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    Friday, March 28, 2008

    Plain Ol' Friday

    Just haven't posted this last week much, so I'm posting a general BLOG. Haven't done that for a while.

    All is well, still eating well, and made it through Easter with 100% faithfulness to myself and my new (old) WOE (way of eating). It was really pretty darn easy. I just don't want that stuff any more. It's poison to my body (yes, it is, Lisa! ;-) ), and it's just not worth it. Nothing tastes that good.

    I am down twelve pounds in just over a month, which is great! I will be losing much more in the coming months - watch me lose myself! Ok, just about 25% of myself....

    And it's funny how quickly my cravings have gone away altogether, and I now crave things like apples, and salads, and the thought of eating a Whopper with the bun makes me queasy. I had one french fry the other night, and it tasted like dirt.

    Greg is ever-sensitive, and immmediately apologizes each time he eats something "yummy" (to him), and let's an "Oh, GOD, that's good!" slip. I keep telling him, it's really OK, it doesn't bother me for him to say he enjoys whatever crap he's eating. Especially since I know how he's going to feel later on after he eats it. His body hates sugar, and one of these days I know he's going to decide to listen to his body instead of his mouth.

    Meanwhile, the house is FULL of Easter candy and goodies, sent home from you-know-where. They've polished off all but one piece of the 1/2 a cake that was sent home (save for one piece that Greg pouted about my threats to throw out), and the last two cupcakes the kids had yesterday. The candy gets thinned out every night, meaning the garbage can gets a nice helping. I didn't buy it and so have NO problems pitching it. The baskets we gave them had 90% other stuff and only a few candy treats. The kids will never miss what I pitch, but frankly I don't care if they do. I've told them they are NOT eating all the crap that came home, and they know I'm serious. And as long as they get to have some, that's really all they care about. I could care less about the candy, and I walk by it about 55 times a day. It has lost all appeal to me.

    I am battling headaches this week, which may be hormonal, but I'm getting to the outside of that time frame for the month, so that may not be it. I need to sit down and look at my food, and make sure something I'm eating isn't triggering it, although that seems almost impossible, since I am not eating anything known to be a headache trigger. More on that as I know about it.

    We are ready for SPRING, and SICK of the crappy weather. SICK of it, hear me? 39 and cloudy is NOT NICE WEATHER. No, it's not. Greg built us a garden shed, and I'd like to get out there and use it!

    Greg was just voted, by his peers, as Employee of the Month - for the FOURTH time in two and a half years. NOT a big surprise. Now when he goes for his review and raise in May, I hope they remember that. Maybe I'll call his boss and REMIND him.

    Looking forward to that rebate check...the IRS site says we should have ours in May, which will come in handy just before our Memorial Day travel plans!

    Oh, back to my body again - I cannot believe how fast my belly and my double chin have SHRUNK! My belly is STRANGELY smaller, certainly smaller than it's been in years. And my face looks less chubby all the time. Good stuff, folks, good stuff.

    Jackson is whining, because he is late for his nap. Better go take care of that and hit the treadmill. I promised one of my SB buddies that I'd work out today, and I'd hate to ler her down or have to lie. Especially since I suck at lying and always find myself blurting out the truth instead. So I'd better just do it!

    Hope all is well with you, and thanks for stopping. Oh, and just because I haven't gotten sick of saying it, SIGN UP for updates on my blog so you know when I post, OK? Thanks!!!

    Monday, March 17, 2008

    The Omaha Zoo Strikes Again

    Why does the zoo like my kids to not get what they are expecting?

    You'll all remember the LAST zoo fiasco, brought to you in part by the zoo, and in part by the stupid fucking College World Series.

    Well, they've done it again. Outdone themselves in terms of crappy planning and an obvious lack of concern for the overall experience had by their patrons. Stunning. Their staff must be chock-full of genuises, I swear.

    Yesterday, "Dora and Diego" were going to be at the zoo from 1-4. I first started wondering how well it could possibly go when I saw and heard the commercial for it approximately 612 times in about a three-day period. But since Samantha, having seen several of said commercials, had been soooo elated ("Mommy, Dora and Diego are coming to the zoo?!?!? To MMMMYYYYY zoo??!?!") we decided to go.

