy told her he didn’t want to have children. She couldn’t see her life without kids and that started their downward spiral. I’ll just put it out there and say he’s an ass. The good news is that she met someone who is so nice, and she looks so truly happy.

On the autoimmune front, my legs are super sore today. I am sure part of it is still from my class on Thursday morning, but my it’s rainy and damp, and that’s never a good combination with my rheumatoid arthritis. My hips hurt and I’m walking like an old lady again. It’s fitting since tomorrow is my birthday and I’ll be a little older….

I’ve decided to go get a mani/pedi with my girls in the morning and then I have no idea what we’re doing. I need to finish working on this website before it kills me. I forced myself to take a break and write a blog because I was afraid I was going to miss something important. I needed a break from the Spanish nutrition charts.

I’m supposed to have it finished my tomorrow, and I really hoped to be done tonight, but I’m not sure I’ll make it. Ok, break time is over…back to Spanish nutrition charts. I can’t top last night’s blog picture (which totally cracked me up) so I’m posting a damn nutrition chart because that’s how boring my night is!

Fibro Fog Is Back

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I woke up exhausted today…not tired — exhausted! I nearly fell asleep working with my tutoring client, and when I got home I actually put off some calls for work so I could take a nap. I slept so soundly that I didn’t even hear my son come in from school.

Needless to say, if you understand the type of exhaustion from fibromyalgia or other autoimmune diseases, you know I didn’t wake up refreshed. I’m not sure if my allergies are playing into it, but I am just having a tough time with things today.

I thought I was going to have a quiet evening, but I have a client who needs a project ASAP, and I’m doing my best. My goal is to have it all done tomorrow so I don’t have to work on my birthday. We’ll see how it goes. I feel like their product list is never-ending, and most of the products sound downright gross.

Tomorrow I have a bridal shower for a friend. I’m in the wedding and I’m just thoroughly disappointed with myself that I haven’t lost this excess weight. I don’t feel like I have anything that I look pretty in, and I didn’t have time to get out and shop. I’m not a big shopper. It’s definitely more fun when you’re feeling good about yourself, though.

Tonight I’m annoyed with people and truth be told, no one did anything wrong. I think I’m just fed up overall. My house is a big disaster area, and I just feel overwhelmed with that and the people around me. My patience with my kids was thin today. I can’t be supermom every day, but let’s just say I’ll try a little harder tomorrow.

I’m having trouble letting go of a situation that happened well over a year ago, and I know I’m the only one it’s upsetting, but I keep going back to it and I can’t let it go. I found out from my cleaning lady that my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were talking behind my back and saying some really mean things. As I’ve said before, it’s never been a perfect relationship, and I don’t think I’m someone they like, but to find out things this way really hurt.

In response to being confronted with this, they fired the cleaning lady and blamed her. No one said a word to me. Of course the guy in the middle relayed their excuses and that they didn’t say certain things about my kids (bullshit), they never apologized, nor have they ever brought it up. Like everything else, I’m supposed to let it sweep under the rug and not bring it up when I see them.

I’m torn because my mother-in-law is very good to my children. She loves them very much and is always there for events in their life. For that reason, I love and respect her, but it’s hard to like her when I know how she feels about me. Perhaps that’s unfair…I’ve always known she didn’t like me. I didn’t need the cleaning lady to tell me that. I just never thought she was the type of person to gossip about it.

I know I need to let it go, but I’m struggling. It’s something I’ll continue to work on, and a glass of wine sure helps when she’s here. For now, I need to stop thinking about it. Sometimes when I’m annoyed I start to think of all the things that annoy me. I lump everything together.

I’m all of the sudden irritated with my friend who bashed my blog idea. I haven’t talked to him in months, minus a few random texts for stupid reasons. I miss him, but there is a part of me that is still angry at him, too. I think everything is just coming to the surface today. My stupid birthday is coming. I’m fat and ugly, and I’m annoyed.

Okay, now I’m laughing. It’s just one of those days, and struggling to get out of bed or stay awake really isn’t helping. Tomorrow is another day. I’ll work on that whole positive attitude thing and get back to you.

Just a Blah Day in Autoimmune World

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I just blah today. In terms of pain, today was not so bad. I’m thankful for that, but I feel like I could sleep all day. I’m not sure if it’s because my birthday is this weekend. I love birthdays, but for some reason as I get closer to the age that my mother passed away, I’m having a hard time.

