Tuesday Troubles

Stolen (with permission!) from Jen at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom!
- Posting has been sparse around here because we have been sick! It all started with what I thought were severe allergies in R (I made a 3am supermarket run for Benadryl!) and then yesterday morning R woke up burning hot. She had a fever, aches, and chills all day and had intense nightmares (about dinosaurs chasing her) every time she's fallen asleep.

Her temperature got up to 104.4 which is the highest fever she's ever had. Thankfully she hasn't had any anything other than typical flu symptoms, and after a little bit of Tylenol her fever went down to 101.4. I know I shouldn't get worried about a fever unless it's nearing 106 or is presented with other troubling symptoms but as a mom I'll never not worry. My pediatrician has a really helpful guide to fevers:
I've been sick too but so far it's felt like a cold. I'm hoping I don't deteriorate into a full blown flu like R, and N has been coughing too so I hope he's not in for anything nasty either. I hate when any of us are sick, and when R is sick it makes me feel so bad that I weaned her myself in January. I'd feel so much better knowing she was still getting antibodies, but that's just growing up I guess. Let's just say I'm really, really not looking forward to her starting preschool.
- I hope R feels better ASAP both because I feel awful for her and because this week is her recital! She's supposed to wear her costume to class this week, Saturday is her official dress rehersal, and Sunday is the recital. I thought I'd be excited about this because of how well the holiday show went but I'm not. At all. Both the rehearsal and recital are drop off only, and I won't be able to go backstage with her before/ during/ after the rehearsal or show (I walked R right up to the stage for the holiday show!) Parents aren't even allowed to watch the rehearsal, and they want the little girls there for 3 hours!
I can 100% understand this policy, and if R was even 4 or 5 I'd feel completely differently, but her class is full of 2-3 year olds and I just don't think the kids that young are going to handle that well. I know R, and I have a bad feeling she's going to freak out at all this. There will be parent helpers for every class, and I should have signed up to help with R's class but I was in the hospital and not thinking about it. The studio owner said if helper spots for other classes don't fill up I could do that so I'd at least be backstage, but I don't want to do that. R would need my attention.

I might pull her out of the rehearsal and show, but N is firmly opposed to this. He says I need to talk to the dance teacher (I have a feeling a lot of moms are going to feel the same way I do) and at least see how the rehearsal goes. I absolutely don't want her to not be in the recital, it'd be another huge letdown, but I don't know if I can deal with this kind of headache and probably heartbreak.

- I'm just drained right now. Physcially and emotionally. I've been putting off a serious talk with my psychiatrist for awhile now, and I know it shouldn't wait any longer. I need to change medications again because the one I'm on (that worked so well for me a few years ago and that I put so much hope in) is just not cutting it. I would love to find some sort of equilibrium, even for a little while!


Thursday Thoughts

- This has been a crazy week for weather here in Colorado and of course, my house has missed out on all of it which has been good and bad. Lots of rain, hail, and even (little) tornadoes across the rest of the state but at my house we've been lucky to just get a sprinkling of rain. I defintiely do not want any hail over here, but a nice rain soaking would be nice. The sprinklers are back on and we're watering twice a day to help with the crazy dead spots we have (thanks Hank!) and free water would be nice, haha!
- I cleaned out my car yesterday and we were going to go vacuum it but it looked like a nasty storm was coming so we didn't. And then the storm bypassed us completely. Today we were going to go vacuum it after lunch when it started thundering and sprinkling- and now it's stopped but it's crazy windy. Why doesn't the universe want me to vacuum my car? It needs it BADLY!
- Speaking of my gross car, I ordered a trunk liner for my car because Hank has made an insane mess back there with his hair and all the dirt he picks up at the dog park. I'm so anxious to get it but they custom make them for every make/ model/ year of vehicle so the shipping estimate isn't until the end of May/ beginning of June and I'm so impatient!
- R has been totally cracking me up this week. I don't know where she comes up with half the stuff she does but it kills me. Just a few minutes ago she brought me a carton of blueberries and goes, "Is this a good idea? I want to eat these." Oh and this happened...

I was in my room putting away laundry and she was in the office/ playroom playing. When I realized her incessant chatter had gone silent I went in to see if she had fallen asleep and sure enough she had- literally in the middle of eating peanut butter with a spoon! And no, I hadn't brought her either that peanut butter or that spoon!

- Just about every dystopian YA series I've read this far has referenced people "tasting bile" (The Divergent series was so bad about this.) What? First of all, do people actually get a bitter taste in their mouth when they're upset? I have GERD and reflux 24/7 it doesn't get worse when I'm upset. Second of all, if this is a thing that happens it's surely stomach acid- which does not contain bile. Bile should not be in your stomach (if it is then you have a very serious problem called biliary reflux) and if you ever taste it for some reason you should probably get checked out by a doctor. I refluxed bile once in middle school and it was a BAD TIME. And then you know my experiences with bile after my surgery, haha. But yeah, just so we're clear stomach acid =/= bile.



