Ending a Migraine

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As per my usual M.O., I got a horrendous migraine after I calmed down about my dad. When I saw him on Wednesday, he looked so good and all my stress seemed to fade. It was about 7pm and I was watching a show with my daughter when I lost my vision in one eye.

This one came on fierce. I took migraine meds and muscle relaxers. I used ice and had my TENS unit going trying to loose up the tight bands in my neck. It was one of the worst I’ve had in a while.

I slept a lot yesterday so I would feel well enough to go out to dinner for my daughter’s birthday. She had a wonderful birthday and was thrilled with her presents and going out to eat. She got a lot of presents, which is unusual for us for a birthday, but most of the things she wanted were tiny. Anyway, she was thrilled.

In stead of telling you how much I binged today and strayed from my diet, I thought I’d discuss Kanye West. What was he thinking? My guess would be that he doesn’t think anyone other than he or Beyonce deserve awards. Now I won’t sit here and say I’m familiar with any of Beck’s music, other than the Loser song from a while back, but he played 14 instruments on his album. He also wrote all his songs.

To insult him for winning album of the year was just plain wrong. I got jumped on when I posted that I thought he was racist on my Facebook page. Yes, I’m well aware that he married a white woman, but I can’t stand the way he talks about other artists. He just a very odd dude.

There is also the Brian Williams fiasco with his lies about being shot down in Iraq. I was disappointed because I like Brian Williams. It’s like that story that keeps growing and growing each time it was told. He got so much attention from it, the lie took on a mind of it’s own. I give him credit for explaining it and I do hope that people forgive the mistake and move forward.

I am still searching for a puppy. Actually I found one, but the shelter hasn’t gotten back to me. I fond a few puppies that were for sale that were so adorable, but I really prefer to adopt. We’ll see what happens. I’m thinking maybe that would make my birthday more tolerable this year since I’ve been dreading turning 43, the age my mother died.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and we are getting yet another snow storm. I’m praying it ends early on Sunday because my daughter’s birthday is at 2pm. I was so stressed that no one could come, but now she has about 5 friends and her cousins, and of course her brother and sister.

I’ve never been a big Valentine’s Day person.¬† I once had a boyfriend that showed up at my work with roses and chocolates out of the blue…we had just started seeing each other. Then I went back to his place to get dressed to go out to dinner and he had more flowers there, perfume, and some lingerie. That’s about the most romance I’ve ever had. It was a complete shock and I guess that’s why I liked it so much.

Since there will be a snow storm and it’s going to be like 0 degrees out, we’re going to have dinner at home with the kids. I need to go on Pinterest and find something to make.

 

 

 

 

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Stress, Snow, and Sleep Issues

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I don’t think my kids have been to school on a Monday in the last three or four weeks. Again, we have a decent storm last night and this morning so my little cherubs were home, and arguing all day. They argued over XBox controllers. They argued over which character they were using. They argued over lots of mundane issues.

We already have a two-hour delay for tomorrow so of course no one wanted to go to bed on time. My son is still awake at 11:30PM, but I think he’s worried about me. My dad is having major heart surgery tomorrow morning. I was doing okay until I spoke with him tonight. We don’t do emotions well, my Dad and I. We love each other very much, but it’s just not him to say it a lot. I told him I loved him and that I knew everything would be okay. It was difficult to hear him say he was scared. I’m scared, too.

I’ve been so worried about me dying at 43 that I hadn’t given much thought to losing someone else in my life, like my only other living parent. I’m not ready. I just pray that it all goes well, and if you are the praying type, please say a few for my dad.

My kids saw me crying after I talked to him and they really stepped up. The older two were really consoling, but my youngest got very upset, too. I didn’t want that so I regrouped and focused on assuring them that the doctor said Grandpa is an excellent candidate for this surgery. He’s active and otherwise healthy. I just need him to be okay.