This year I’m turning 42, and my mother died of ovarian cancer at 43. It’s a whole new perspective of how young my mother was, and how hard it must have been to know she was dying and leaving her children.

Now that I have children of my own, and I’m almost reaching that age, it’s just really hitting me hard. I need to focus on how thankful I am for every single minute with my kids, and for all the good days. My goal is to find something to laugh about every day, and I will say for the most part, I have a lot to laugh about — even if it’s at myself.

I’m not sure what we’ll be doing for my birthday, but it’s not much. Money is a little tight, so it might be dinner and cake at home this year. We’ll see. Usually the kids decide what they are doing for me, and that usually means me taking them out to dinner.

On another note, I’ve been cracking up all day at the hideous comments people have posted, emailed, and commented in response to my request for the worst things you could say to someone with an autoimmune disease. Okay, okay…they shouldn’t be funny, and they probably weren’t at the time, but I think it helps to laugh at the stupidity and ignorance that the Dr. Googles of the world spread around.

Heck if we listened to people like this, we’d all be cured by glucosamine chondroitin and Salonpas. When I read some of the stupid things people have said to my readers, all I could do it laugh and feel closer to them, because I get it.

An invisible disease is difficult for people to understand. I felt very alone in this, even though I had a few friends that tried to be there for me (including the one that thought this blog was a terrible and negative idea). People don’t want to hear that you are in pain all the time. They want you to respond that you are “fine” or “doing better” because they have no real time to hear your story.

So we stop sharing, or at least that’s what I did. There was an obvious look of disinterest from people and I just started saying I was fine. To connect with people who understand when you say you’re in pain but can’t even pinpoint what hurts, that’s been priceless to me.

Keep the stories coming. It’s going to be quite a list, and I know you’ll all at least crack a smile because we get it. We know how stupid these comments are.

 

 

Making a List of Dumb Autoimmune Questions

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I’m making a list and I need your help. What’s the dumbest thing someone has asked you or told you regarding you autoimmune disease? Please share it with me for my list by emailing it to autoimmunemama@gmail.com or by commenting on this blog post.

I hope to put together a list so we can laugh at the humor of it all. Either well-meaning comments or negative thoughts…I want to hear them all.

Also, don’t forget to join the Autoimmune Mama Facebook Group to connect with others suffering from autoimmune diseases.

 

Women, Friendship and Gwenyth Paltrow

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I slept most of today. This just isn’t my best week. It’s so cold that the wind feels like it’s whipping through my bedroom window. My hands are like ice cubes. The numbness is really starting to bother me. Today I slammed my thumb in a drawer. It didn’t hurt as bad as it should have because of the numbness.

Other than the extreme exhaustion, I’m doing okay today. I’m sure I’ll be up all night since I slept a lot during the day. I just needed the rest. Nothing seems to be helping the constant pain, though it’s manageable right now. It just stinks being in pain all the time. I don’t judge a day on being pain-free, it’s always what level of pain I’m at. There are very few pain-free days.

So this evening I was talking to my 9-year-old daughter about friendship. I’m blessed because she has a really nice group of close friends that are very sweet girls. I was explaining that good friends stand up for each other, and don’t let other kids be mean to their friends. My daughter started telling me a story about a girl in her class that was being really mean to one of my daughter’s good friends. The girl was yelling at the friend and said some mean things like calling her ugly.

My daughter told me that she told the girl to stop talking to her friend like that, which made me proud. It also made me think how mean girls and women are to each other in general. I call myself a recluse and anti-social because I can’t handle the drama. For some women, it’s no better at 40 than it was at 12. Some girls never grow out of hitting below the belt, where they know it will add to another girl’s insecurities.

Many women (and men) still judge a woman on how pretty she is. It’s a problem if she isn’t pretty enough, and it’s a problem if she’s too pretty. A beautiful woman is often called a bitch, etc. just out of jealousy. It’s upsetting that young girls treat each other badly, but it’s just as disappointing when woman don’t grow out of that stage. Some people thrive on gossip and nastiness.

I’m wondering how bad someone’s life has to be to take pleasure in someone else’s pain. I don’t waste my time being jealous of someone with a big house who doesn’t want for anything. I do get envious, though, of people who can do whatever they want without having to think of how much pain they are in, or how much pain an activity will cause.

