Thursday, March 14, 2013

I've Moved!

Hey you guys!  I've moved the home of IWADB over to Chicago Now, which is super exciting! 

The same deal there as over here.  I say what I want, when I want, how I want.  Please come see me!

This site will remain up and active, so everybody can see past posts, as they are pretty great too.

Thanks everybody!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do You "Woo"?

I am not, by nature, a "woo-er".  You see, in THE HOUSE OF PAIN (the stationary bike spinning class I take), we "WOO".  Because our teacher is awesome and gets us freaking pumped up and we "woo".  As I said, I am NOT, by nature, a "woo-er".

This is a picture from last year's Cycle for Survival event, but it's the only picture I have of me spinning, so, "Woo"!
But last night, at the gym, I "woo-ed".  I "woo-ed" loudly and I "woo-ed" softly; I "woo-ed" solo and I "woo-ed" with the group and I EVEN "woo-ed" on command, which is something I don't do - like - ever.  DO SOMETHING I AM TOLD TO DO, ON COMMAND?  Um, no.  I am WAY TOO COOL for that shit. 

I first wrote about my gym experience a while ago here - please take a minute to read, it's quick and funny and gives background to where we are today.

Now, I am not a person who loves exercise.  I hate it.  If left to my own devices I will pick couch time over physical exertion every damn time.  Just like drinking and smoking are in my nature, sloth is in my nature as well.  By all accounts, I SHOULD be drinking and smoking right now, BUT I AM NOT.   Because we CAN change our behaviors if we work at it.

Last night I didn't WANT to go to spinning necessarily, but I went.  I pumped and fed babies before I left and strapped the girls in with my most powerful sports bra, and I jumped on the train and I left.  AND I WAS SCARED.  Because I am scared of everything.  But I walk through the fear today.  I haven't been spinning in months and months.  I was pregnant you know, I am not sure if you heard.  I kept up my gym membership the whole time because I KNEW I WOULD BE BACK.  I wasn't spinning for a long time.  And this HOUSE OF PAIN is a bitch.  It ain't a leisurely bike ride round the park if you catch my drift.  You are up and down and back and forth and killing yourself for 50 minutes in there and it HURTS.  But dammit if I didn't do the whole class and do it hard even though my instructor said, "Katy just had twins so she's the only one exempt from jumping in and out of the saddle!".....I did it anyway. 

Because I'm stubborn and needed to prove to myself that I could do it after all this time.  You see, a couple years ago, I weighed almost 200 pounds and lost a lot of weight through changing my diet and exercise.  Spinning was a big part of that.  I wanted to get in shape BEFORE I got pregnant, if I ever were to be lucky enough to be pregnant, so that I could bounce back into shape after having a baby or two. 

That's what I did.  I now have about 15 pounds to lose before I'm back at pre-baby weight and spinning is going to help me get there.  It's pure vanity but also health reasons that I do this.  I am almost 40 and I JUST HAD TWINS.  What in the sam hill was I thinking?  Oh girl, I'm gonna be around to be with these babies and I'm going to be healthy.  This clean living IS FOR SUCKERS.  And I am a sucker for sure.  A happy one.  A by product of clean living is looking kinda hot.  And yes, I want that.  No lie. 

So, there are several things at play here.  I just had babies and I feel a bit down about myself sometimes.  What I would do if I live purely by what's in my nature, I would drink and smoke and not work and not take responsibility and self destruct because I don't like myself very much at that moment - not believing that the moment would pass.  BUT, if I practice new behaviors and believe that the moment will pass, I take responsibility and work my program and eat right and resist that smoke and drink and exercise a bit, I get ALL THE THINGS!  I get the life beyond my wildest dreams. I get the mental and emotional and physical bliss that comes with working hard to be healthy.  We always say, it ain't easy, but it is so worth it.  I don't want to do any of these healthy things by nature.  I DO NOT WANT TO DO IT.  But I do.  Because it is the best thing for me and for my family.

It was the first time in over a year, that I felt like my body BELONGED TO ME.  Not to science and not to babies and not to my demons.  And if that sounds selfish, then yes, I'm selfish.  I needed that feeling.  I desperately needed to feel connected to my body and in that way to my soul as a woman who has her own needs and wants and feelings without being attached to another being.

Today, I am a drunk who is not drinking, a smoker who is not smoking and a sloth-like creature who is practicing moving around more.  It's that simple.  One day at a time, we can change our behaviors.  AND WE CAN BE AWESOME TODAY!

Can I get a WOO!?