I took a half an Ambien because I knew I’d have a difficult time falling asleep. I took it an hour ago, and now I’m wondering whether I should have taken a full one. We can all sleep in a little bit tomorrow with the snow delay.

Other than the situation with my dad, I’ve been doing okay. The Raynaud’s is really tough on these cold days. My fingertips were so cold that when I got in a warm (not even hot) shower, they felt like they were on fire when the warm water hit them. It’s the oddest thing. Does anyone else have that?

I know that it’s normal for your hands to get very white or even bluish, but when they are returning to normal temperature, do you have pain? I just want to make sure I’m not a freak of nature.

I was able to get on my elliptical machine today for a workout. It felt good. I couldn’t last too long, but I took a break and did some pushups in the middle and then got back on. I’m going to really try to do 10 minutes a day for a few weeks. I know that sounds so lame, but I need to make a goal that I can keep. Once I’m used to doing it for two weeks, maybe I can up the time.

In my spare time, I’ve been looking at puppies online. I don’t need another animal. I have a dog, three cats, and a parrot. It’s just that I’ve always wanted a German Shepherd puppy. Now I’m not that person that wants to go to a breeder and AKC papers, I want to rescue a pup. It’s just that the timing has to be right, and I really want a young puppy in order to acclimate it into our menagerie.

Is the man of the house on board? Not yet, but I’m working on it. This may sound awful but I put up with so much bullshit that I don’t think he’d really say no. I think he’ll try and talk me out of it. If nothing else, it’s keeping me busy while I am worried about my dad.

Town Politics

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I don’t like politics. I have my views, and I don’t shove them on anyone else, and I hate when people shove theirs on me. But national politics are very different than local politics. I live in a fairly small town in New England. Living about 8 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School, our lives were forever changed by the massacre that occurred on 12/14/12. It also changed the things that area schools do to protect our children.

Our town is in a first with our First Selectman over money needed for special education. For those that have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I work for a nonprofit doing special education advocacy. Let’s put it this way, a town cannot simply decide not to fund special education, Unless, of course, they are willing to take on the lawsuits that will result from that decision of doing something against the law.

Our town’s Board of Education requested a special appropriation of money because they are over budget due to the need for long terms subs and special education. Our First Selectman and Board of Finance turned the other way and ignored a 1000-person signed petition for a town meeting. I’m going to be blunt…I think he’s a schmuck. Funny that no one on either of those boards have a child in the district.

So all of this is on my mind today. It wasn’t an eventful day overall, but it’s one that’s fairly pain-free, so I’m thankful for that. I’m just finding that my patience is thin. I snapped a lot at my kids today, and I hate when I’m like that. I’m just tired of the bickering and nastiness toward each other. Do you ever just need a break from your kids?

Maybe I sound like a horrible mother saying that, but sometimes I just need a break. I have three kids, two of whom have learning issues, and two of whom (not the same two) have ADHD. Homework is not easy, nor fun. I’m just crabby today.

For the first time I’m hoping for a snow delay tomorrow. I’m overbooked and that would clear my schedule. Also, I cheated on my diet terribly today. I mean, not just a little cheat. I found chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels…ate way too many. And, I had an ice cream sandwich. I never crave ice cream. It’s not really my thing. I enjoy it when I have some, but it’s nothing I go out of my way for.

My youngest daughter begged for them in the grocery store today, and I didn’t expect to have one, but I’ll admit…her’s looked delicious. So it’s back on the wagon tomorrow and I will be stepping up the exercise. I also wasn’t great about drinking the crazy amount of water today, and believe it or not, I’m finding I feel better drinking all that water.

I have more energy and I think I have less headaches. So, it’s back measuring my water intake. I need to find more willpower. I’m going to force myself to write down everything I eat. Maybe that will help.

Hoping you all had a pain-free day.

I Cheated

Wish I Was There Instead of Here

Wish I Was There Instead of Here

They are calling it the possibly one of the worst storms in history. My kids are home, possibly through Wednesday and I ate three cookies and a handful of potato chips today. I learned it’s much harder to stick to my diet with them home. I’m back on the wagon tomorrow.