I’m trying to raise my girls to like who they are and what they have. I spent too much of my life wishing I was like other people, that it took me a long time to really get to know and like me. Even with my autoimmune issues, I’m still fun and kind. If nothing else, I can go to sleep knowing that.

Today’s off-topic rant: Gwenyth Paltrow

What the hell is “Conscious Uncoupling”? Can she sound any more pretentious? I am not mocking the breakup of her marriage, or even questions their reasons for breaking up. The end of any marriage is difficult, let alone being in the public eye. But, why the heck does she need to release a statement that makes her and her husband above what normal divorcing couples are going through. Clearly other people didn’t consciously uncouple. Perhaps they randomly strayed or unconsciously drifted apart.

 

Arthritis Gloves, I Love You

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I ordered a new pair of IMAK arthritis gloves and they arrived today. If you haven’t tried these, I have found them to be very helpful for pain, swelling, and keeping my hands warm. They aren’t like a lot of arthritis gloves, which are super tight, making it difficult to do daily tasks with them on. These are perfect for working on the computer, etc. They are a kind of spandex fabric that stays just tight enough to help with swelling.

And no, I’m not getting any kickbacks from IMAK. They are just something I recommend because they actually help me. This is my third pair as my daughters think they look “cool” and they lose them on me. So it’s the little things of today that made me happy. I got my hair cut and highlighted, and I was able to teach a tough class and use my elliptical machine.

Overall, I felt pretty darn good today, but I hit a wall around 6pm and started to get sore. I think it’s just regular end of day aches combined with a storm that was supposed to bring snow tonight, but now it’s sounding like we’re not getting much. Did I mention I’m done with snow and cold? I know I have!

I also picked up a new social media client, who, over the past 10 hours has driven me to pop a Xanax. I need to trust my instinct when I have a feeling someone is going to be a pain in the ass. He has called twice (with no real questions) and sent nine emails. NINE! I don’t see this ending well.

I try not to take on anyone that annoys me. It’s just best for everyone that way. I had a feeling and avoided him a few months ago, but then he called and caught me off guard saying he really wanted to work with me. Damn my kindness!

Anyway, today was not a bad day, so I’m thankful for that. I’m hoping to get a lot accomplished tomorrow, but we’ll see how it goes.

Has anyone been following the Oscar Pistorius trial? I have been following it on and off, but I think his fate was sealed today with the release of those text messages where Reeva said she was scared of him and that he was jealous of her talking to a friend’s husband. It’s probably not right to weigh in on it…but dammit, it’s my blog and I’ll give my opinion.

I don’t think it was premeditated, but he totally killed her in a rage. He had to get out of bed, put his prosthetic legs on and walk to the bathroom. Okay, here’s my problems with the story.

#1. Didn’t he realize Reeva wasn’t in bed when he got out of bed to check for the intruder?

#2. Would someone really shoot through a bathroom door without at least calling out to see who was in there?

#3. He shot 5 times. She was screaming and you can’t tell me he didn’t recognize her voice.

#4. While 95% of their text mails were loving, both of their texts on one particular day alluded to him being jealous of her talking to other men. I’m not sure if he had a complex thinking she was going to leave me, or what…but clearly he was worried about her enough to freak out about her talking to other people.

I should have been a legal analyst! I get wrapped up in following some of these cases and sometimes I’m more than surprised at how they turn out. Look at Casey Anthony. Who saw that coming? I didn’t, but after listening to all the legal experts talking after the trial, I understood the jury’s decision. I will never understand the jury for O.J. Simpson’s trial, but that’s a whole other story.

Please feel free to weigh in. We could be our own little group of Nancy Graces (with better hair).

 

Where the Hell Is Spring?

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I’m freezing. My whole body is shivering at the moment, and I’m under my heated blanket. I just got up to grab a cup of hot cocoa and my heating pad to try and break the shivering.

Today was a complete lazy day. I had some stomach issues last night, and I just didn’t feel well at all this morning. I went back to sleep for a few hours and was basically a bum until the afternoon.