Literary Junkies Link Up!

Pink Heels Pink Truck

1. What are you currently reading? Tell us about it!

Since I'm working on a post about Dystopian YA Lit I'm in the middle of Reached by Ally Condie, which is part of the Matched trilogy. Essentially it's the story of a girl who lives in a society (which they aptly call "The Society") that has emerged after global warming (which they aptly call "The Warming".) The Society makes all your major life choices including who you marry, what your occupation is, and when you will die. It centers around both a love triangle (duh) and a rebellion (duh), and I won't give you all of the info yet as it'll go in my post, but I'll tell you I think this series has been solidly OK so far.

2. Do you judge a book by its cover? What cover elements make you not want to pick up a book?

I usually go for classic books with good reputations, books by authors I already know, or books that I've seen recommended by a lot of people. Therefore covers don't really matter to me, but I absolutely appreciate good covers and am turned off by bad ones. I was actually thinking about the covers of the Matched series the other day and how I don't love them. I think the way they look would also turn off the series to young males, and I think that's a shame.
3. Do you participate in any other bookish link-ups? Tell us about them so we can join next time!

I don't, but I'd like to find some!

4. Have you ever watched a movie that was better than its book version? Explain yourself!
Off the top of my head I can't think of any, but I feel like there has been at least one I've seen in my life that has been better than the book. The Virgin Suicides came very close, but in the end I appreciate the book and the movie for different things. The movie is absolutely beautiful though.

5. Summer is here! Do you read more often during any particular season?

I used to read for fun more in the Summer because it meant I was off from school (and actually had the time to read for fun!) But now that I'm done with school I read equally all year round.

6. What is the worst book you’ve read this year? Why?

This is probably the worst book I've ever read in my entire life, and certainly the one that has made me the angriest. It completely blew apart my "meh" feelings on the Divergent series and turned them solidly into "this is garbage." This article explains my feelings better and in more depth than I ever could, but uggh. Just uggh.


Disappointments, Mental Illness, & Momming

Today was R's pre-recital photoshoot- where all the dancers come dressed in their recital costumes with their hair and makeup done and have professional pictures taken. I have been anticipating this day for weeks. I was nervous, because anything I do involving R and her temperamental nature makes me nervous. I was sick with worry before her winter show, and that went perfectly.

Today she woke up and was in a glorious mood as I curled her hair for the very first time and put a little bit of makeup on her sweet face. We've been talking up this photoshoot for awhile now and she seemed eager to go. She squealed in delight when I grabbed her costume. On the way over Nate and I talked about the different photo packages you could buy. We decided to go with the disk of photos, even though it was a little more expensive, because we knew we'd want endless copies.

When we got to the studio it was packed but R put on her costume expertly. She let me put the flower clip in her hair and tie on the little flower sash. She looked like a dream!

And then it was time to lead the girls into the room and when R saw that they were taking pictures she had a complete meltdown. She laid on the ground, she cried, she screamed, and she wouldn't budge. They had asked all the parents to leave and all the other little girls were getting their pictures taken like angels. Even when N came in and stood next to her she wouldn't take a picture. She kept screaming. She was upsetting the other little girls and I tried to grab her to leave without attempting the group photo but N took her away from me so he could try. I was so upset that I stormed out and sat in the car. (Ok, I didn't literally storm out- I walked out calmly and smiled at people because I could never make a scene in public.)

She didn't make it into any group pictures either.

I'm so upset about all of this I can hardly think about it. I'm writing about it here to try and release some of the emotions I'm feeling.

First off, I am disappointed because I was REALLY looking forward to having those pictures. I wanted to frame them with the commemorative recital tickets we bought. I wanted to look back and smile at the memory of her first official photoshoot and big recital. If I knew she'd be better somewhere else I'd almost consider finding another place to take those pictures. But I know she'll do the same thing again. The letdown has been crushing.

But what's really bothering me, and what triggered me so badly today, was that I saw myself in her. I saw myself as a young child, completely consumed with anxiety and fear, and that is something I have never wanted her to be. Growing up I was left out of so many things because of my erratic emotions and fear. In that empty place where R should have been in the picture, I very clearly saw all the blank spaces meant for me as a child.