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Things I Love Thursday - Part 67

I don't need to write a lot of words for what I love this Thursday.   Hall & Oates being lazy, adorable, gifted, slug-like babies doing their BABY CIRCUIT TRAINING every morning.  It's about the best thing ever. Now, couldn't we all do with more Tummy Time?
 I bet MOST of you can even lift your heads up and keep them up all day on your own already. 
That's not asking too much, is it?

And, one and two and one and two, and WAKE UP BABIES!

These babies oughta pay me more (OR ANYTHING) for being their personal trainer.  I pay good money at my gym for a workout like this.  And the view isn't nearly as silly.  Or lovely.  Or gratitude inspiring.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Choose Hope

I often say I don't like people.  That people are damaged and that only animals are true and pure and without judgement or conditions.  And to a great extent I believe that.  People have baggage.  People are damaged.  I have baggage and am damaged.  You know who doesn't?  Children.  Children are pure and will soak up what you give them.  And that leads to who their parents are, who their family's are and what situation they are in.  That all determines who they will be as they develop and grow. 

This is a post about Donna.

A child who I never met, but of so much inspiration and who's story continues to inspire those of us who were so deeply moved by reading it.  Donna was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005 and fought for so much of her young life before she passed away at age 4.  Donna died of Cancer.  Donna DIED OF CANCER.  Pause. 

Her mom is a bit of a hero to me.  A lot of a hero to me.  She is brave and lovely and had the courage and the talent to write this story and carry on a legacy that has touched so many people.  We are celebrating Donna and her family here.  And at the end of this post, you can help. 

I'm new at this mom thing, so I don't feel qualified to speak about them most of the time, but I'm getting there more and more every day.  However, in Donna's case and the case of her mother, Sheila, who I have grown so fond of in such a short amount of time, I am honored to be asked to post about her.  Sheila is so much like me.  She's funny and smart and loves Mad Men, A LOT.  She loves fashion and dishing about awards shows and celebrities and hair and shoes and typical womanly stuff.  She's also very different from me.  She has a HAIR ARCHITECT. I find that HILARIOUS.  But that's neither here nor there.  My point is, we are very different, and yet, we have become quite fond of each other ONLINE and now in real life in the past couple years. She likes me. She respects me.  She values my being a recovering alcoholic, even though she is not one.  That right there is hopeful. That is love and compassion and grace. 

I did an event called Cycle for Survival last year.  It's to raise money for rare cancers. 
I listed Donna as someone I rode for.  I never even met her!
I want people like Sheila in my life.  You know how she got into my life?  By sharing her story about her incredibly beautiful daughter, Donna. Donna was life, and hope and beauty.  And her mother is just like her.  Some say children are like their parents, but my guess is Sheila would love it if we said she is like Donna. 

Now, I cannot begin to imagine what her life is like, what her heart is like after losing Donna.  But I do know she chooses hope.  Every day, she chooses hope.  And that, is a woman after my own heart.  My heart is in my throat just writing about this here.  After I read Donna's Cancer Story, I was changed.  My heart grew for this little girl who did not ask for this by any wrong doing on her part.  Little children do not deserve this awful disease or to die.  Donna and her family made me want to do better, to BE better.  Above all, to CHOOSE HOPE.  After reading all the posts and many of the comments from fellow readers, something strange happened.  I found a little faith in humanity.  To be honest, I found a lot of faith in humanity. 

Sure, who could be FOR a child having a terrible disease and dying?  And yes, it's incredibly sad, but damn, it lifts you up.  READ IT.  For you saying, I can't bear it, it's too sad, READ IT.  I promise you will be changed.  For those of us who have known hopelessness, who have been in so much pain and darkness and think we can never ever get out, CHOOSING HOPE is what can help us.  The teeniest tiniest bit of hope can be a spark to feeling human again.  To be able to put one foot in front of the other and pull ourselves out of the greatest despair anyone has ever known.  I know about choosing hope, Donna's mom and dad know about choosing hope, and a whole hell of a lot of you KNOW about CHOOSING HOPE.   I have heard it.  I have heard from so many of you who have struggled with your own shit and have fought so hard and so long to feel human again.  We all know this pain and what choosing hope can mean. 

Facts and Stats:
  • More US children will die from cancer than any other disease, or many other diseases combined;
  • Before the age of 20, 1 in 300 boys and 1 in 333 girls will be diagnosed with cancer;
  • worldwide, a child is diagnosed ever three minutes;
  • the cure rate for the most common form of pediatric cancer, ALL leukemia, is as high as 90%, but most other childhood cancers do not have that success rate, e.g., brain tumors have a 50/50 cure rate, and some, like DIPG, are known to be fatal with no known treatment or cure;
  • 73% of kids who survive their cancer will have chronic health problems as a result of their treatment and 42% will suffer severe or life-threatening conditions like secondary cancers.  
All of these stats can be found on the St. Baldrick's website here.  Information regarding why childhood cancer is so poorly funded can be found here.  