    So we went. We walked past the door to the Wild Kindgdom Pavillion, which housed the beloved characters for the day. We made our way to the end of the line, approximately two blocks from said door. Our jaws dropped. And the line moved painfully slowly, moving only a matter of feet in nearly an hour. I didn't want to punk out on Samantha, give up as we had done last summer with her zoo class, so we waited. And waited. And waited.

    After standing in a line with approximately 1500 people ahead of us for over an hour, Samantha, in her beyond-her-years wisdom, decided she was sick of waiting, and said "I changed my mind. I don't want to see Dora and Diego anymore. Let's go see the giraffes!" And so see the giraffes we did.

    Fortunately, I have a very well-adjusted four-year old who adapts well, and who got over her disappointment within minutes. Not so lucky were many of the parents there.

    To the zoo, I ask you - what were you thinking? Did you think only a handful of kids would show see DORA and DIEGO, for pete's sake? And suppose you DID know there would be a line that stretched clear down to the train station - did you REALLY think that March in Nebraska was a GREAT time to host an event that you knew would have thousands of young children standing out in the cold for SEVERAL hours?

    No matter how you look at it, the zoo blew it. They advertised it over and over, for weeks, repeatedly, in various mediums. They did everything in their power to get as MANY people there as possible, all the while knowing they were planning to walk them through a building that could not house many, one at a time, and leave the rest to stand outside in the cold all afternoon. GREAT plan for small kids.

    They could have had more than one "set" of Dora and Diegos - most kids wouldn't have known the difference. They could have had Dora in one place and Diego in another. That would have cut everyone's wait time in HALF. They could have had them walking throughout the park, taking pictures with people at random. At least then more kids might have had a SHOT at seeing them! A lady was telling a guy as we were leaving that they had been there since 11:30 and had JUST gotten through - at 2:30! Insane.

    As it was, we saw the giraffes, stopped at King Kong's for lunch (much to Daddy's great joy) and went home. So we bailed on yet another zoo event obviously planned by their chimps.

    I am SO glad my kid was smart enough to know a shitty deal when she saw one!

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    Wanna See A Trick? I Can Pat My Own Back!

    So I was looking for an old entry on here, and got to reading some of my own stuff, mostly from last year. And something occured to me.

    I am one funny bitch! I am witty, fairly insightful, and I am oft-times GENIUS in my phrasing. If you haven't read my old stuff, you should check it out!

    Except for I SERIOUSLY use the word "seriously" too much. Seriously. But no one's perfect, right?

    Gotta hit the sack, folks - bedtime has long since come and gone, and Samantha woke up at 1AM with a sore throat and a stuffy nose. I have a feeling tomorrow's play date may not happen if she is still feeling this crappy tomorrow (B, I'll call you if that's the case, ASAP).

    So off to bed, to dream up new sassy, spunky, hot blogs just for all of you. Check back soon!

    Monday, March 10, 2008

    Mashed "Cauli-tatoes" Are Not...

    ...the same as real ones. Just trust me on that. They're just not. I'll settle for none over the mush I ate three hours ago. I still don't feel right. I keep telling myself it's sympathy nausea for one of my good friends who is TTC and is hoping for her BFP. Let's go with that, shall we?

    Birthday Wishes...

    ...first of all to my momma, who turned a beautiful, graceful 58 years young on Saturday. We celebrated with a wonderful dinner, and a good time with family. What a woman she is, and how blessed I am to have her in my life.

    ...and second of all, to my good friend Mrs McB, who joined us in the 30s today, I believe? Feels the same, doesn't it? I'm hoping 35 will, too. But I'll let you know in a couple of months. I hope your day has been all you hoped for, that Mr. McB has spoiled you rotten, and you didn't have to make that shitty-ass drive to work today. HUGE hugs, girl!

    As my great-grandma (my mom's grandma) used to say..."I hope you have 100 more!"