And it scared the hell out of me to think of a childhood of blanks for R. There is a huge stigma surrounding people with psychiatric illness who chose to have biological children. Here are two comments I got on my Post-Partum Depression story that was posted on Jezebel:
"I can't help wondering, though, why women with a lifelong history of serious anxiety disorder- or bipolar disorder or other problems on the mental illness spectrum- feel that having a baby is a good idea for them? So many terrible, awful risks involved for all parties. To me, it seems like someone trying to be a world famous soccer player after their legs get crippled in a car accident. I mean, really, how is the whole thing supposed to work? As a counsellor I saw too many women WITHOUT the happy ending. Whose lives, finances, emotional and mental well-being, and relationships were permanently destroyed because they had a child or children while ALREADY KNOWING they had very challenging forms of mental illness that needed constant, careful management- and even with such management, as anybody here with a mental illness knows, you can go through terrible times when you're changing your meds or tweaking your meds and you don't know WHAT state you're going to be in."

"I do not see this saga as the story of antenatal/post-partum depression. I see it as the story of a mentally ill woman, a woman who was already depressed, who chose to get pregnant. I am also mentally ill, unipolar depression. I'm a 50 year old childless woman. I have been depressed for my entire adult life. During my prime child bearing years I was depressed and medicated. I managed well - progressed in my education and career, but I knew that I had no business having babies. I couldn't come off of antidepressants, so I couldn't get pregnant. Even though I don't know anyone who has not "reacted badly" to hormonal birth control, I made contraception a priority. I would not wish this illness on someone that I hate. I wouldn't risk passing it on to someone that I love. This illness ends with me."
Both people who do and do not suffer mental illness believe that people who do suffer from it, even when it is well controlled (as it is for me), should not pass on their genes, should not have kids, should not parent. In fact, I believed it myself for the vast majority of my life. I never wanted to pass along the illness that I had inherited from the selfish generations before me. I absolutely wanted the illness "to end with me."

And then I realized I'm not into eugenics.

No matter what health issues you do or do not deal with, having kids is a very personal matter. That is where I take issue with the second commenter, although I know exactly where she is coming from. The first commenter can just go to hell. :)

Now I'm not trying to speculate on R's mental health. And I refuse to do so needlessly out of my own fear and insecurity. But to be honest, all I objectively see in R is a perfectly normal toddler. She doesn't display any of the red flags that I did as a child. She has strong emotions, needs time to get comfortable in new situations, and is stubborn as hell. Just like a lot of other 3 year olds out there. She wasn't even the only one throwing a tantrum today, but it sure as hell felt like it.

As calm as I try and stay, outbursts like these trigger me both because of my childhood and the fear I will always carry that I've passed on my illness to her. However, I'm also a perfectly normal mother who wants her child to behave dammit! I think just about every parent has unrealistic expectations of their toddler from time to time (and non-parents do this constantly!) You don't always remember that toddler brains are not adult brains. They can't always control their actions and outbursts and they react to things differently.
Today was a no good, very bad day. It was disappointing and ended up spiraling out of control when I let my emotions get the best of me. But parenting isn't just about teaching your child, it's about learning yourself. And I hope I did learned something today, because lets face it, R is going to be screaming in front of cameras for awhile.


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Thursday Thoughts

- We had a strange morning today. Last night R kept waking up crying and saying that her legs hurt (growing pains is my guess) so we let her sleep in our bed. She slept very fitfully and when N was about to leave for work she heard him go downstairs and BOLTED out of bed screaming, "BUBBA! BUBBA! I NEED YOU!" He set her up in her own bed with some cartoons and she watched them/ slept while I slept too. Then she woke me up because she had pooped in her overnight pull-up (uggh) and it wasn't pretty. I put her in the shower and she wanted to get out fairly quickly. I wrapped her in a towel and set her on her bed so she could dry off. She fell back asleep and slept until 1:30pm! I'm not sure if she's just growing or fighting the bug I had on Sunday/ Monday but she seems ok right now.

- I used the opportunity of her sleeping to sleep more myself. I have felt awful this week and it's really bumming me out. Two weeks ago I felt pretty good and figured my pacer was helping. Then last week I had my period and the hormone shift always makes my GP a lot worse, so I figured that's why I didn't feel as good. It's over now but this weeks I've felt just as awful. This week I feel exactly like I did before surgery.

- As you have probably realized I haven't started my elimination diet yet but I need to. My motility is still as awful as ever which I knew would happen so I need to be more proactive about it. It's just going to take time to do things like bake bread with no grains or dairy or really anything (uggh) and I just feel too sick to even care right now. I'm hoping N can help me get on the right track.

- In non-health related news R has her recital photoshoot on Sunday! They're going to get professional pictures of them taken in their costumes and they want all the little girls to have "curled pretty hair" and makeup! Hopefully R behaves because this could either be the cutest thing ever or a total disaster.

- This is so accurate:

 - Yesterday was a very bittersweet day for me. We finally sold the red Commander which was my second car ever. My first was the Wagoneer that I got into the horrible accident in, and it was after that accident that my dad took pity on me and bought me the Commander. I'll never forget picking it out on the lot, and driving it home white knuckled because it had snowed and I was still fresh from the accident and totally freaked out.

