Learning to be a Stay at Home Girlfriend

I’ve recently moved in with my boyfriend, Sean.  We live on a teeny-tiny peninsula that has small town amenities.  I’ve been living in cities for the past few years, so I’m relearning what it’s like to have the grocery store close at nine and that there are no second-hand stores, at least that I’ve found yet.

I’m also learning to be in a one-car household of two.  I’ve always had a car.  In high school, I drove around a fantastic beater, and it was the beginning of my freedom.  Since then, I’ve never driven anything less than five years old or over $4,500.  Having nice cars, brand name clothing, and things of that sort have never been important to me.  Plus, I’ve never had the means to purchase seriously expensive items.  In college, I once realized that what I had in my trunk, a snowboard and my school books, was worth more than my car.

When I say I didn’t have “the means” it’s not because I didn’t make enough money.  I did.  I just made poor decisions as an early 20-something.  I racked up loads of debt while paying for school myself.  I know what you’re thinking, student loans don’t exactly count as poor decisions.  Well, that’s not the debt to which I’m referring.  I got credit cards.  I bought bags and bags of non-brand clothing.  I went out with my friends to the bars.  I traveled all across Michigan to see these friends.  When I was done with college, I moved across the country.  Stayed for a year and a half and then moved to Alaska- The Middle of Alaska.  After I realized that was a terrible idea, I headed back to my home state.  With the love and support from my family, I finally started using my degree…  and was only making enough money to pay for a roof over my head, food for my belly, and minimum payments to my credit lenders.  My wages were great for Michigan.  Unfortunately, my cards were all maxed out and the minimum payments took all of my fun-money.

How did I get on to telling my 20-something’s “life” story?  Oh… I was explaining how I’ve always had a car and totally veered off course.  I will do this all of the time.  Be prepared.  If you want to have extra fun with it, put your hands in the air like you’re on a roller coaster and scream “Wee!!!”

So, I’m getting re-acquainted to small town life and having to share a car.  This means that I am home alone during the day.  The tiny town doesn’t have any job openings.  I was looking around online and found a page that said every business that was in town and how many people they employed.  The total employed was just over one hundred.  So, not a lot of opportunity for financial gain here.  Sean does fine.  So, we can pay for everything we need and all of my debt, beyond my minimum payments.

Essentially, I’ve decided not to work for money.  I’m going to “work” on me.  There are a few life skills that most people have that I am completely inapt.

Number One Skill I Suck At:   HOMEMAKING

Here I am going to start a new “game” that will make my learning process a little fun for me.

Home-Making Blog Rules:

  • Find a page on the internet that advises on home making
  • Follow all rules, excluding parts about children and Jesus
  • Blog about my opinions/feelings/anger/achievements
  • Not go outside of our household budget to do this
  • Each week, I will take at least one idea that worked for me and continue to use it from then on out

So, I start next Monday.  I will be looking for pages between now and then.  I’m already excited about this and dreading it at the same time.

Posted in Boyfriend, Home making, Moving | 8 Comments

My upcycle idea

image

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

So you’re having a baby… here’s some pushy advice for guesstation.

When you’re pregnant, and the entire time your child is growing up, every single person is going to give you advice. Some times it will be advice that you end up using every single day. Other times it will be advice that makes you so mad you can’t believe they didn’t realize what an ass they were being. I’ve had both. I would like to give you my advice. Since every body does it, I’ll just join in… except I don’t expect you to take it. I’m just putting it out there for you to use if you feel like it.

Joss was born on January 29, 2012 by c-section.

Wait… I need to start at the beginning.

The Rhythm Method is not a great birth control method. When you find yourself knocked up, on accident, at the age of 30, you’re going to feel like a moron. How is it possible that I’ve been sexually active for this many years and am SURPRISED by a pregnancy?!? Well, I was totally caught off guard, as was obvious from the banging of my head on the washing machine while simultaneously sobbing, “My life is OVER!!!” It was true. My life as I knew it was, and continues to be, over.

So… now into the pregnancy advice. The following is for the women. Men, you can feel free to skip ahead to the section “Pregnancy Advice for the Men.”