The wind is really starting to pick up here. I’m not sure how much snow we have, but the roads were looking bad around 5pm. The state put a ban on all travel on roads except emergency vehicles. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s pretty bad.

As long as I don’t lose power, I’m fine being stuck snowed in for a few days. I’m just stressed with the high winds and heavy snow that we might lose a tree and knock wires down.

Surprisingly, my pain level is pretty good today. I did not go outside, other than to carry in some wood for the wood stove. The kids went sledding and I watched from the sliding glass door and had hot cocoa ready. I have a feeling that they are going to try and talk me into sledding tomorrow and that’s when it all could go downhill.

Today would have been my mom’s 72nd birthday. It’s funny, some years it hits me really hard and others not. I didn’t get emotional today, but I think that might be because I let it all out last week after a talk with my son about her. My life would have turned out so different had she lived. I can’t even imagine what my like would be like with her here. Actually, I think I’m going to have a more difficult time with my own birthday this year.

I’m turning the age that she was when she died–43. I remember at 14 and everyone was telling me how young she was. But now I see it. I don’t feel old. I can’t imagine preparing to die and leave my children. I just wonder who she had to talk to during that time. She had her mother and my step-father, I guess. I just don’t know how she did it.

Onto a lesser intense subject. I’m watching The Bachelor. Dear lord! Some of these women have no respect for themselves. Okay, all of them. You don’t compete for a man! I admit to watching because of the psycho people. It makes it a little fun, but I’m not liking this guy too much.

Hopefully I’ll have something more inspiring to talk about tomorrow. It was such a quiet day here. I hope everyone in the Northeast stays safe in this storm.

 

Still Dieting

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It’s day 4 of my Ideal Shape diet. Yesterday was easy, but today I had to go to brunch for a family event. I probably ate more at that one meal than I would have if I were home, but I skipped an extra meal today and only had four. I’m probably not supposed to do that, but I really wasn’t hungry.

Interestingly, what is the most difficult is getting all the water in. That’s a LOT of water, definitely way more than I’m used to drinking. I’m wondering if my headaches will improve a bit with all the extra water. My brother-in-law is a neurologist and he always said dehydration is a major cause for headaches.

I got to go to dinner last night with an old friend and that was good therapy for me. She is one of my oldest friends. We met in kindergarten. I think I needed the therapy session with someone who knew my mother. We went through a lot around the same time, first with my mother being sick and dying of cancer, and then she had her own family issues a year or two later.

When you’ve known someone that long, inevitably you have a lot to reminisce and laugh about. It was a good night.

We are now expecting a huge snow storm. Depending on who you listen to, it’s either starting tomorrow morning or after 5pm. They keep moving it up…and increasing the amount of snow we’re supposed to get. I stopped listening when the amounts were over 18 inches.

I braved the grocery store with all the nuts getting their bread and milk this evening. I like to cook when we’re snowed in, so I bought a roast and snacks for the kids. And, I stocked up on cat treats for the furry children. Heaven forbid they go without.

I don’t mind the snow when I have nowhere to go. It’s kind of nice being snowed in, as long as we don’t lose power. Our electric company has already sent a robocall about power outages. So basically, people are going insane.

Typically we don’t lose power that often. We survived Hurricane Sandy with only a few flickers, but everyone else on our road was out for over a week. We’re on a different power circuit (that’s about as technical as I get). We do have a wood stove, so that will help should we lose power. I have my crocheting, board games, cards, etc. We’ll keep busy.

I just signed up for Netflix. I might possibly be the only person that hasn’t joined until now. I’m hoping that will be something the kids and I can do tomorrow. I was looking all over for the movie West Side Story to show it to my daughter. She’s all into musicals and I know she’d love it.

So that’s the plan for Snowpacalyse. Stay tuned. Hopefully I can survive baking cookies, etc. with my diet!