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect - 

The purpose of the Donna Day campaign is to raise $ for our head shaving event on Saturday, March 30 in Chicago.  It is our second event.  Last year's started with a goal of $20K and we raised $79K!  This year we have many fewer heads to shave and have set a goal of $30K.  Our oldest shavee is 89 years old and she is doing it with her daughter, a returning shavee for us.  WOW!  Here is the link to Donna's Team Page and I encourage you  to donate to this team or any other team by using the GREEN donate button.  Any amount will be awesome. Seriously.  Many people chipping in $5 and $10 makes a HUGE difference.  If folks want to shave their head, that is so cool, too, and there is still time!  Folks can raise a lot of $ in 30 days! 

How can YOU help Conquer Kids’ Cancer?

1. Donate Now to fund lifesaving research.

2. Sign up as a Shavee or Volunteer at an Event Near You.  (Once you find an event, click on the blue box that says ‘participate at this event’. If you want to join the Donna’s Good Things team, when prompted say you want to join an existing team, and filter for “Donna” at other events).
Donna's Good Things - so much good info over there from Donna's Mom and Dad.

3. Can’t find an event near you? Organize your own event. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation will coach you every step of the way.

4. Have questions about getting involved?
Event page

THAT IS THE CHICAGO EVENT on March 30, 2013 !  I will be there for sure and I cannot wait! 

Thanks everyone for reading and for opening your hearts.  Finding faith in humanity is not easy to come by.  At least not for me.   But here and now and with this story, I hope you've found a little more.  I know I have. 

I choose hope.  I am betting you do too.  Please give something if you can in any way you can.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Things I Love Thursday - Part 66

What do I love today?  A whole hell of a lot.  But right now, here's what I got.  THE INTERWEBS! 

The wwwwwww world wide wonderful web!

It affords somebody like me who's stuck at home a lot of the time to have access to EVERYTHING! 

My mom didn't have it.  My Grammie's didn't have it.  We are really really really freaking lucky.


I use the internecks for good, like doing searches like this -
  1. Why is my baby looking at me like that?
  2. Who do I think I am?
  3. What should I wear today?
  4. Who is that one guy?
  5. My nails are ugly.
You know, all the important shit. 

Take it from me, you can't ever find any bad information on the internets.
But for real?  This thing CONNECTS us all.   It's so profound and I really truly believe it helps with the loneliness and the isolation that we talked about here - REMEMBER? 

Especially for someone like me who desperately NEEDS to connect with people, even when I don't want to.  ESPECIALLY when I don't want to. That is when I need to connect more than ever, when my brain is telling me, "you're fine, you don't need anybody."  There are AA chat rooms and meetings, there are mom's chat rooms and meetings - one in Chicago specifically for multiples, which is great.  As long as I don't dive too far down the rabbit hole and can pull myself out and realize, hey!  I AM A REAL PERSON!  I need real live people too! And then drag myself out of the hole and get out and connect with other real live people.  EVEN ON THE PHONE. I would rather slice my eyeballs than talk to someone on the phone, but it's important.  So I do it.  When I have to. 

IT'S CRAZY OUT THERE ON THE WEB!  There are a lot of crazy people and BULL TO THE SHIT out there and if you're not careful, you can believe some of the shit that they put out there.  REEL IT BACK IN PEOPLE.  It's called balance, and for me, it's essential.  It's not ingrained - all or nothing is more my style.  But if I put for the effort, I can maintain an online thing and a real life thing that keeps me sane and happy and grateful. 

I'm grateful for this computer and the electricity it needs to power up and to Al Gore (hay Al, call me!) for inventing the internet.  I am grateful for the job that I have that affords me to pay for all this shit.  This is all really truly profound shit that when I stop to think about it MAKES MY HAIR HURT. 

SERIOUSLY.  The internet, when used for good and connecting and truly funny, inspiring shit is AMAZING.
Let's all use it for good and not for evil, shall we?

*goes off to google when I can make with beans and soy sauce and potatoes because that's all I have in my kitchen*

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Respect Your Sally Boy

Sitting here at the computer I wait without knowing I'm waiting for a sound.  A sound of jumping in the windowsill and then onto my lap - usually walking across the keyboard first.  But today it's not coming.

My little rescuer and best little friend I've ever had or ever will have.
 Sally Boy is gone. He's gone over the Rainbow Bridge and he is not in any pain anymore.  Friday morning we woke up and it seems he had a stroke or something on top of everything else that was going on health wise with him.  He couldn't open his mouth. HE COULDN'T OPEN HIS LITTLE MOUTH.  Not to drink, not to eat, not to lick and not even to meow.  The right side of his face was so weighed down that he couldn't do it anymore.