Don’t lie about how fantastic being pregnant feels (unless you’re a freak of nature and you love it… in which case I hate you).  I believe in not misleading the future pregnant woman.  They should know every thing.  I was totally ill prepared and I blame all of the bitches in my past that didn’t complain enough.

Nausea sucks. It’s awful. It isn’t morning sickness. If it only happened in the morning, it would be a blessing. It happens all day. Eating crackers before getting out of bed, sucking on hard candy, and the rest of the stand by methods did jack squat for me. It was mind over matter just to make it to an appropriate place to do the yacking. The worst place is in the car, while driving. However, I have great advice for this. Keep a 32oz to go cup in your car, with a lid. This way, when you can’t get pulled over to open the door and barf on the ground, you have a good size container available, and then a lid to put on it so you don’t have to smell it until you get to a garbage. At the place where you plan on throwing it away, you should also plan on grabbing a new lid and cup. I don’t know how many random parking lots I spewed in during my pregnancy. Now, when I see somebody puking out of their car, I always assume it’s a pregnant woman.

There’s a good chance that your pubic ligament is going to spread at some point in time and it’s going to hurt like a mother fucker. Please refer to my previous blog “My Crotch Hurts For Real.” I have been told that chiropractic can help… but I didn’t have the money for it, so I suffered. Hope you have some cash or great insurance!

Sleep whenever you can. When that baby comes, sleeping when you’re tired is not an option.

Don’t bother with stretch mark creams. None of them work. If one of them worked, that company would be known all over the world for it’s miracle cream and no woman would get stretch marks during pregnancy. When there are a billion of them on the market, that means that none of them work. If you’ve got skin that gets stretch marks, you’re going to get them. Don’t worry about it. It is what it is. Just use lotion for the itchiness. When you’re skin stretches like that, stretch marks or no, it gets itchy. Always have something to lube it up with. I’ve heard of women being so desperate at somebody else’s house, they had gone through cupboards looking for lotion, with no luck. So, they snuck into the kitchen and poured olive oil on their belly and they said it was such a relief. Just keep lotion in your purse at all times.

No support

Dug in half way

LOVED THESE!!! However, why are the models wearing heels!?! As if.

Get comfy bras. Those nipples are going to hurt so bad. Putting them in a pretty bra that pushes them up is going to feel like a vice clamp. Just buy a couple of nursing bras now. Zulily has great deals on them about once every six weeks or so.When it comes to maternity clothes, buy them as soon as you can. I somehow felt like I was just getting fat and not looking pregnant, so it seemed to me that going to the store for maternity stuff was admitting I had gotten fat. I knew I was pregnant, yet I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

So, just go get those maternity pants NOW. You’ll be so happy you did. They are heaven. Some of them stop with the stretchy material under where you will get huge. I hated those ones and didn’t wear them past month 4. I wanted more support. Another style I had tried on when I just started to show had the stretchy part almost reaching up to my bra. I laughed at how goofy that was and bought them thinking that it would be super cute when I filled that material up with growing baby belly. A month later, it was digging in, half way up the baby bump. The only pants I liked were the ones I bought when I was just showing that I could pull up and over my bra. That means there is enough material there to actually grow in to that won’t squeeze or dig. It seems ridiculous when you’re so small, but trust me, don’t bother with the other stuff. You’re going to be huge soon. Just get the ones that are ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, they still fit nicely on my bum and legs. I’m not saying get pants that are too big everywhere. Just get the ones with huge amounts of belly covering stretch fabric.

Way too short. The jeans’ stretch fabric will be showing in NO time.

You will spend the last two months in a shirt that originally fit like this.

Maternity tops are a joke. They fit up until about month 6 for me. I got huge in the belly region… so I spent most of the last four months (pregnancy lasts 10 months) in t-shirts of Sean’s… and then moved on to ones from my dad. All of the maternity stuff only covered to my belly button, except for two or three tops. So, during your initial maternity purchases, I’m not joking, buy some sweaters that zip up and practically come down to your knees. They will become the only thing that fits you. I also had one maternity sweatshirt, that originally, covered ¾ of my thighs when I pulled it down. That one made it through the entire pregnancy too.