I have a love-hate relationship with days like these. I love to sleep, and during the day is the only time that I don’t have trouble sleeping, but I also get down on myself when I waste a day. I know that my body really needed the rest today. I’ve been running around like crazy for the last two weeks, and my plate has really been full.

it’s like my body just cried uncle last night and I couldn’t push myself today. I got pretty annoyed this past weekend at a well-meaning person who suggested that I need to work on pushing through a bit more. I hate when people judge your circumstance without really knowing what you’re going through.

It’s frustrating enough to be in this kind of pain. Heck, I just got up to get a cup of cocoa and my hips were all locked up, but knee hurts, and my muscles through my back and neck are tight. I’m on the fence as to whether I’m getting a migraine or not.

I feel like crap, and I know my body well enough that if I was to push through today, I’d have been useless for tomorrow and possibly the next day. When I run ragged, I tend to get sick, and that’s all I need.

I’m trying to get rid of a lot of negativity in my life. I have a friend who calls me (sometimes several times per day) to talk about other people including teachers, the principal, other parents, and other kids. It’s been weighing on me that the friendship is totally bringing me down.

If someone is bashing everyone else in town, they are likely talking about you, too. I don’t like gossip. I honestly don’t want to know what’s going on in someone’s personal life, and the last thing I’d ever do is say a child is stupid. Children aren’t stupid. Adults with no thought about anyone but themselves are stupid. I’m just not sure why other people continue to tell her things.

I’m beyond the high school stuff, and I can’t stand when this friend needs to make her child out to be the top of everything. Look, if the kid truly has an A+ average in everything and the top score in her grade, I’m thrilled for her. That’s an awesome accomplishment, but does it need to be brought up in every conversation?

I feel like my friend is unhappy and is living her life through her kids, but on the outside she has a good life. I say, on the outside, because who really knows what someone else is dealing with on the inside. She is financially set, and doesn’t need to work. She has a beautiful family and a husband who loves her.

I don’t know. I just don’t think life is about how much better you or your kids are than other people. Life is hard enough. Can’t we just let kids be kids and not stress about grades at such a young age? My kids do well in school. I don’t expect an A+ in every subject, but I expect them to work hard and do their best.

I have two children with reading and comprehension issues, so I know school isn’t always easy. My son started middle school this year and I was in a panic on whether he could handle the workload. The first month or two was crazy, but my son made the honor roll. The pride HE had with this accomplishment was awesome, because in many things he does have to work harder and longer to get good grades.

I’m super proud of my kids, but I’ll be the first to tell you they are far from perfect. The talk back, they drive me over the edge sometimes, and they make me crazy…but I wouldn’t change it. They are my everything, and I like the little people they are becoming.

I guess in that regard, I have my priorities in order. I need to sort things out and distance myself a bit from my friend as she’s bringing me down. I just want to surround myself with people who aren’t so negative. That’s almost silly to me as my other friend accused me of being negative when I started this blog.

I guess it’s fair to say I use this as a place to vent, but I don’t bash people. I often have a tough time dealing with my autoimmune issues and writing these issues down has been really good for me. I really appreciate all the nice comments and likes on the blog. I’ve had so much fun doing it.

Now how to I subtly cut my friend back quite a bit? Ideas welcome!

 

The Weekend Is Over, The Fever Is On

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Having an autoimmune disease means you have limitations. As much as I don’t like to admit that, it’s true. It means waking up some days and having to scrap even the best of plans because your body just won’t cooperate with your mind. I’ve missed birthday parties, weddings, and other events because I’m in serious pain with my rheumatoid arthritis, or I have a migraine, or I just can’t get out of bed because of my fibromyalgia. It happens, and I need to accept that.

The only thing I won’t deal with is missing an event for my children. I dragged my ass to countless football games when I could hardly stand. I’ve gone to dance rehearsal that last hours on end when I’ve had a migraine. As a parent, these things often go without saying. I want to encourage my kids with everything they want to pursue.

So…this weekend, it was my oldest daughter with a bit part in The Sound of Music. I’m the mom that cries at everything. It didn’t matter that I had seen it several ties in practices, but when she was on the stage at that first show I was overwhelmed with tears.

Some of the reason is because I know what a big deal it is for my painfully shy kid to get up on stage in front of a room full of people. My daughter hardly spoke to anyone through kindergarten. She had a few friends that she’d talk to, but she had a little stutter and she didn’t want anyone to hear it. She also worried so much if other people would like her.