 

Tech Week Doesn’t Stop for Arthritis

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The show must go on is my motto this week. It’s tech week for The Nutcracker, and if you have no idea what that means, it is the prior to the show where they rehearse every night and are given directors notes. Basically I have enough time to feed the girls dinner, help with homework and run out the door to get to the rehearsal.

My girls each have two parts in the show this year. Translation, there is no leaving before the show is done. Tonight we got home around 9:30. That’s late for my kids.

I knew today wasn’t going to be my best after I tried to get up off my stool at the pediatrician’s office that I had been sitting on all morning. I could hardly stand, let alone stand up straight. I must have looked ridiculous walking hunched over in from of people I hardly know. I really only see people there on my way in. For the most part I’m in an office by myself either on the phone or seeing patients.

My back just continued to seize up and then my damn toe started with that weird cramp/locked feeling. My pinky and fourth to cramp together and I can’t separate them or straighten them. If that sounds fun, I assure you it’s hell. Hell meaning you can’t stand on the foot, or even let go of it. Try having that happen at a dance rehearsal. At one point I was sitting holding my toes and trying not to scream.

I sound like Debbie Downer, but Tech Week is also a lot of fun. There is a cast of 240 children and teens with a full orchestra. It’s truly an amazing show and an incredible experience for the kids to see how a professional show is done. As any mom would, I can’t get enough of seeing my girls on stage dancing. My older daughter (9) is graceful and elegant. My younger daughter is not so graceful, but she’s a darn good actress. There’s no speaking roles, but her first role is a scurry mouse and she has to look angry, then scared, then cheer for the mice king, and then eventually leave the stage crying when he dies. I can’t stop laughing at my little drama queen up there waving her arms in the air and mouthing “WHY!” at the end. That kid belongs on the stage. I don’t know if she loves the dancing as much as her sister, but I think she’ll find something she likes on stage to do.

So it’s going to be a long few more days. I plan to nap tomorrow and I’m not sure I’ll get much done on Monday. I know my body well enough to know I’m running it too hard and something’s going to give. I’ve already started my immune support supplements and vitamin C to ward off a cold or something like that, but it’s my own body that I can’t avoid. When I push through to do the things I need or want to do, my body doesn’t always want to follow along.

I’m praying that I make it through the weekend without my cane, but I’m not going to miss any of it. I can’t. Moments like I’ll have this weekend are so important to me. Watching your child do something they love, whether it’s performing or doing a sport or art, there’s just nothing like seeing your baby excel.

Not to be left out, my son starting up wrestling again. This isn’t my favorite sport. I get nervous, though he did well last year. I missed his first two matches because of Nutcracker. I think he’ll be the most pleased when this week is over.

Anyway, I took a half an Ambien because even though I’m wiped out, I knew my head would hit the pillow and I’d be wide awake. Say a prayer that I can nap tomorrow. Even my cats miss me!

Yes, Arthritis I Know It’s Cold

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Truth be told, I haven’t been in much pain at all lately. I mean, I have pain in different areas and I have my migraines, but with the exception of my hands, I haven’t really been in terrible pain. Tonight my rheumatoid arthritis reminded me that it was still there. I’m in terrible pain tonight and for the first time ever, it’s my the left side of my body. I usually have significant hip pain on the right, but early this evening my left foot started hurting. Within two hours I could hardly put weight on it and my left knee is also hurting.

I can’t even find a comfortable position laying in bed.I tried elevating my leg and then the knee got stiff in that position. It’s like I can’t win. It hurts when I move it, but when I don’t move it for a while it gets even more stiff. I suppose this is the beginning of the cold weather season. I have already decided that when things get bad I’m going to go back on the Plaquenil. I feel like it was more helpful than I originally thought. I want to ask whether it’s something I can take for the winter and go off in the summer when my pain is much more manageable.