Don’t buy the dad to be books. He’s not going to read them. I have yet to hear of a man that read the advice for dad books. Most women buy them. It’s a waste of money. Just read highlights that you find interesting to him from your books. He will enjoy that. Whether he let’s you know it or not, he is telling people he runs across that his baby is “now the size of a lemon!” because you read that to him earlier in the week.  For you, don’t obsess over the pregnancy books.  Just have fun watching the baby turn your belly into the blob.

Get a lactation nurse to come visit before you give birth. I didn’t know this was an option and that insurance pays for it. I also wondered why anybody would need help getting a baby to nurse. Babies and mommies have been doing this FOREVER. Babies eat. Mommies nurse. Big whoop. Well… I hate to tell you, but if it doesn’t go well, you’re going to be devastated. You’re going to feel like a failure. You’re going to be sure that you’re baby will starve to death. So, be on the safe side and get the info before the baby comes. Plus, if I had had one come visit, I may have been able to nurse longer than I did because we could have upped my production while I was pregnant. Apparently my breasts are a shape that often doesn’t produce much. Who knew? Well, the lactation nurse knew.

Pregnancy Advice for Men

She is miserable. She is moody. She cries at everything. She yells at you for no reason. She can’t believe you said that. She is going to make your brain spin in confusion. Deal with it and don’t be a dick. Your best plan of action is to avoid responding. Stay quiet. When she insists you respond, tell her what she wants to hear, even if you think she’s wrong. I’m not joking. Not one single solitary bit.

Her hormones are all over the place and it is not her fault. This is especially important to remember if you and the mom are not planning on staying a couple. Sure, there may be other reasons why you two have come to this decision. Do NOT let her behavior during her pregnancy be what you think she is as a person. Many women are not themselves at all. Do not respond by being a dick. So you don’t want to live the rest of your life as her partner? That’s fine. However you do have to live the rest of your life sharing somebody you love with her… and that somebody is going to love her. Keep the relationship with the mother of your child as happy as possible. Any arguing you two do will only cause your child strife. Again. Don’t be a dick. Especially right now. Her hormones are ALL over the place and her body is carrying your child. Don’t give her any reasons to stress out. Make her body be the best place for your child to be grown.

I wasn’t so much on the bitchy side (although many women are), I was more of the sob all of the time pregnant woman. Sean was great about it. He would hug me and say, “Oh, honey…” He neither agreed nor disagreed and didn’t try to make it better.

Make food for her that is healthy. If she doesn’t eat it, bring it to her. If she still doesn’t eat it, maybe she feels terrible and would like something else. She would at least love for you to ask her. My favorite was when Sean would cut up fruits and veggies for me. Lots of times I never ventured near the fridge, so I didn’t get them out… but when Sean got home, he would ask me what I ate that day. My typical response was “nothing” and he would pull the fruit and veggies out and bring them to me. I would eat them when I didn’t feel like hurling. It made me feel special to know he was already taking responsibility over our little one’s health.

Don’t say you’ll do something you don’t really plan on doing. While we’re pregnant, when you don’t follow through, we see it as a sign that you are going to be like that as a dad. We are emotional. We are irrational. You didn’t read the book we bought you when you said you would!?! That means you’re not going to change my baby’s diaper, you’re never going to go to a teacher’s conference, and you’ll probably never say, “I love you” to our child. Irrational? You bet’cha! Factual about what I thought when he didn’t read the book? Yep.

Think it’s funny that her nipples are sore? Think it’s funny that she is walking like a duck? Keep your mouth shut. We already feel disgusting. We also don’t feel like you see us in a sexual way anymore. Don’t add on to that. Again… the best advice is don’t be a dick.

Pregnancy Advice for Men and Women

Get the baby’s room ready by the 7th or 8th month. Many babies are born a little early. If that happens to you, the last thing you’re going to want to think about is putting together the crib. You’re going to want to hold your baby while imagining them in the amazing room you have ready for them.  Plus, the first week will be a blur… and having to watch a man struggle with a playpen is just not on the list of things I wanted to do with an infant on my chest.

Ask friends with kids for help on what you’re going to get.  Some stuff seems totally necessary… until you have it.  Like my Diaper Genie that has to be changed every 36hrs. My hands are too busy for that nonsense.  I should have gone bigger or just gotten a garbage with a lid.  Other things I didn’t even know what they did until somebody explained it to me.  Even while pregnant, tons of their suggestions seemed unnecessary.  So happy I trusted the veterans.