It drove me to this house for the first time, home from my wedding, and to and from our honeymoon- where we almost blew up the tranny going off road! It was our last ride as a family of two and our first ride as a family of three. It took me to countless days of school and waited for me after every emotional, panic attack filled day on campus. It drove me to graduation, and more than an hour away to pick up our sweet Hank. We went so many wonderful and terrible places in between, and I'm going to miss it so much.

But as nostalgic as I am, when the time came to chose between it and the other Commander that N put the new motor in, I was too in love with the sunroof/ heated seats/ rear a/c, etc. of the other car. Seriously guys, that sunroof is the best thing ever. Last night a guy came to drive her away and I sobbed like a baby. I didn't meet the guy who took it but N told me he has 4 kids and needed the Commander for it's 3rd row. I'm glad it's going to a family, hopefully they will love it as much as I did. I think they will.

Goodbye Freedom Mobile. I will forever hold you in the place in my heart reserved for inanimate objects. Happy trails.


Tuesday Troubles

Stolen (with permission!) from Jen at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom!

- You know what is always the biggest trouble on Tuesday? The fact that it's our "Monday" because N has to go back to work. Obviously I miss him and miss the help he provides, but R is just devastated every Tuesday morning when he's not home. Last week she woke up, went to the top of the stairs so she could peek into the bottom room where N goes every morning to watch TV when he's home, and just broke down sobbing/ shrieking "BUBBA!!! I NEED BUBBA!!!" Then she went downstairs and just collapsed on the floor and fell back asleep. It broke my heart! Today was better thankfully. She crawled up on my bed, held my head in her little hands and went, "I need Bubba come home" before passing out again. She is so sweet to love her Bubba so much but hello, I'm here too you know?! Ah the life of the not-favorite parent.

- As an update to last week's trouble, the 30k charge changed names from my stomach doctor (well, his associate that is) to the name of the hospital I was at. Which makes much more sense, and is what I expected the hospital bill to be. I also have a $1,500 claim from who I believe is the anesthesiologist, and two claims for about $150 from the radiology department. Those are small beans compared to everything else! The $135k charge is still "in process" so we'll see what happens there. I do appear to have a "maximum out of pocket" benefit to my account and it's only $3,500. Plus I've already paid $2,000 of that already with all the appointments and tests I've had done so far this year! The bills haven't started rolling in yet, so I can only pray my insurance website is accurate. And you know I'll be keeping an eye on that huge charge. Good grief!

- And can you believe my insurance was charged almost $500 for one vial of blood and a thyroid panel? What the heck? And regarding that apparently my thyroid is still hyper but I changed the brand of medication I'm on, and I think the dosage but I'm not sure how things translate so I guess I'll see when I talk to the doctor in a few weeks. Did you know being hyperthyroid can cause hypermotility where you digest things really fast?! Yeah, that's not happening over here. -_-

- Sunday and Monday Colorado decided to give a big F U to everyone who had planted flowers over the weekend, and there was a freaking blizzard! It snowed consistently for two days straight! If you know me you know I HATE snow and cold weather, but after all that happened in 2012, I am glad for any and all moisture. I'd rather out entire state not be on fire again.

- I also felt like absolute hell on both Sunday and Monday. I don't know whether I had a stomach bug, or my GP was flaring up, or my body was trying to kill me because I ate a few pieces of steak on Saturday night, but it wasn't fun. I didn't throw up, but it was just hours and hours of room-tilting, blood-running-cold nausea. It came in waves which leads me to believe bug, and if that's true than hopefully neither R nor N caught it because that's nightmare #2 on my list of emetephobic nightmares.

- I've been reading some new dystopian YA List book series for a post I'm putting together and uggh, why is everything so terrible or mediocre? Obviously I'm not ever hoping for say, Harry Potter (not really YA or Dystopian but you know what I mean), but I don't think another series as good as the Hunger Games is out of reach. I have a few more series to get through and hopefully I'll be impressed by something!

 - I really want one of the new Raspberry Peach Blossom cupcakes from Gigis but my store never seems to bake cupcakes on the website's set schedule, and I don't want to go down there if they don't have it because hello I'm not going to say no to any of the other cupcakes in front of me?! Difficult problem, right?! ;)


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Being a mom with a chronic illness.