And so we knew.  We knew without a doubt that if he cannot open his mouth, he cannot live.  I made the appointment nobody ever wants to make for that evening and DH got home from work early to spend time with his best little friend.  It was the longest saddest day ever.  We were with him as he went and he went so peacefully, he just fell asleep and all the failings of his little body went away.  He was so alive in spirit and yet his body failed him. It's not fair.  IT IS NOT FAIR.  He was still his sweet little self and didn't understand what was happening to him and WE COULDN'T EXPLAIN IT TO HIM. 
Sally Boy got this mug for DH a few years ago, it says, "Sally is my B.F.F."  It's true.

Sally walked into my life in 2002 and that portion of our life was he and I and Eliza Jane Kitty, which was good.
I push around a different type of stroller today, but Sally loved it.
Single gal living in the city with two cats and a cat stroller, see where my life was heading before DH? 
Then we stormed into DH's life in 2007.  DH didn't have to accept us with open arms and more so LOVE US ABSOLUTELY, but he did.  He fell in love with these kitties.  And that portion of our life was UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE.  And here we are today.  And we have a life BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS with two new babies who got to meet Sally and we have the pictures, so many pictures!

I had the honor of spending the last few weeks Sally Boy as I'm home on maternity leave.  He was sweet with the babies as we knew he would be.  We only wish he could have stayed longer to share with them how amazing his huge spirit was.  But we will tell Sally tales for the rest of our lives and possibly longer.

We got to tell him everything he meant to us and love on him so much but it's never enough.  He was a truly special cat.  People who didn't like cats loved Sally.  People were better for knowing him.  And he picked me.  All those years ago, HE PICKED ME to spend his life with.   Please read the whole story if you haven't yet, you'll be glad you did. 

Talk about feeling all the feelings...this sucks.  This really sucks.  I know the hurt and the devastating pain we feel right now will pass and fade, but Sally's memory never ever will.  He rescued me when I needed rescuing most.  He might think I rescued him, but it was truly the other way around.  And I am such a better, sober person for having known him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Secrets Can be Funny - Even the Dark Ones

There are all these feelings.  The DARK FEELINGS that nobody wants you to talk about.

I am fairly confident in saying that every new mom who stays home with newborns has these feelings.  And multiply that by two, and you have this dark dark shit that you feel guilty about feeling.  GUESS WHAT?  I'm talking about it.  I'm alone.  This is about the loneliest I've ever felt, save for being a hopeless drunk.  It's completely different, mind you, but it's lonely nonetheless.  I'm on my own here during the day with two little beings, who while incredibly cute do nothing but SUCK THE LIFE OUT OF ME.  Literally and metaphorically.  My bewbies are drained and pumped so hard, they are pretty much indented.  While yes, we are incredibly grateful for these two precious gifts, CHRIST ON A BICYCLE they are exhausting and soul sucking. 

They are also soul affirming when they smile or do something funny, like fartcrying - which is just what it sounds like.  Fart-cry Fart-cry Fart-cry.  It's HILARIOUS.  You know, when a baby does it.  Not adults so much. Have some pride.  My dear sweet dumpster husband coined this term, HASHTAG FARTCRY (#fartcry).  Let's make it rain on Twitter, y'all. 

There's a lot of crying in the Dumpster House lately.  Babies and Mommy cry.  Sometimes at the same time, sometimes separately while mommy is in the shower she cries.  AND GUESS WHAT?  That is perfectly ok!  We all gotta get that shit out! 

I'm using online AA Meetings like they are a fucking life jacket right now.  A LIFE JACKET.  AA and meetings keep me sane.  Keep me sober.  Keep me connected.  I need that now more than ever.  I'm connected with other moms.  Other multiple moms.  And it helps.  It really does, HOWEVER.......

Sure you say, hey Katy, you are going out and having visitors and a wonderful family and support system and have a fantastic completely wonderful husband, so doesn't that help with the loneliness?  Well, of COURSE it does.  But you know what we drunks need?  OTHER DRUNKS.  I am saying all this here and I trust that you all will relate and not judge me.  That is what I do with other drunks.  They get it.  They get the deep dark loneliness that we can feel sometimes.  We are able to climb back out together if we acknowledge ALL THE FEELINGS.

Finding people we connect with is critical.  Drunks or not.  People we trust and that will have our backs when we call crying or write a text that says something like, "HOLY SHIT THESE BABIES ARE BEING ASSHOLES TODAY" and not think you aren't so fucking grateful for them is CRITICAL. 