Don’t worry about what other people think of your “birth plan.” What’s a “birth plan” you ask? Well, it’s something that people that are considering going without drugs have come up with. It’s the plan they have set up so that everything will be perfect and magical. Special music, mantras they are going to say, who is and isn’t allowed in the room, etc. In my world, this seems like setting yourself up for disappointment. However, I do know some women that this worked out for. I also know quite a few women who felt like failures when they decided they needed the drugs. My birth plan? Drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. The hippy moms would look at me like I was a terrible mother. I know I have a low threshold for pain, so that was my plan… and I didn’t feel bad about it at all.

Yep. I wore this as an outfit.

TAKE PREGGERS PICTURES!!!  I know.  You feel disgusting.  Getting dressed is a rarity.  Take the pics in your PJs.  I’m now laughing at what I made Sean look at me wearing.   Totally hideous.    I’m really happy I have the photos.

There’s so much more… but that’s what I’ve got for now.

Posted in advice, baby, Boyfriend, dad, Decorating, Family, fatherhood, maternity, mom, morning sickness, motherhood, nipples, Pregnancy, pubic ligament, registry, stretch marks | 1 Comment

How She Started Sleeping Alone

I would like to point out that this wouldn’t have been possible without my parents’ support.

 

Getting the routine was a huge change for us.  Bath time every night unless we get home and she’s already sleeping.  It isn’t always top on my list, but she tires herself out in it.  Plus, the water splashes in her eyes and makes her start rubbing them, which means night night time. I was happy to keep her in bed, but she started squirming so much it was clear she was ready for her own space… so she needed “trained” on how to do that.  First, I held her like usual to go to sleep.  After she was out, I would sneak out from under her and leave her on our bed, on her back, with a pillow against her side so she felt like it was me. I put other pillows on the ends of it so she couldn’t pull it on top of herself.  Typically she was back awake a little by this time, so I would put my forehead against her cheeks and stroke the top of her head and hold her hand.  I would do that every time she woke up.  After two weeks of this, I took away my forehead touching.  Then the hand holding.  Then I moved her to her own crib and the head stroking works.  If it doesn’t, I let her cry for 5minutes then come back in and calm her, without picking her up.  It took three days.  Now she can put herself down.  I still get to sleep with her when she’s not feeling well.  I love it.  After a few days, when she starts feeling better, she’s totally ready to get back to bed.  Oh!  And I sleep with a receiving blanket under me every night so that I can give her that one for the next night.  I want to point out, that she isn’t rolling over.  As soon as she does, the receiving blankets will be cut into quarters so that there isn’t a strangulation hazard. 

Posted in US Border | Leave a comment

At 7 months

Joss sits up on her own and will look up randomly from her play to give me a big ol’ smile.  She melts my heart regularly.  Especially now that bed time is getting easier.

Around 6 months old, babies are able to learn how to soothe themselves.  We have been cosleeping.  Yep.  I have been cuddling and holding her all of the time.  I don’t regret it.  I feel cosleeping is totally safe.  I’ve done the research. Anyways… babies can’t soothe themselves until about 6 months.  So, while I was visiting MI, my parents put her down two or three nights in a row while I was out.  They let her cry for 5mins at a time and then went in to soothe her… it was the beginning of a much happier night time for us all.

My random bits of advice on all of this.  Have a night time routine.  My mom kept saying it was important and I kept ignoring her.  Now we have bath time and talk about going “nigh’ nigh'” all during the bath.  She loves baths.  We wave good bye to the bath water and get into some sleepy clothes and a sleep sack.  Then it’s time for a little “Ba” (Bottle) and when she gets squirmy, it means she wants the rest of the ba on her back in her bed.  She doesn’t like cosleeping unless she’s sick now.  I miss her… but our bed is much roomier!

I’m not very focused… but I wanted to update on the great bed time routine.  Thanks to Grammy and Grandad for the help.

As a side note, Joss got to meet much of the Mulligan clan today at her Grandma’s annual picnic.  So happy they got to squeeze on her.

Posted in baby, In law, Sean | 1 Comment

Joss is going to be 6months old this Sunday.  She is quickly adjusting from a cuddling/crying/sleeping infant into a baby that knows what she wants, when she wants it, and how she wants me to do it for her.