Every night before she goes to sleep, I have to tell R three stories.
The first is the "pony story" where R-pony and her pony friends rescue Hank-the-dragon after he's run away.
The second is the "pirate story" where R-the-pirate and her pirate friends rescue Hank-the-octopus after Captain Hook takes him.
The third story came about a few weeks ago, and R calls it the "hospital story." In it the mama-pony has to go to the hospital because she's sick, and the pony doctors cut her tummy open. Then she comes home and is all better and tells R-pony how much she loves her.
The other day my mother-in-law told me R was playing with some toy fish and was pretending one of them was going to the hospital to get it's own tummy cut open. Apparently there were a lot of "I love you's" involved.
Although I wanted R to know the reason why I had to leave her to go to the hospital, and the reason why there's a big scar on my belly and why she needs to be careful with me, I never wanted her to have to experience my illness like this. I never wanted it to be a part of her life.

I can only remember my mom crying a few times while I was growing up- and most of those times came in high school and my behavior was the reason for her tears. But I never remember her being sick, and I never remember her being weak. To me she was strong and invincible, the way many moms appear to their kids.

But I won't be that kind of mom. I've tried to hide my sickness from R. I've tried to put on a brave face and cry only after she's gone to bed, but this year with the deterioration of my stomach condition that's become harder and harder to do. And I've broken down around her more times than I can count, more times than she's ever deserved to see me cry.
When I'm feeling my worst I like to lay in the bathroom because the toilet is right there. It's not a comfortable place to lay- especially since my body is longer than the bathroom itself and maybe 1/3 of its width- but it makes me feel better to know that if worse comes to worse and I throw up, that I'll be right there. It's an anxiety thing.

I did a lot of laying in the bathroom for the first couple months of this year while I weaned off one psychiatric medication in order to wean onto another. Doing that exacerbated my Gastroparesis to the point where I could barely function physically, and mentally/ emotionally I was almost pushed to my breaking point.

I made sure R was fed, clothed, and happy. She never wanted for anything, but she could have had more and I couldn't give it to her. A lot of cartoons were watched, and a lot of Easy Mac was eaten. She saw me sit in the bathroom, and she saw me cry a lot of tears. I'd wait all week for Saturday night (the beginning of our weekend), and panic every Monday night.

Things have gotten better, but not completely.

Yesterday was Mother's Day, and from the moment I woke up I knew it was going to be a difficult day for my stomach. I could feel myself refluxing bile (something that's been happening since my surgery) and I was very nauseous. I almost couldn't make it to the lunch we had planned with my mother-in-law, but I took my nausea meds and tried to put on a calm face.

When we got home I napped, and when I woke up in was in a cold sweat- I couldn't stop shaking. And R was there to comfort me. She wiped tears from my eyes, rubbed my arm, and told me her renditions of the bedtime stories. She told me to close my eyes and rest, to N to whisper when he was talking, and told me that it'd all be ok. That I'd feel better soon.

And that just made me cry more. She is such a sensitive, caring little girl. Even if her favorite thing to do is "body slam" and play with monster trucks.

There's a lot of stigma surrounding being a mother with a chronic illness- especially if that illness is psychiatric (a topic for another day), and especially if motherhood was planned. It's a stigma I want to fight, but it's something I also feel a tremendous amount of guilt about. This is not the mother I wanted to be, this is not the way I want R to remember me, this is not the childhood I wanted for her. I'm not saying I don't believe things will ever get better, but I know that they will wax and wane for the rest of my life.

Every day I try and put on a brave face for R's sake, and some days I am better at it than others. I don't strive for perfection because I know perfection is impossible, but I strive for giving R what she deserves in life- which is a hell of a lot. I am proactive about my health not just for my sake, but for R's sake. I want to feel better for her.

I wish this had come to a neater conclusion, that's what I had planned. What I want is to not feel guilty about being sick and being a mom, because I want other moms who are sick to not feel guilty. But things are still too fresh right now, so you're going to have to take this for what it is- a confession and a promise of hope. Because I'm still working at this whole motherhood thing, and we're doing it on a day-by-day basis.


F#!% It Friday

- Right now R is coloring in her My Little Pony coloring book. She'll grab a color and go "Mama watch me color blue!" Then she'll exuberantly color all over the page when I watch, and then quickly sit on it. Then she'll jump off and yell "SURPRISE!" so I can see what she just colored- despite the fact that she demanded me to watch her in the process of coloring. She is so funny!

- My head is also in a shower cap full of pink hair dye right now and I'm trying to wait as long as possible to let it really soak in. Yesterday my lovely neighbor bleached my roots (they were really long!) and the result was a weird reverse ombre that looked awful, haha. I posted a picture of it to Facebook and my friends said they liked it, but in real life it looked ridiculous. I'm glad we'll be back to pink shortly.

- My little brother is in town right now from California (he's a cook in Lake Tahoe) and so we're having a big (maternal) family gathering tomorrow at my parents house. My grandma and grandpa are SUPER conservative (not completely politically, but in dress/ manners/ etc.) and they are probably not going to be the biggest fans of my hair, hahaha. I mean, my mom makes sure to tell me every time we see each other that she doesn't like it, so I can only imagine what my grandma might say. Especially if she gets a few glasses of wine in her...