There are more feelings now than I've ever had in my life.  And they are good and bad and don't have to define me or what I'm going through.  It's simply admitting that they are there and getting them out in the open and dealing with them that lessen their power.  I am NOT ALONE.  You are not alone. 

These two don't have any secrets.  Everything they feel is right out in the open.  I'm kind of jealous.
"Don't tell Mommy, but let's demand simultaneous feedings every time today!  That will make her lose her shit!  No rest for the weary, and GO!"

Here's the thing.  In the end, if we can laugh at ourselves and have people in our lives who we open up to that MAKE US LAUGH about all this, it can save us on a daily basis.  It's all so minute, it's all so small, my world right now.  It's babies.  Every day, all day.  AND THAT IS ISOLATING.  I have to keep connected or I'm done for.  This is the shit that keeps me sober and laughing and grateful every damn day.   

Thank YOU for reading and sharing and helping me every damn day.  I hope I'm doing the same for you. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Things I Love Thursday - Part 65

You better watch out because I'm gonna say fuck. 


Rollin' with the homies
The Thing I Love This Thursday is MALL WALKING.  And yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know I love my dear sweet dumpster husband, but it's Valentines Day and I'm sure there will be a barrage of lovey dovey posts today, so I ain't doing it. 

So, yeah, we went to the mall like three proper bad asses.  And this isn't any old mall, this is the mall in which I grew up skulking about.  This is a mall I haven't frequented in years and years, BECAUSE IT'S IN THE SUBURBS, SON and I get nervous leaving the safety of the city limits these days.  BUT this is a mall I bought Benetton sweaters in and Swatch watches and UNITS and stalked Contempo Casuals and got Annie's Pretzels in - like a late 80's/early 90's BOSS with big mothereffing hair, yo. 

My high school Senior Picture Circa 1991.  Home perm.  Wings.  Hoops.  Double piercing in left ear that was done at a YOUTH GROUP CHURCH RETREAT LIKE A GANGSTA, Shoulder Pads.  Shimmer lip gloss.  Necklace with a heart and someone has the key.  If only I could remember who that peg leg jeaned stud was......
Observations at the MOTHERFUCKING MALL, YO.
  1. There are a shit ton of mall walkers during a week day.
  2. EVERYONE wants to talk to the lady with the twins.  
  3. People pay way too much money for some bullshit.
  4. There are some real creepy dudes out there who really want to talk to a righteous MILF with babies. CREEPY CREEPS.
  5.  EVERYONE wants to talk to the lady with the twins. 
  6. There are a lot of moms and babies who all seem to KNOW EACH OTHER. 
  7. There are a lot of strollers and double strollers at this gangsta playground. --

Which is why I just parked on the upper level with our double stroller and threw the babies overboard.  I think they landed ok.  I mean, Hall landed on a slide and Oates was just content to lay there like a starfish in the middle of the screaming mob of punk ass kids.  SUBURBS.  CHECK IT.  Watch yourself, you could get a cap in yo' ass.  I left them there for maybe 30 minutes while I went to Wet Seal and tried on pleather pants, yo.  WAIT, you mean that's NOT a babysitting service in there?  The parents are supposed to supervise their kids there?  Shit.  No wonder they were all giving me the stink eye when I gave them a tip on our way out.  Oh well, live and learn.

We made it about 3 hours and then the meltdown started.  First Hall and then Oates.  We high tailed it to Nordstroms -- AND NO I DON'T WANT A SAMPLE OF STANKASS PERFUME I HAVE TWO WAILING BABES HERE -- because they have lovely ladies lounges.  We lounged and fed and changed our nappies.  Well, I didn't have to change mine at that point.  But then we went and got a Valentine's card for our main man and got the heck out.  One Starbucks, one pretzel and one card - $8.  A few hours of lovely walking around with babies and other humans who were quite lovely except for a couple smartass remarks, PRICELESS.  We will be back, mall. WE WILL BE BACK.

I leave you with this gem by my nerd crush, genius Ben Folds (that's the link to a post I did about him).   It's all I could think about walking through the mall today.  It was a good spazz dancing soundtrack for our walking like bad asses through the mall with heels and red lips.

And I smiled and smiled and every comment got a sincere "Thank you, yes, they are twins, a boy and a girl.  They are 5 weeks old and I am SO LUCKY."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Feeding Babies is My New Smoke Break

As I was covered in bewbie milk and actually looking out a window and really pondering life for the 8th time that day, I had an epiphany.

I wish I could credit whoever made this card, it's brilliant.  Thanks to Audra Jo for sending my way.


Also, it's been about a year since I quit smokes (read about it here).
and here - Journey to Quit Town.