When we hit the five month mark, Sean and I were hitting a wall.  I was starting to get a rhythm with Joss that didn’t include him.   He had worked three different shifts/schedules in that short period, so counting on him for any part of the day wasn’t feasible.   Not his fault.  Totally my mistake.  So, I was getting totally overwhelmed.

It’s like I’m in shock.  I have been around kids and babies for so many years, that I didn’t expect to be stressed by the demands of being a mother.  I expected to be tired.  I expected to get frustrated with hours of crying.  I did not expect showering to be something I begged Sean to let me do when he got home.  I did not expect that she would need constant attention.  I thought she would happily hang out alone.  I thought she would sleep long periods during the day.  I thought I could do more than be a great mom.  It was not possible.

Hugs, kisses, cuddles, rhymes, diapers, bottles, and sleeping. For five months straight.  We left the house to run errands, but completing something like this made me feel like I had done something so dramatic as curing cancer.  Really?!?  This go with the flow momma can’t get a flow going.

I’m winging it. Constantly.  It’s totally fucking exhausting.  I’m no longer this free spirit. I’m obsessed with poop, how long it’s been since (fill in te blank), and safety.  I planned on being a mom that wasn’t Safety Woman. Yeah right.  I read all of the articles, I refer to an amazing group of women online, I call friends that are new parents… I’m totally stressing myself out.

My parents offered to drive Joss and I from WA to MI with them, to save us cash on half of a plane ticket for the regular summer trip back.  I was all for it.  Then I got to thinking about how much less safe driving is, statistically.  I envisioned a screaming Joss, me sobbing next to her because I felt so bad for her being trapped in the car seat for four days. Once my parents arrived, I wasn’t sure I could do it.  Then I remembered feeling the same before I moved to Seattle and the Mayo Clinic.  The “I can’t do this” feeling.  Well, time for me to suck it up and stop blaming safety for my becoming boring as shit.

Joss and I are back in MI. We made it without any freakouts until the last three hours.  She freaked.  I freaked.  Dad freaked.  Mom freaked.  It was a fantastic trip, other than those few hours.  I’m so happy I went through with it.

 

Now I’m back with my village.  My people.  The ones I have always expected to be around to help me raise my kids.  Joss and I are changing drastically with every day we’re here.  I’m relaxing, so she is relaxing.  Her nap times have gone from 45mins to three hours… and she doesn’t need me to hold her through the nap. She is almost weaned from being swaddled.

 

SHE LOVES HER GRAMMY AND GRANDAD.

 

Grandad has taken a layoff for the three weeks Joss and I are going to be here, so it’s been like having two stay at home parents.   He has come in in tthe morning and taken her so I can sleep another hour.  He puts her down for naps while I run errands and keep my ViSalus business booming. He listens to me.  He plays with her and is excited to do so.  Then my mom gets home and she kisses all over Joss.  Holds her for naps (which Joss and Grammy love). She listens to me.

 

Then I head out of the house and I run into people I know. I get to enjoy more grown up conversation.  I walk around and feel less fat because, let’s face it’ Osceola is not known for it’s healthy community.  Plus, I’ve been going to the track and exercising- Babyless because Grandad is the greatest.

 

Sean just got laid off back in WA and I’m not sure how we can afford to get him here, but we will make it happen because he also needs this. He needs to see what our lives will be like when we can be around an entire village that loves and cares for us and our daughter.  Money is money. Happiness is everything. He needs this as bad as I do.

Posted in US Border | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Anthony and Popsicle Sticks

Learned yesterday that a friend and classmate passed away over night.  We just entered our 30s!!!  He lived through the beginning of “The War on Terror,” being one of the first on the ground in Afghanistan, doing and seeing terrible things that were not in his nature, simply because his country asked him to do it… and then he died in his sleep.

Anthony Visconti.