I’m not even trying to be pain free at this point. I don’t remember what that feels like, but my pain level is significantly less in the warm weather. My heating pad and electric blanket are already getting a lot of use and it’s only like 50 degrees. I’ve turned into a big wimp!

And to make matters worse, my daughter has a kid sleeping over tonight that is driving me over the edge. She has said my house is too small, my car is too messy, and she told my younger daughter that my older daughter was “forced to let her move in when she was born.” That was a little knock to the fact that they share a room, but it made my younger daughter cry. I ordered pizza and she announced, “I don’t eat pizza with just cheese. You’ll have to make me something else or change the order.”

When I told her to stop playing my daughter’s French horn (don’t even get me started on the fact that she brought home the French horn), she said to my daughter, “Are you allowed to have any fun? My mom lets me do anything.” Um…it’s 10:30 at night and I’ve accommodated this kid’s needs. I brought them to the trampoline park, ordered a pizza with broccoli, and suddenly I’m not fun because I don’t want her blowing the French horn at 10:30! Ok, if that makes me not fun…I’m totally not fun. Boy does this sleep over really make me appreciate my daughter’s best friend. When she is here, they play without drama and even include my younger daughter. She is so polite and sweet. I love that kid even more tonight!

In other news, I just learned that Honey Boo Boo was canceled because the mom is accused of dating the convicted child molester that molested her oldest daughter. I realize that whole situation isn’t funny, but can you believe this was big news today? I’m the first to admit I watch some trashy shows; Dance Moms, Kim of Queens, Sister Wives. These are my guilty pleasures, but I don’t expect those shows to ever be big news. There are far too many more important things going on in the world for that to be big news.

My thoughts and prayers are with the students and faculty of the school in Washington, where today there was yet another school shooting. I try never to get political on my blog but at what point are we going to make big changes as a nation? I’m not trying to take away guns from the majority of people who have them, but I do believe that there needs to be stronger laws in place and background checks for people that want guns. I guess I’m of the opinion that in the case of someone with mental illness or a history of violence, those people should be red flagged not to be allowed to own a gun. Will this stop all the school shootings? Of course not, but it’s a step in the right direction.

I read an article that said he was a very well-liked kid who was crushed that a girl wouldn’t date him. The other big problem is as a society we are raising kids that can’t handle rejection. Rejection is a part of life. You don’t go and kill people because someone doesn’t return your feelings. It’s hard for me to hear these things and not go right back to December 14th when my kids were in lockdown because of the Sandy Hook. As a parent, I will never forget that day ever. Sandy Hook school is less than 10 miles from my house and that massacre changed this area forever.

I can never put my kids on a bus and not wonder what if they don’t come back.

 

 

A Day of Reflection

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First I’d like to say I was pretty crotchedy in my last post. Yes, my former friend was immature, but I need to grow up and not let things bother me. The following day as we were walking into Nutcracker practice we literally ran into each other and were pretty much forced to say hello. We did so, politely, and moved on. I guess that’s all I wanted. It’s just so much easier to be nice than it is to go out of your way to ignore someone or be an ass. Just my opinion.

I spent yesterday running around like a crazy person from Nutcracker rehearsal to football game and back to another Nutcracker rehearsal. By the time I was driving home, I had a full-blown migraine and was losing vision in my left eye. Despite how messy my house was, I walked inside, told the girls they could watch a movie and went into my room to lie down.

I’m trying to understand the difference between tension headaches and migraines because lately my headaches are all starting with neck tension and tight muscles rather than my usual ocular symptoms. The headaches always involve ocular symptoms, but it’s the way that they are starting that’s new. I’m just wondering if I’m getting tension headaches or if there is a huge difference at this point. The muscles in top of my shoulders and up through my neck are always ridiculously tight, but when I get a headache you can feel an actual band of tightness stemming from the base of my skull to my shoulder. When I stretch the area, the pain is enough to make me want to jump through the roof.