So, two epiphanies really.

Anyway, as I was feeding two babies at once and looking out the window and wondering WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, KATY, and yet, ISN'T THIS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL?  It hit me.  I used to run outside to smoke and have these "deep thoughts" all the time.  

Here's how they are similar and how feeding babies has turned into my smoke break.

  1. I LOVE TO RUN AWAY.  Smoke breaks were PERFECT for that escape.  If I was getting uncomfortable or bored in a situation, I ran away to smoke.  Now I can't do that anymore, but I CAN run away and blame it on babies needing to be fed.  Perfect, right?  Who's gonna argue with babies needing to be fed?  A REAL JERK.  That's who.
  2. I always whipped out my bewbies while smoking.  What?  Don't everybody?
  3. My body is occupied with some magical transformation and crud while feeding babies.  Same as smoking.  JUST THE FEEDING IS ACTUALLY NOURISHING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.  The smoking, while glorious, was depleting my human beingness.
  4. Smoking cost a lot of money.  Feeding babies costs nada.  Zilch. Nothing.  Well, it costs how much food I put in my gullet, so yeah, nevermind.  I eat CONSTANTLY.
  5. Smoking kept me thin.  LIES!!!  I was all over the board with smoking, so I don't buy that.  I was super heavy and I was super thin.  Not until the past couple years would I consider myself "healthy".  Smoking didn't help me maintain my weight at all.  Now, feeding babies on the other hand, MY GODS I EAT WHATEVER I WANT AND STILL LOSE WEIGHT.  I'm only 10 pounds above my weight pre-pregnancy now and I haven't exercised at all (I hopefully get the ok from my doc about my c-section next week - HOORAY! Spinning classes here I come!).  In the meantime, curling car seats with fat babies in them while running up and down stairs, I guess that counts as exercise.   
  6. There is this social thing that happens when you are a smoker.  Those who smoke know what I am talking about.  I could go outside to smoke, ANYWHERE, and find somebody smoking and even if we didn't say a word, WE KNEW.  We knew we were feeding the need and getting a temporary reprieve from life and as that sweet sweet poison filled our lungs we were granted another short period of time where everything was manageable.
  7. I was granted time by myself while smoking.  So now, feeding babies, while they are TECHNICALLY SMALL LITTLE HUMANS, I am still by myself for that that time and it can become very meditative.  I contemplate deep shit, you guys.  Sometimes for real, and sometimes, just shit.  Babies make you think about shit. 
  8. I MISS SMOKING.  I miss it all the damn time.  Have I mentioned that?
  9. But I also firmly believe that even though it's not a mind altering drug like booze was for me, it really did limit my FEELING ALL THE FEELINGS.  It made me numb in some ways, and I don't accept that for myself any more.
  10. Babies will cry like crazy every 2 to three hours to be fed.  JUST LIKE THE BEAST THAT IS NICOTINE.
    I still heart this photo with the smoke in my mouth.  It's like my album cover from a period of time where I was wanting to quit so badly, and yet couldn't do it.  YET.  I was lost and wanting to be found.  Today I am Found.  Just for today.

    I won't ever judge a smoker or a drinker, as you know I'm a friend to users.  I am a user.  I am a drunk who doesn't drink today and a smoker who doesn't smoke today.  I can go back any time I want.   Just for today, I choose not to.  But those who do - RESPECT.  Users are not weak.  Users are strong.  We have to fight demons that non-users don't.  We are enemy number one.  And it's deadly.  We try to kill ourselves every day, and until we admit that to ourselves and knock that shit off, we keep getting closer and closer to actually doing it. 

    If and when you want to quit I can't tell you what to do or how to do it.  I can only tell you what I did, and it's not what works for everyone. ONE DAY AT A TIME. If you really want to drink or use or smoke tomorrow, you can.  But just for today, I choose not to.  I respect whatever and wherever you are on your journey.  And let me just say once more, DAMN, I MISS IT.  It doesn't just magically go away.  You have to find something to fill the hole.  I found AA.  You find whatever you want to fill that void.  When I am done feeding babies, I will have to keep filling the void with good stuff in order to not pick up again.  And I will.  Believe that.

    I miss the smoking most of all.  I have no shame in admitting that.  HOWEVER, The gratitude and the being present in this moment in this life is so much better.  The payoff of life and being worthy of more life is so worth it. I believe in myself and I believe that YOU are so worth it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sally Boy and The Beast

Sally Boy Kitty and The Beast (aka Hall) and the mama without her face on.

WELL WELL WELL.  What have we here?  It's time I tell y'all something that I've been dreading saying out loud to you, but that Dumpster Husband and I have been dealing with accepting for the past few months.  We are losing our boy.  We are losing our dear sweet Sally Boy Kitty.