I’ve tried to go to bed a few times, but I can’t seem to fall asleep.  I keep seeing all of the people that love him and how much they’re going to miss him.  As a new mother, my heart absolutely breaks for Kim, his mother.   To lose a child must be the most terrible thing in life to go through.  Kim raised a great young man that I witnessed work hard to over come his struggles.  He suffered severely from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He was an alcoholic.  He made no beefs about either of those things.   He would post on Facebook about how he was in rehab and how the counselors didn’t get it.  They hadn’t been to war.  They hadn’t seen the things he’d seen.  Many of us encouraged him to stay.  He didn’t go just once.  He went multiple times.  He tried so hard.  Anthony had the greatest soul.  Having grown up with him, I have a few memories I want to share that I hope will make you smile.

_____________________________________________

In third grade I had a crush on Anthony.  I had just broken up with my long term boyfriend (seriously, we’d been together like 6months!!!), Ricky Vanderwater and was looking for a new guy.  I chose Anthony because he was a cutie and was one of the few guys that would always choose me early to be on his football team at recess.  I always liked to think it was because he liked me back, but it was because I was good at football.  He would give me hi-fives when I schooled the boys that said I shouldn’t be playing because I was a “just a girl.”  He was a young male feminist.  Summer snuck up on me and I hadn’t told him how I felt.  Maybe next year I would tell him.

That summer I got my first fish.  It was a Beta fish.  A gorgeous maroon and blue color.  (Oh crap this is embarrassing!  Other than my family, there is only one other person that knows this story.)  I thought long and hard about what I was going to name it.  I came up with the perfect name!  Yep, Anthony Visconti.  I didn’t even try to be sneaky about it.  I could have called it Tony or even Anthony.  Nope.  Straight up named my fish Anthony Visconti.

The Beta fish died when the bowl fell over.  I gave him a great burial.  I decorated a shoe box with as many stickers as I could get my hands on.  After my dad placed Anthony Visconti, the fish in my beautiful box, we headed to the backyard.  My three family members were there for this sad time in my life.  I placed popsicle sticks, glued together in the form of a cross with the words “Anthony Visconti” on the horizontal portion and “I love you” on the vertical stick, on top of the box in the ground.  Dad covered the box and I said a few words.  I remember my brother trying not too laugh.

This process was repeated two more times over the next year.  What do I mean?  Well, I named my next Beta fish Anthony Visconti II and the next, Anthony Visconti III.  They each have their own stickered box and popsicle stick cross in the backyard of my childhood home.

As fourth grade was about to get started, I learned I would be in a class away from the rest of the fourth graders (except for the other twenty kids in my class) because of over crowding.  Anthony wasn’t going to be in my school!  My heart was broken.

When fifth grade began, I was so excited I would get to see Anthony.  As soon as school started, I was going to tell him how I felt.  I loved him!!!  I was going to ask him to be my boyfriend.  Somewhere between third and fifth grade he had gotten more popular and I had gotten less popular.  When I realized this I decided every body would make fun of me if I professed my feelings… so I  didn’t.  Not until the winter.  It just came over me.  I was standing behind him to head inside from recess.  We were wearing our hats and mittens.  I took a breath and asked him to be my boyfriend.  I did it in front of every person in our classroom!  As soon as I did it I felt like a fool.  I got ready to cry.  I knew the answer.  I knew he would point and laugh at me for even thinking he would be my boyfriend.  I wanted to crawl in a hole.  His friends, the cool kids, were all staring and waiting for his response.  This was like a bad teenage movie.

Then he spoke.  While I don’t remember exactly what he said I remember how it made me feel and what the idea of his response meant.  He was flattered I had asked, but that he liked somebody else.  He also said I was smart and he liked that, but since he liked somebody else, it just wasn’t a good time.  He let me down easy.  I was able to hold my head high to that response rather than cry in the bathroom.  It would have been so easy for him to go for the laugh at my expense.

That was Anthony.  He never hurt people on purpose.  He had a huge heart and allowed anybody to take up residence there.

________________________________________________

When we both lived in Seattle in 2005 or 2006, we got together a handful of times.  He told me about some of the terrible parts of his life at war and how life was different after.  He told me about his “Ma.”  I can hear him saying, “Ma” right now.  We went out to some bars and drunk dialed a few old classmates.  I was drunk, but he was beyond drunk.  That’s when I realized a bit of what the war had done to him.  He went from being super sweet and funny, to a guy that was super depressed and lashing out.  We talked about it later and he said he knew he should stop and that it wasn’t helping anything.