Slowly but surely she has gained confidence and poise. When I asked her if she wanted to try out for a part in the play, her immediate answer was no, so I let it go. The day before auditions (and during our tech week for Nutcracker) she came home with a letter to me asking if she could try out for a part.

I would have moved mountains to get her there, mostly because she wanted to try. She nailed the song during the audition. She has a very pretty voice, but when she read lines her voice was soft and I think he could tell she was shy. Regardless, the small chorus part of stage that she was given made a huge impact on her.

What I’m trying to say in a multi-paragraph rant is that hell would freeze over before I missed one moment of her play this weekend. Whether I was watching the show or helping backstage, it was about supporting my daughter.

I wouldn’t change any of it, but this afternoon at practice I felt it coming on. Low grade fever, achiness, almost flu-like symptoms. I was getting a rheumatoid arthritis flare. Is it wrong that I’m hoping it’s RA and not the flu?

I already canceled my meeting for tomorrow and rescheduled it later in the week, which thankfully did not impact much. I have a lot of things I do as a freelancer, most of it involves content editing, proofreading, and social media. I also recently started working with a nonprofit organization that helps families of children with special needs. This is where my passion is. When I first realize that my son wasn’t progressing like the other kids around him, I just knew something wasn’t right.

I’m a very¬† proactive person. I read everything I could, and met with several specialists who could only tell me that he didn’t quite fit the autism spectrum, but there was something there. It was a time in my live where I was in constant research mode and desperately wanted someone to ask questions to. Through my job, I’m now that person that people can ask questions to or request help with getting their children services.

I was in the right place at the right time, and I couldn’t be happier working with this amazing group of people. Luckily the majority of it is from home, so my RA doesn’t really get in the way.

The wind is really howling out there. They just said it was like 30 miles an hour. I feel it traveling through the windows in my bedroom. Where are my cats when I need their warmth? Hopefully I’ll be able to sleep despite the wind. I took a half of an Ambien a few minutes ago.

I am trying to get this blog wrapped up as I’ve been known to send emails on Ambien and have no recollection. Apparently last week I emailed a woman I know that works at my youngest daughter’s school and I had heard from my daughter that she broke her leg. It was a nice note and I had thought about sending her one, but when she responding, I didn’t remember contacting her, LOL.

It’s starting to hit me so I’m turning the computer off and closing my eyes. Here’s to a wonderful day for everyone tomorrow.

Not Quite a Stage Mom…Yet

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I crack up when I watch those shows about the dance moms. After the second year of my older daughter performing in the Nutcracker, I’ve seen my share of those mothers, but the play and drama parents are very different.

I have to say that there is such a spirit of community with The Sound of Music play that my daughter is in. I think I only saw one mom who could compare to the dance moms. Overall, it’s been a good experience for my daughter, who had a fear of being up in front of people. She’s decided that she likes it, and wants to do a theater camp. Look for me to become a stage mom very soon!

I sat through the show again this afternoon, and volunteered watching the children’s ensemble in the back room when they weren’t on stage (which was 95% of the show). It was a really long say, and I’ve been having some issues with low blood sugar. I should have eaten lunch before the 1pm show, but I was in a rush. By intermission I was shaking and beginning a terrible headache. Luckily, I was able to eat something and I felt a little better.

I blew the diet to hell by munching on a Kit Kat, and then taking the girls to McDonald’s for a quick meal between shows. I’m sure a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is not on ANY healthy diet plan, but it’s done, and I’ll deal with it tomorrow.

My swelling was not as bad as yesterday, but my hands and feet are still hurting. I’m just plain tired at this point. I think I’ll actually fall asleep on my own before 1AM. I’m trying not to be stressed about my son being at a sleepover tonight. I think I am just very overprotective and overly concerned when it comes to my son. Socially, he’s a little awkward. He’s got a great heart and a fabulous sense of humor (he gets that from his mom), but I think he tries to hard with friends.

I’m hoping for the best and trying not to stress about it. Him being gone means all of the cats sleep with me, so it’s a bit of a treat. My big cat is very attached to my son and follows him everywhere. I only get attention when my son is at school. So my Cheeto is snuggling with me tonight!

I need to keep up this fast paced me for one more day, actually two more. I have the play again tomorrow and then a busy day on Monday. Is it wrong that I’m already planning a nap for Tuesday?

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