I felt a lot better by this afternoon. I think my body was just reminding me that I have an autoimmune disease and it’s not going to let me do everything I need to get done without one part or another crying uncle…or in my case locking up and not moving. It sucks, but that’s what I have to deal with. The good news is that I did make it out onto the track this evening with my son and I was able to even jog a little bit. I felt pretty good about that.

The reason for the title of today’s post is because I learned on Facebook that my uncle passed away today. There are just some things you wish you didn’t hear through social media. This was my mother’s step-brother, and since my grandmother passed away about 6 years ago, we have not had much contact, but when my mother was alive, we’d see them regularly. My mother was the glue on her side of the family. Everyone loved her and confided in her, even though they all could barely stand each other. I wasn’t close to my uncle, but I sat there for a while this afternoon with my memories and couldn’t help but feel sad.

I’m mainly sad that their whole family cut everyone off and has chosen to live with so much anger and hate. Long before I was born my maternal grandfather passed away and my grandmother remarried the only grandfather I ever knew. He had two sons and they were Jewish. My family is Catholic. We were quite the mix on Christmas Eve, but somehow it all worked out, or at least in the eyes of a child it all seemed happy, but my uncle and his wife were constantly feeling like the other brother, and my mom’s brother got everything and that they got nothing. They felt that they were always last.

I suppose this is where I get my ease of listening to other people without badmouthing the other party. My mom always did that really well. Even when she agreed that the person was being an ass or making things difficult, she just had a way of saying it where no one was upset with her. I haven’t quite inherited that part, but I do feel like I’m a decent listener. As I have said before, when it comes to my mom’s family, I’m the only one who talks to everyone.

I’m sad for his family as when I saw some of the posts from his kids it was clear there was strife in his own immediate family. I guess what I’m saying is, count your blessings. Say I love you to people, and don’t walk away angry unless you are really prepared to leave things that way. Life can be short. I don’t have regrets with my uncle, as we were on good terms, but it’s always sad to lose someone.

While I’m on the subject of keeping peace, I’m patting myself on the back for not flipping out that my mother-in-law called me all excited today that my daughter’s First Communion is on May 2nd. Let me explain. Apparently she booked the country club for that date weeks ago (nope, no thought of asking me) and was hoping that the First Communion would be on the first weekend in May as my other daughter’s was. She has been calling the church each week for updates. Did I know this? Nope. Does she go to our church? Nope.

And it gets even better because my niece is also making her First Communion so apparently it’s going to be one big shin-dig at the country club. I know she means well, and it’s not even that I wouldn’t have agreed to have a party there. I knew there would be no chance of not doing something with my sister-in-law as she changed churches so we could “share” this event. We had to have a joint Baptism, too. God help us all if they suggest a double wedding!

Anyway, I appreciate, that my mother-in-law would like to throw a party. Is it wrong for me to want to be involved, or even asked about what I’d like to do? Am I wrong to think it’s completely inappropriate for her to be calling the church to check on my child’s First Communion? Am I being a bitch? Tell it to me straight. She has no idea that I’m irritated because she caught me off-guard this afternoon when she called to celebrate that the communion was on the day she pre-booked the club. When I asked my sister-in-law if her mother asked her before booking the club she said no. I was pretty snotty when I said, “well from here on out, I’d really like to be included in the planning of my daughter’s party.”

That was bitchy, and I’m okay with it. It could have been worse, knowing me.

Insomnia Again

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I should be sleeping. If you’re reading this shortly after it’s posted, you should be sleeping, too! Not being able to sleep just plain sucks. I took 10mg of melatonin a few hours ago along with a xanax. Usually that combination is enough to make me tired by 11-11:30PM, but tonight it’s not doing the trick–not even close. I can’t even say there is something bothering me that’s keeping me awake. Today was relatively uneventful.