- R is going through a really shy phase right now, and wouldn't even look at my brother when we first went to see him. She covered her eyes with her hands the second we got out of the car and was screaming, clinging to me, and just having a fit when we got up to his room. Then he read her a story and it was instant BFFs again. She adores both my brother and sister and I know they love her too. Their relationships are so special to me! I'm glad R has so many aunts and uncles that love her (N's family is beyond amazing as well.)

- I'm working on a post about dystopian YA Lit books I've read. I decided I should try and read a few more series' before I put the post up, and right now I'm reading the Chemical Garden trilogy. It sort of sucks, but not as bad as some of the other ones I've read (*cough*Divergent*cough*) so I'm trying to get through it. I feel bad I've pushed my classic goals to the side but I need a looooong break after War and Peace.

- I've been stalking my health insurance website (everyone does this right?) and the $30,000 claim has processed. It changed from saying it was from my stomach doctor to saying it's from the hospital which would make a lot of sense. I can see how three full days and nights would equal 30k in charges. It says we may owe $1,456.6, which looks like the rest of the yearly out-of-pocket maximum from my insurance plan. I certainly hope so. The $130k charge (seriously, how the hell were two- not even very serious- surgeries that combined lasted MAYBE 2 hours be that much?!) so we'll see what happens with that. You know I'll be checking every couple hours, hahaha. A bunch of other claims processed for lesser amounts of money but the website says it's estimates may not be accurate (i.e. we may be charged more) so we should be rolling in bills pretty soon. Yay exciting!

- But the red Commander is now detailed and up for sale. I am praying we get some interest in it SOON!


An open letter to the 2013-2014 Colorado Avalanche

My dearest Avs,

Congratulations on the spectacular season. 112 points and third in the league? Are you kidding me? If someone had told me last September where you'd be finishing I'd never have believed them. That was one for the record books, literally (double literally.) And there are some real awards on the line now. Nathan Mackinnon is a shoe in for the Calder, Ryan O'Reilly should have the same chances with the Lady Byng, Semyon Varlamov has the honor of even being nominated for the Vezina (and really should have taken the Hart), and if Patrick Roy doesn't take home the Jack Adams then I am going to go on a murderous rampage. And I'm only sort of joking about that.

Before the season started nobody thought you would have the regular season that you did. Not these assholes, or this guy, or these people, or this guy, or these people, and the list goes on, and on, and on, and on, etc. Even the biggest Avalanche fans had a lot of questions. And I'll be honest, my expectations weren't very lofty either. But I was overjoyed when you decided to draft Mackinnon instead of Jones (like so many people here wanted you to do), and I was even happier when Patrick Roy was announced as head coach. A lot of people had reservations about Roy. He had never coached in the NHL before and that was concerning, especially when seasoned coaches like John Tortorella and Lindy Ruff went on the market last year. I was expecting a wildcard spot in the playoffs, maybe.

But I was optimistic, even if cautiously so. And then you guys flew out of the gate and blew everyone away. You won your first six games before losing to the Unmentionables, and then won six more. All season long you never had a losing streak of more than 3 games, you were only shut out once (and by the very, very good Bruins at that), and you beat every other team in the league at least once. Those are amazing facts, they are something to be proud of.

Despite all this success, people put you down all season long. They called you lucky, said you were overachieving, said you rode your goaltender (and yes, he carried the team many times but our offense was nothing to shake a head at), and that he was playing over his head. A lot of advanced statistics were pulled out of people's butts, and time and time again you showed them that those stupid statistics don't matter. The entire season people asked, "when is their luck going to catch up with them?", "when are they going to slow down?", "when are the wheels finally- and inevitably- going to come off this bus?" But that never happened. You were consistently good, even with periods of not being great, and with an excellent push at the end of the season (through some very difficult teams) you ended up at the top of your division. I don't think one person saw that coming, and I personally had thought it might never come again. Yes the Blues had to collapse a little for you to cement it, but fuck the Blues. I mean that with my whole heart.

And now comes the hard part. Everyone was so excited for the playoffs. It was tangible, it was electric. The entire city of Denver seemed to get into it and they lit up the capital in burgundy and blue. They hung team banners across Larimer Square. There were countless video montages and commercials and new segments before the games. Everyone was thinking Why Not Us?

I can't say too much about it, it's still too soon, and I'm just too heartbroken. You did not look like the same team in the playoffs, key injuries or not. What I dreaded is what happened- you gave people a reason to discount your regular season success when that's something that can't be discounted. You should have been better. You really should have been better considering your opponent. Flaws that were covered up in the regular season became apparent. The playoffs are a whole different ballgame and you saw that- most of you for the first time.