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008


    Some of these thoughts are coming randomly, and some have come together suddenly, in complete paragraphs, spilling out almost faster than I can type them. So I apologize if it's not the most clear and concise thing I've written. This blogging is for my healing, for my grief, as minimal as it seems when compared with Amanda's and the rest of her family's grief. As always, with her permission, I continue.

    It is often still more than I can bear to consider that William is no longer among us, even two months later. I cannot fathom the depth of the pain and loss Amanda and Bill must feel every day; when every point in their day undoubtedly holds some reminder that their child, their only son, who they conceived in love, carried in hope, treated in sickness, and rejoiced in healing for, is gone. How can they endure it? How do they get up in the morning, make breakfast and plan the day, without falling to their knees and wailing in pain at this most unnatural of losses, this deepest cut of all? Part of the answer is their brown-haired beauty, Miss Caroline, who is a beam of sunshine in her own right, and who is surely their joy and peace in this time of grief. For her, they go on, as all of us with kids would go on if we lost one of them. The part of a parent who wants to lay down and die with one child will always be saved by the need to stay, to care for, to revel in and be blessed by another child. Perhaps it is God's way of helping us go on.

    And so they go on, and so do we. That his life - a life so full of hope and promise after his early and inspiring battle with cancer - was taken from him so soon has seemed tragically unfair to me, and I know to many others.

    Just a little more than one year - that's the sum total of the time they shared with William before he went home.

    One year for his parents to cuddle and love and protect him was not enough.

    One year for his sister to dote over him and show him off was not enough.

    One year for grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins to be enraptured by him, and to spoil him just for being William, was not enough.

    One year for his beautiful face, his gentle smile, and his sweet heart to touch and move the spirits of everyone who met him, including me, was not enough.

    It just wasn't.

    The thought occurs to me that NO amount of time would have been "enough". No parent ever says "yes, now I am ready to bury my child". Of course not. So I guess to say it was not enough goes without saying.

    But one year. Just one.

    If you had told me that the birthday we celebrated with him in August was the only one he would ever have here with us, I'd have said there was no possibility that fate could be so cruel. And yet that party was his only party. I am so grateful that we made that trip to Lincoln - to watch William eat cake, open his presents, to sing "Happy Birthday" to him, and watch him play with my kids and others' kids. That birthday party will stay with me always, and I cling to that memory when I feel sad about his absence from our present life. But I think part of my heart will always be sad for that memory, too.

    Maybe it's more striking and difficult for me to accept, to cope and move on, because I have a son William's age. Only 8 days separate them, our boys. We started on the same path in August of 2006 - and now the paths have split.

    So every step down the path they have taken since his death is one I can envision myself taking, with my son's face in place of their own, having NO clue how I would cope as well as they have. The thought is morbid, and terrifying, and overwhelming, I know, but it's there all the same.

    And every step down our path with Jackson is one I know they will now never have. There are times when the guilt of that understanding suffocates me, as much as I know it's unwarranted guilt. When we sit at the supper table together, the four of us, I look at Jackson...and wonder how they sit at their table and look at the spot that used to be Will's. I can only imagine the emptiness that must try to consume them. Even now as I sit here typing, Jackson is here with me; and I cannot, for the life of me, shake the thought that I would be so horribly devastated and lost without him. Jackson is a part of our family puzzle. I don't know how we would ever feel complete without him after having him all this time now. The sadness that comes at considering the feelings they battle each day is stifling.

    But their faith gives them peace, and I am so grateful that they have that to comfort them. And strangely enough, THEIR faith has comforted ME when my own fails me. Knowing that they feel safe to fall into the arms of Jesus, even if at some moments it's only because they know William rests there as well, gives me a moment's peace when I cannot imagine their pain and am tired of my own.

    Really, I guess that's what it comes down to - knowing and believing that he rests in the arms of Jesus; and that, as cliche as it sounds, someday they will be together again. Their family will be reunited and will love, laugh and celebrate as though they were never apart, as though no time had passed - and that, at least, is something wonderful to look forward to.