If you don't know the whole story of this little guy and how he came into my life RIGHT WHEN I NEEDED HIM, please take a moment to read this - Straight from Sally Boy's Big Mouth.

We were in denial for a long time when the vet told us how much weight he was losing a couple years ago and that his kidneys were in trouble.  But then he got on some meds and gained some weight and seemed to be using his 19th life.  But a few months ago, this eye thing stated happening.  You can see it above in the picture with Hall riding him bareback.....he's got a winky eye.  It's related somehow to the kidney thing and we are just doing our best to make sure he is ok and enjoying his life.

We can't be selfish anymore with him. We have to accept that he's been with us for a long time and given us such joy and for that we are so grateful.  Now, we don't have any plans yet to do anything with him, but we are listening and watching so closely to what he is telling us. He's eating a ton and acting so much like himself with his quirks and zest for life that we keep seeing he's ok for a bit longer.

But when that goes away, and we know it will, we will need to do something (please see disclaimer at the end of this post).  On my visits to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to volunteer, I attended a seminar on Cats and loss and when to say goodbye without holding on or making it worse for your beloved fur babies.  It really changed the way I thought about all the stuff we could do to make them "feel better", when really, that's pretty selfish and more for the humans than for the fur babies a lot of the time, and it's often better to let them go with love.

We aren't there yet, but I wanted you all to know, because Sally Boy is kind of a big deal around these parts.  And he should be.  He helped me stay sober.  He helped me be a better and more responsible person right when I needed him to.  And now, he's being kind and learning about human babies and hopefully around long enough for them to learn about him. In the meantime, he gets lots of delicious wet food and treats and as much love and appreciation as we can give him for everything he's done for us. 

DISCLAIMER -  Please don't write me telling me what we should or shouldn't be doing with him as we feel confident we are doing the right thing by Sally Boy.  Respect, yo. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Do These Car Seats Make My Hips Look Big?

Do these car seats make my hips look big?  I'm pretty sure they do, right?  Well, since babies and baby shit (no pun intended) are my newest accessory it seems fitting that my hips don't lie.  CUE SHAKIRA.  
I am working this shit. 

I love dressing up.  No secret or shock there. I love high heels.  That's not a confession either.  The babies are almost 4 weeks old and I've found a way to dress and get out of the house ALMOST every day.  Or to have people over to give me some kind of break and adult conversation.   It's vital.  It's important to me that I feel and look good in some small way every day.  It seems vain, but it's all part of doing better every day.  If I'm not moving forward, I'm moving backward.  Online AA meetings are vital and saving my ragged ass.  What did young moms do without online meetings?  They are on my gratitude list for sure these days.

My babies have red lipstick all over them some days.  Don't call the DCFS,  It's from me kissing them with red lips.  Well, maybe on Hall it's actual red lipstick, but you know, just a little bit.  I CAN'T STOP KISSING THEM!

I whine-cried to my dear sweet dumpster husband this morning as I was feeding and pumping at once and he was leaving for work, "I WISH I WAS GOING TO WORK."  I cried a little longer and then it passed and I'm back to smiling and being grateful. Always being GRATEFUL even underneath the TIRED AND THE FRUSTRATED and the COW-LIKE feelings I have right now.  But we laugh.  And we laugh and we realize how lucky we are.  FEELING ALL THE FEELINGS!  You can't feel the highs without the lows.  And it's OK to feel sad or frustrated as long as I keep in mind, THIS TOO SHALL PASS.  And you know it always does.

Don't tell anyone, but some of my favorite moments are at 3am when DH gets up to feed one baby and I feed the other and we are half asleep but making each other laugh and encouraging each other and sometimes flying babies through the air because it is the ONLY THING THAT WILL MAKE HER STOP CRYING and we share these moments that only he and I will know for the rest of our lives.  

The fact that I used to be up at 3am riding the CTA trains DRUNK OUT OF MY MIND, by myself, in a blackout and not remembering how I got to the south side or back to the place I wound up in the morning is not lost on me.  How I made it out of those situations relatively unharmed and alive is reason enough for me to believe I'm supposed to be here.  Out of my stupors, I got another chance for this MUNDANE LIFE BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS.   I get to live in this warm place that has my name attached to it, with paychecks and benefits that I earn and share this HOME - not just a a crash pad, as was my existence for years - a HOME with my dear sweet dumpster husband who really loves me and my two sweet dumpster babies.  I mean, what in the world could be better than all that?