I went into the pediatrician’s office and it was my slowest day there in weeks. I was actually able to catch up on a few other things. My pain level is low and I’m not feeling bad at all. So why the hell am I wide awake? I have no idea. I’m one of those people that has a very tough time shutting down for the night. Sure, I hear you saying, turn the computer off. Turn the television off and it will be easier to sleep, but it’s not like I haven’t tried that. I find that to be even more frustrating because then it’s just me alone with my thoughts, and sometimes that’s not a great thing. I tend to overthink things when I have spare time.

I can almost laugh at the idea of spare time. What mom of three with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Raynaud’s has spare time? My spare time is usually spent napping during the day whenever I can catch a few minutes of alone time. My house is a complete disaster, yet my nap comes first and I’ve learned to be okay with that. There are days I wish I was a neat freak, but I also know it would put a lot more stress on my body if I didn’t stop and rest when I need to.

Lately I’ve been really trying to listen to my own body and let that dictate what I can and can’t do. I didn’t get to my cardio workout today, mostly because it was rainy and cold and I couldn’t walk outside. Tomorrow there will be no excuses. My calves and shins with be much better by tomorrow so after my class, I’m walking or getting on the stupid elliptical. At least I can say I haven’t been eating too many snacks. I’ve been stick to regular meals and not having snacks unless I am really hungry.

I did get some rather bad news today about my uncle. He’s my mom’s step-brother and that family tree has a lot of crooked and broken branches since my mother’s death. In the years since my mom passed away, this uncle cut ties with the rest of the family except me. My mom was the family peace maker and I somehow took over that role, mostly because I’m kind to all of them. I don’t talk about any of them badly, and I really do try and understand each of their side.

My cousin posted on Facebook today that his father was entering a hospice facility. We haven’t spoken since my grandmother passed away a few years ago and there was a big fiasco with the will. This particular uncle wanted to hire a lawyer and sue another uncle. Long story short, my brother and I were told by my grandmother that her will was split two ways between her two children with half going to my mom’s biological brother and half to be split between my brother and I since my mother was no longer living. When the will was read, everything went to my mom’s brother. We knew my grandmother had opted to cut the two step-brothers out of the will, and I advised against it because of the drama it would cause afterward, little did I know, I’d be involved in the drama and my uncle would walk away with everything and send us a letter postmarked from France with a check for $5,000 that was portioned to us from the will. Suffice it to say, if the will was what my grandmother had told us, it would have been closer to $150,000.

I had a choice. Do I cut off everyone over my anger when I really have no other connection to my mom? I was hurt and pissed off, but I made the decision to not discuss it again with them and move forward. We know my uncle convinced her to change the will, but there is nothing we can do to change it. It’s my mom’s brother and I needed to let go of my anger. That didn’t happen over night, but it did happen (not that I don’t have my moments).

Anyway, I haven’t seen my mom’s step-brother since my grandmother’s funeral. They live in another state and hate my mom’s biological brother. Are you following this? Is every family this crazy? To be honest, individually, I think they are all good people. They just have a grudge against each other stemming from childhood. Their arguments go back to silly things like a typewriter my grandmother gave to one grandkid at Christmas. Ridiculous things! I guess I’m just wondering at the end of my uncle’s life if he’s thinking of some of those moments and realizing how truly unimportant they were in the whole scheme of things. He hasn’t really spoken to his own biological brother in years (and yes, I talk to him, too).

I don’t know. If nothing else today I realized that though I have made many mistakes in my life, I think I’ve always put my kids first. I’ve always let my family know that I love them, and no matter how pissed I am, I try to find a way to work it out. Now that’s easy to say because my immediate family rarely does anything to piss me off. My biggest issue is not being invited to my niece’s Christening (I’m still not over that). I love my brother’s wife to pieces. She’s truly a wonderful person, but her family always comes first and they area¬† huge family. In an effort to cut down on the party size, she had the godparents and grandparents only. Um…I only have one brother and he’s all I have. That was the one and only time I ever have told them I’ve been upset…and I was hurt. I got the invite after I expressed my feelings and opted to go to the church and not the party as a matter of principle.