    My aforementioned faith has gone through some immense changes as a result of this experience. I will share them as soon as I can find the words to express it. It's an important process that I've gone through, and sharing it will be good for me. Soon....

    Monday, March 3, 2008

    Sweet Baby William: Memorial

    The close circle of friends that Amanda and I share have all been affected profoundly and deeply by William's life, and by his passing. We are spread throughout the country, and so when the time came for his memorial service I was the only one of us able to attend. But I wanted to share with them, in a personal way, the cold January day when we said goodbye to such a sweet, sweet spirit. So I wrote this to them, and with the Schultz's permission, now I share it with you.

    It was the warmest morning we’ve had here for weeks. The sun was shining, and there was almost no wind. We arrived in Lincoln at the church at about 10:00am. As we walked in, the entry of the church was filled with William. There were pictures in frames of just William and of him with Amanda, Bill, Caroline, and combinations of all. On the table with the card basket (where I placed our cards), as well as down in the fellowship hall where we would meet for lunch after the service, were scrapbook pages, laid out, and filled with pictures of William, adorned with sweet little decorative touches in the same colors as William’s first birthday party, with blank cards on each page for us, the guests, to sign and leave memorials to William. Also on the table was a large framed picture of him, with a matte that everyone signed. Needless to say I was in tears from the moment we walked in.

    We made our way into the sanctuary, took our seat, and began waiting. The sanctuary filled up quickly - families with children, couples young and old, groups of young girls (“young“, meaning about our ages), presumably friends and family of Amanda and Bill’s. I was surprised to see that so many had brought their young children, as young as one or so. I continued to be upset for the half an hour we waited for the service to start, fighting tears the whole time, and not always winning that fight. Greg held my hand and kept his arm around me, fighting tears of his own. I tried to focus on the flowers, there were so many…but those just made me cry, too…I wound up trying to remember what was on my grocery list on my refrigerator at home, just to buy myself a few minutes of letting my face dry. They were playing Christian music in the background, which talked about God’s grace, salvation and love, and His promise of life everlasting to those who die.

    About 10:40, the family came. And so did more tears. Three rows they filled, led by Amanda and Bill, holding sweet Caroline. They all looked beautiful ~ Caroline in a pretty dress with her hair pulled back, Bill dressed in tan, and Amanda dressed in those pretty shades of turquoise and brown. They came in, smiling through tears and took their seats at the front, but not before the three of them walked up to the altar and lit William‘s baptismal candle. The service began, and as they began, the leaders called for a celebration of William’s life and of God’s glory and power throughout this service. And they did just that. Bill and Amanda are MUCH more giving, faithful and spirit-filled than Greg or I, that much I know for sure. They lifted God’s name, hands raised, sang his praises and rejoiced at William’s new eternal home.

    The funeral home put together a photo montage of William’s life (set to songs like “Masterpiece“ by Sandi Patty, “Godspeed“ by the Dixie Chicks and others that ripped your heart out), and that took care of any dry eyes in the building. To see his sweet face in front of us while we watched his parents give thanks for the time they had with him was too much. Just too much. We all rose to sing songs like “I Can Only Imagine” throughout the service, and as the family walked out the praise and worship team sang “I’ll Fly Away”. I have never been so grateful to leave a sanctuary as I was when we were ushered out.

    Then we waited in line in the hallway to go down to the fellowship hall, where Amanda and Bill greeted each guest in a receiving line. We hugged for so long when it was my turn, and we both struggled for words but found that we needed none, except for "I"m sorry" and "I know". Looking in her eyes, and she in mine, each of us knowing the pain we felt, each knowing the friendship we share is all we have to exchange, and all we really need, was enough. We talked for a minute, and then again after we ate the lunch they provided, we shared a few moments of tears and laughter. And then Greg and I went on our way to let Amanda and Bill have their lunch and continue their fellowshipping with the countless people who were there for them.

    I wanted to share with you how the day went. So here it is. I will tell you what Amanda told me before we left: Hug your babies.

    Rest in peace, sweet baby William.