There's no other way to put it, the blue line is weak. Although Erik John showed that he's the franchise defensemen we had hoped he'd be, and Jan Hedja had a great season as well, there's a lot of inexperience and there's a lot of room for improvement. Moves have to be made in the off season, especially concerning our D. And Paul Stastny and Ryan O'Reilly really, really, really need to be resigned. I swear to god if Stastny isn't then I will riot in the streets. I said I'd go on a murderous rampage if Roy doesn't win the Adams, well, you won't want to see what happens if Stastny isn't resigned.

For countless years now I've wanted to watch an Avs game in May, and this year I almost had the chance. I was one day short. But I'm not mad- well I'm not that mad considering four leads were given up in game seven against the FREAKING WILD- I'm proud of the team for what they accomplished this season. Doing what nobody thought they'd do. Even at their hottest, real Avs fans knew that this was not the team that was going to go all the way to the cup. Not even close. But now we have hope for the future. Hope that Lord Stanley could be will be raised in this city before we're passing on our old jerseys to our children's children.

Get ready for predictions that Roy and Mack's second year will entail a sophomore slump. But I don't believe it, I refuse to believe it. Why Not Us?

Thanks for everything guys.


Tuesday Troubles

Stolen (with permission!) from Jen at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom!
- Alright y'all this first trouble is a real doozy. If you're not sitting down while looking at this you might want to. I logged onto my health insurance website to see if there were any claims pending from my surgeries and well... 
Those are JUST the claims from my doctor/ surgeon. They aren't from either the hospital or the anesthesiologist who bill separately. That is $164,368.68 in charges. I couldn't make this up if I tried. I did a lot of research into how much the surgery would cost (just the pacemaker though), and everything said 60k max. The pacemaker itself is only 5k and the surgery doesn't take very long. Never in a million years did I dream it'd cost this much money. If I'd have known I'd have never gone through with it.
I'm scared. I am really, really scared. I don't know how much we're going to be liable for when the claims are processed (they're still pending right now) but I am freaking out. Our surgery insurance is 80/20 and that'd leave us with almost $33,000 worth of bills if they even cover that much! I also don't think these charges include the hospital stay or anesthesia and if that's another god-know-how-many thousand, I am really going to lose it. If I don't lose it before we even get a bill...
- In other poopy health news I went to my doctor yesterday and turning up the pacer was a no-go. They want me to wait at least three months so my body can fully adapt. My brain says "I totally understand" and my stomach and heart are like "screw you we want faster results!" My appointment is scheduled for July.
- In news that should not be sad but is sad anyway, yesterday (after a weekend of prepping- thanks mom!) I listed all of R's old cloth diapers up for sale. There's over $500 of stuff I'm trying to get rid of, and I hope I can get rid of it fast! I want someone to buy the entire lot but I don't think that's going to happen. I already have a few people interested in different things, I just hate taking the time to split things up like this. If I get it all out eventually I'll be happy though. It's just sad to move on from something that I was so into at the time. If we were planning on ever having another baby I'd have saved these without a thought but since R will be our last and she's using the potty, it's time to say bye-bye.
- As you know, if you keep up with hockey, the Avalanche were eliminated from the playoffs last week (was it only a week ago? my days are running together!) in a total heartbreaker of a game. I have been planning on writing an actual piece about this season (not that most people who read here care but what the hay) but it's just been *too soon* right now. Hopefully I'll get that up this week.
- R's bookcase came yesterday and it's tiiiny. I mean, it fit everything it needed to fit, but it doesn't like... fill out the wall well? I don't know, this is a stupid thing to complain about. Also, the sliding sides don't stay put and keep rolling to the middle. I'm going to pick up some velcro strips and try and solve that problem myself.
- We still haven't painted R's room but our mortgage is due this week and N got half the paycheck he normally gets last week because of the vacation. Because he's a mechanic and is paid a flag rate (for how many hours of work he finishes, not how many hours he's there) he usually makes on average 70+ hours. During the summer when he's busy he's made over 100 hours before! But vacation pay is 40 hours a week which isn't money we could ever live on. Combine that with how much you spend going on vacations and well, we can never afford real vacations. Just hospital stays. Although if you read the first trouble we can't really afford that either.
- I've been reading the Maze Runner books and they are awesome! A thousand times better than those craphole Divergent books which I refuse to talk about. But the trouble is that they are kind of scary, and I am kind of a baby. I have definitely had some nightmares, hahaha! No shame!
Positive thoughts for me regarding those medical bills please! I need them!


Small Victory Saturday


It's been awhile since I've done one of these because Saturdays seem to get so crazy around here. Today was a really awesome day though, so I thought I'd share more of what went well this week.