It’s now 12:45 and I’m no closer to sleep, just stalling trying to sleep by jabbering on about my family dynamic. Families are just so odd. My life would have been a lot different if my mom was alive because she was the glue of the family. She did all the holidays. She was the only person who talked to everyone in the family. That fell to my shoulders at 14. We stopped doing big holidays and no one invited my brother and I to their family get togethers. We celebrated stuff with my dad and step-mother after that and it wasn’t the warm, Italian event we were used to. Not bad, just different.

Anyway, it’s time for me to pretend like I’m tired. Too late for an Ambien. This means I’m definitely going to need a nap tomorrow.

Happy Children Equal Happy Mom

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Today is the day. The day I spent waiting for the phone to ring with our Nutcracker results. The call came in at 10:50 and like any neurotic mom, I answered on the first ring, trying to sound casual. The results were in! My older daughter is a Lead Angel (a newly created role) and a Ginger Clown, and my younger daughter is a Scurry Mouse and an Angel. My younger daughter got exactly what she was hoping for. My older daughter didn’t get the roles she was hoping for, but I had a feeling she was going to be excited because I knew the main thing was she wanted to be in something other than the Battle scene this year.

She was a soldier and an angel last year, so she was so excited to be named a lead angel, even though we have know idea what a lead angel does, and the ginger clowns get to run and be silly, and I have a feeling she got that because she did a really great cartwheel as her audition trick and a lot of the ginger clowns do cartwheels. So, thankfully, there was a lot of happiness and joy in my house this afternoon!

My niece is also a Scurry Mouse and an Angel, which is, well…I guess good. The girls are happy. I just think of the Nutcracker as my thing to do with my girls. I’m bitchy that way. The in-laws always hated the Nutcracker until my niece did it. My mother-in-law fell asleep during my older daughter’s first performance. I had to tell my husband to wake her up before my daughter went on stage.

I wish I can say I kept to my workout regimen and did some cardio today, but I did teach a really tough class with a lot of lunges. I just didn’t have the energy to do cardio today. I’ll get back on it tomorrow with a long walk, and possibly attempt the hills again since my shins seemed better today. I did a lot of shin warmups and stretches.

Tonight is significantly colder than it has been the past few nights. I bought myself a new heated throw blanket, but I haven’t put it on the bed yet. I have my heating pad in my low back, and I used it on my hands this morning. I’m managing. I just feel like I can’t stand saying that. I’m managing. Is that the way you get through the day, too? I mean, it’s not that I never have a good day. I have good days, but I don’t remember the last time I had a completely pain-free day. It comes down to whether the pain is manageable or not.

I can see where people with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, etc. suffer from depression. It’s not easy feeling like crap day-in and day-out. I mean, I have days where I’m thinking, wow–I’m good enough to go for a long walk, but that doesn’t mean my hands aren’t hurting or my hip isn’t bothering me. It just means the pain isn’t so severe that I can’t do anything. I think that’s where most people get confused. First of all, it all goes back to the fact that people with autoimmune issues look fine, for the most part (unless I’m using my flamingo cane!). On the average day I may have a small limp, but it’s unlikely anyone would really notice.

I don’t discuss my RA, Raynaud’s or fibro 24/7. I blog here to get my autoimmune thoughts out, but I don’t discuss it all day. The real reason behind that is so few people really understand anyway. I have my Facebook support groups, and people that I know who are dealing with autoimmune issues, but other than that, people sympathize, but they don’t really get it.

I didn’t intend to have an autoimmune rant tonight, but that’s kind of what this has turned into. Sorry about that. Sometimes you just need to let it out. I think I was more let down by my own body yesterday when I wanted to jog and I could hardly walk the track. Tomorrow is a new day. I had a lot of positives today and I’m so thankful for that. Happy kids equal a very happy mom! It meant the world to see my girls so thrilled about their Nutcracker roles. Everything else was secondary.

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