Nothing.  Nothing in the world could be better than this normal, every day, mundane, poopy and bewbie filled life I've gotten myself into right now.  And that, is what gets me up every damn morning.  I AM LIVING THE DREAM.  It's covered in bewbie milk, as is EVERYTHING right now, but it is such sweet bewbie milk, I couldn't be more grateful.  Even through tears.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Things I Love Thursday - Part 64

There really is so much I love this Thursday and every Thursday that it's hard to narrow it down to one thing.  But 64 times now, I have.  And I feel like I can keep this going forever.  Let's hope so!

Today it's kind of random thoughts on this here blog and funny shit about babies.  Cuz, you know, that is where I am right now in my life, and this blog is all about what's in my head and heart right at this moment.
I understand that reading my posts and my blog may be difficult for those who are struggling with trying to have or adopt a child.  I am constantly aware of how this feels because I was there too.  I want you to know that I never take any of this for granted and I know every second how very lucky we are. I do my own version of praying and sending love and light and hope and gratitude out to the universe for me and for you many many times a day.  I hope with all my heart you find happiness and gratitude for where you are in life and for what you have.  I get the most notes from people about sobriety and the struggle to get it and keep it, or for trying to create or add to your family.  For those notes, I am so grateful, and I believe in you.  

SOBRIETY and my journey to create a family are the two things I blog and talk about the most.  It's what this blog is about and I am so grateful you take the time to share and read it.

This is the status I posted yesterday on the Facebook Page -
"Good morning lovely capable dependable and full of hope Divers! Did we all make it through yesterday? We did! Today is another day to do better and be better. And to learn way more about being a good mama. Sobriety and motherhood are what I was meant to practice. And they go hand in hand. This is the best gig ever. Have a great day, everybody! *blowing you kisses*"
This is so true and if you regularly read my blog you know I am so grateful to be sober and ONLY BECAUSE I AM SOBER do I get to be a mama and do I get to be gifted with these babies. And the fact that all of you share in this journey with me just makes it so much more fun and also makes me feel like I'm a part of something bigger and more profound than just sitting in our apartment every day with these two little ones and KEEPING THEM ALIVE.  Oh my gods, HOW AM I KEEPING THEM ALIVE?  

But more than that is the idea that every day, I WILL FAIL.  I will fail at life, as I always have, as you always have, but the difference is today we can learn from it and hopefully not keep doing the same stupid shit over and over and over and expecting different results.  This is becoming especially clear right now as I messily and sometimes desperately flail around trying to be a good mama to these two little squishy beings that are entirely in my dear sweet dumpster husband's and my care.  HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO FEED TWO BABIES THAT ARE 17 DAYS OLD AT THE SAME TIME?  Holy shite, will that humble your cocky arse but quick. 

And man, DO I EVER FLAIL (think Kermit arms flailing about and that's kinda how I look several times a day right now). 

Here are my immediate gripes:
  1. These babies STILL cannot make a decent cup of coffee.
  2. They are so damn cute.  I mean really, tone it down a bit.
  3. They don't know how to give me a proper manicure, and gods forbid, if I paint my nails myself, they inevitably cry and I mess up my nails trying to calm them down.
  4. They smell really really delicious.
  7. They exhibit shoddy workmanship when I force them to put together all the furniture we keep getting from IKEA.  Lazy, really.
  8. Bewbies.
  9. They are only 6 to 7 pounds and sometimes they absolutely terrify us way more than a huge hulking menacing terrifying awful bad bad man.
  10. They can't seem to focus on things I want them to really focus on.  Like noticing and commenting on how cute I look today.  I mean, I wore this dress for you, babies.
  12. These babies are pretty poopy.  You understand.  POOPY ALL THE TIME!
  13. I get to practice baby juggling with two babies and feeding both at once.  This terrifies and excites me all at once.  It's like the ultimate test of determination and hope at the same time. 
  15. They really are a great way to lose weight.  I've lost almost 40 pounds now of the 55 I gained while pregnant.  Now if I can just get this c-section business to heal I can get back to spinning!  WOOT WOOT!  Stupid c-section.  
I'll close with this.  The Thing I really Love this Thursday is this - I love that we can joke about babies and bewbies and also sobriety - the serious yet very funny with perspective - stuff in life.  It's really the only way we can get through all this stuff every day without crawling in the corner and going fetal like a - you guessed it - LIKE A BABY.  Laughter is good.  Not taking things so seriously is good.  When I drank it was serious.  I drank to escape the seriousness of life and my desperate unhappiness and hopelessness.  There is no need for that today.  Today we celebrate the funny and the awesome.  For that, I am so grateful.  That, and, babies are pretty squishy and I love that too.  Flailing and squishy go quite well together.  

Gratuitous Hall & Oates and Sally Boy shot.