- Earlier this week I deep cleaned our living room (after I bought a new rug for it!) and it felt so good. Well physically it actually felt awful and I cried all night from abdominal pain, but it was good to get done. Of course it's messy again, but really just needs to be spot treated.

- I also got R's room cleaned out. I sold all her nursery furniture, and am just waiting on getting her old bedding and storage baskets sold. I thought for sure they'd go before the junky furniture but I haven't gotten any interest yet! I just want all of it out of here! All her new furniture (except for her bookcase which is coming Monday) is set up and the room just needs to be painted. I'm going to take my time with that though because I really need to focus on my health.

- I started washing and sunning all her old diapers in preparation of selling them. I left them all at my moms house because she can sun more of them on her huge deck and she's been washing and drying them for me when I'm not there. I am listing them for sale next week, no exceptions!

- R and I got out quite a bit this week, even a trip to the dog park with just the three of us (including Hank.) I was worried I'd having trouble walking the mile+ around the dog park but I felt fine. It's more of bending and twisting movements (like vacuuming) that hurt me.

- All this has been made possible by a slight reduction in nausea! I didn't take any nausea meds yesterday (although I broke down and took a stomach emptying one), and I've only taken one today- but that's because I woke up so incredibly naseous in the morning that I had a panic attack. And I couldn't spend today feeling like crap because...

- It was R's day to shine! We slept in, and when she woke up she found her two presents. A brand new My Little Pony that had magically appeared over her while she slept and a MLP adventure set that I had wrapped and put on her bedside table. It was the sweetest thing- as soon as she woke up she walked into my room with the present. "Is this a present?" she said with her eyes wide. When I told her yes she said, "Is it for me? Can I open it?" and she squealed with joy when I said she could. She loved it!

We took a shower and then went to visit N at work so we could get lunch with him. She had an entire chocolate cupcake and a few bites of hamburger (of course, haha), and then we went to an indoor trampoline park called JumpStreet. It's one of her favorite places in the world (probably number 2 after Gigi and Grandma's houses which are tied for 1.) She jumped and played for hours and then we went to Toys 'R Us for her to spend a giftcard and some cash she had gotten.

She picked out a bunch of MLP stuff along with two cars (she finally got the police car she's desperately been wanting) and a toy horse. I loved watching her pick stuff out- seeing what tickled her fancy. If something was too expensive she was a perfect angel about putting it back. I was not so good when I was her age! After the toy store we went to our favorite cupcake boutique, Gigi's Cupcakes and she picked out a bright pink cupcake with a crown on it! She'll have it after dinner seeing as how she had a full cupcake lunch, haha.

I thought for sure she'd nap when we got home but of course she had more energy than ever and jumped on her bed while watching Clifford on the iPad. She just cracks me up. We had an amazing day and it wouldn't have been possible without the pacemaker. Of course I still don't feel very good, but I felt good enough to be out all day and that is HUGE progress. Hopefully my small victories will start getting much bigger! :)

My baby is three!

Three years ago today, at 5:55 p.m. a baby was born. Or I should say, finally born because I pushed for six hours while she laxidasically made her way out of my womb.

And she was perfect.

She took a few seconds to observe the world around her before opening up her tiny little mouth and announcing with a scream that she was here. Reagan Olivia Blehm was here to change the world.

We had a rough start, but after a few months my love for her hit me like the proverbial sack of bricks. And I cried and I cried because I loved her so much. It was as if my heart had never been full until she came into my life. She completed me.

Today she is the funniest, sweetest, most incredible child I've ever met. I marvel every day at her wit, compassion, and boundless love. She feels the distress of others and delights in their joy. She is always thinking about the wants and needs of others, and always makes sure to bring me a cheese stick if she's eating one herself.

She is the light of my life, my pride and joy. My heart bursts as I watch her become a little person. She is becoming an awesome little person. 

She is my first, and definitely my last, and I try and soak in every moment of her life. She may have blossomed into a total "threenager", and she may scream "YOU DON'T LOVE ME! YOU DON'T WANT ME!" and run into her room and slam the door when I tell her not to put spare change in her mouth, but I delight in every hilarious outburst. (On most days.)

In honor of her birthday I've conducted a little interview:

Favorite Color: "Rainbow Dash"

Favorite Pony: "Fluttershy" (I'm pretty sure it's actually Twilight Sparkle)

Favorite Food: "Mac 'n cheese"

Favorite Song: "The Hammer Dance and the Princess Dance"

Favorite Animal: "I like horses, I like Blackjack" (The pony from her birthday party)

Showers or Baths: "Baths, no, showers, no baths, ummm"

As I finish this R (who has opened Pandora herself on N's phone) is dancing and singing along to Katy Perry's Roar. She is just the sweetest.