When I told my mom that I had hung out with Anthony Visconti  her response was priceless.  “Anthony, the fish, Anthony?”  Yep.  Anthony the fish.

After I moved back to MI, I emailed with him a lot about how great it was to be around family and suggested he do the same.  When he decided to move back he sent me an email about how excited he was to be coming home to be around those who loved him the most.

I only ran in to him a few times after that.  He was always pretty drunk and we had an unspoken bond that I knew it was hurting him.  We’d step outside and have a smoke together along with a hug.  He let the “Everything is great and this is the best party ever” act down for a few minutes.  I did too.  I’m so lucky I got those extra days after high school to get to know him better.

He was so much more than a fish.

______________________________________________________

Disclaimer:  I hope nobody takes offense to me referring to his problems in life.  I know if I were to pass and nobody mentioned that I was a blunt bitch some of the time who spent 99% of her 20s in a drunken stooper… well that wouldn’t be including parts of me that people know to be true.  I’m (and Anthony was) so many great things, but great is not the whole story.  Anthony was a jackass. He was blunt to a fault.  He swore like a sailor.  He pinched so hard I he left bruises.  Clearly, he drank too much.  He also gave great hugs.  He made everybody laugh.  In the end, he has given his life for this country.  I am well aware that’s not the whole story.  It’s only a tiny glimpse of the Anthony that I knew and named my fish after.

I don’t know any actual facts about Anthony’s passing.  Everything I’ve heard is third or eighth hand gossip.  I haven’t talked to him in over two years and don’t know what his state of mind was in his final days/weeks/years.  I am only assuming that the emotional and physical pain he had from his time in Afghanistan was a strong reason for his alcoholism, which is known to cause brain annheurisms.  When I put it like that, I realize that his body, literally, could not handle the pain of war.  Tragic.  Absolutely tragic.

Please feel free to share your stories below.  I would love to read them.

Pictures from 2005-2006 when we hung out in Seattle.  You will be able to see that I especially “hung out.”  Anthony took that photo and then announced to everybody in the room that “Your tits are hanging out, Jen!!!”  Jerk.  Funny.  So Anthony.

Darts

Dice

Yeah…

Fresh Hair Cut!

Nerd!

Posted in US Border | 7 Comments

Easter and GiGi

This is my me time.  It’s when Sean and Joss are in bed and I can do WHATEVER I want… as long as it makes no noise.  That typically includes some TV and Facebook… which may depress some readers, but it is my heaven.  No crying baby.  No baby looking at me and cooing with the most adorable smile on her face hoping that I will play with her… which means I will play with her.  Who can resist this sweet face!?! Plus, I am her momma and that’s what mommas do!

 

First Easter

Lately she has been mastering her the use of her hands.  It was adorable to just start watching her attempt to put them in her mouth.  Now, it is just a simple task for her.  From the other room I constantly hear her sucking on her fists.  Now I get to put toys on her chest and watch her pick them up and shove them in her mouth.

She also just started teething.  She has become a drool monster and loves chewing on everything.  It started with my fingers.  When I realized how happy it made her, it was obviously time to break out the teething toys, which I keep calling “chew toys.”  Now she giggles and squeals the entire time we have them in her mouth.  A frozen wash cloth is her favorite.  For whatever reason, it is hysterical to her.

HER FIRST LAUGH!!!  It happened when Sean had left for ten minutes to pick up pizza.  I had a sore throat and was making shooting noises with my lips, pretending her feet were my guns.  Apparently that is hysterical and made her laugh.  I couldn’t stop laughing with her.  Heaven.  When Sean got home I told him she “may have” had her first laugh.  I knew I could get her to do it again and then we could experience it together, as far as he knew.  Nope.  Haven’t gotten her to laugh since.  So, now I’m a big liar.  But, who cares, she laughed!!!

 

Nathan, Susan and Gretchen came out to meet Josilyn last week.  I suppose spending time with me and Sean was nice too.  I loved having them here.  I got to play with Gretchen and she let me hold her, even though she is in a “momma only” phase (at least she was that week).  I get to see her again in two months, and I’m going to get her to love me even more.

It was seriously special to me to have them come out to visit.

Trading Babies

Joss and GiGi

 

 

 

Posted in US Border | Leave a comment