He Kept Trying To Help

He kept trying to help, but no matter what he did, it wasn’t helping. On the days he made dinner, he left the counter dirty and loads of pots and pans in the sink.  On the days he completed projects around the house, he was busy for so long she felt abandoned.  On the days he stayed nearby she felt smothered.  When he said to wake him up whenever she wanted him to feed the baby, she knew she’d be awake anyway, listening to him feed the baby, so what was the point?  When he asked if he could pick anything up at the store on his way home, she couldn’t think of anything she needed.   He kept trying to help, but she didn’t feel like he was much help at all.

He tried a new tactic.  “Tell me what you need”, he said.  She had to think. What DID she need?

As ridiculous as it seems, she didn’t really know what she needed.  All she knew was that she needed to feel better.

She worked to organize her thoughts so she could come up with a response.  Even though it was difficult for her to do, she made attempts to start telling him when she needed something.  She noticed that he became infinitely more helpful.

One day, she pulled in the driveway, with the kids loaded in the back seat. He greeted her at the car and looked at her face, at her drawn mouth, at her tired eyes.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing”.

But her quivering lips betrayed her.

“Something must be wrong”.

She wanted to tell him what was wrong, but was coming up blank when she tried to think of what exactly it was that was so bad.  She had no legitimate complaints.  She knew she couldn’t say “nothing” again, so she said the first thing that popped into her head.

 “I don’t have time to get anything done”.

“What needs to get done?”

“All I’ve done today is change diapers and feed the kids and the kitchen is a mess”.  

She realized that she didn’t answer his question, but couldn’t think of what to say about what it might be she wanted to get done that she wasn’t able to do.  She hastily added the only thing she could think of that resembled a reasonable answer to his question, “And I didn’t have time to go for a jog”.  

Ah ha.  Something he could work with.  Something he could help with.

“You’re the only one who thinks you don’t have enough time to do anything.  Go work out”. With that, he grabbed the kids and the diaper bag and when she opened her mouth to protest that there wasn’t time, he looked at her and repeated firmly, “Go workout.  Go”.

Instead of arguing, as she was often quick to do, she took him up on his offer to watch the kids while she went for a short run.   As she was jogging, she realized that he helped her in a way she didn’t always acknowledge, or even consciously remember, that she needed help with.

She needed a lot of help feeling better.  She always had, and she always would.

Somehow she kept forgetting that what she needed to do was to make sure she wasn’t falling apart.  She kept forgetting that even though she sometimes felt on top of the world, she would never be capable of holding on to that feeling for very long.  She kept forgetting that her natural inclination was to sink into a never-ending pit of depression and that the only way out was to keep doing what worked to pull her from the darkness, instead of pretending she was cured and stopping her needed therapies.

Running was one of the things that helped her.  Without the movement, without the chemical release, she sometimes wouldn’t feel good, or okay, or even so-so. Without it, she was capable of feeling horrible, or melancholic, or like maybe it would be better if she wasn’t here at all.  She couldn’t be a good wife, or more importantly, a good mama, without feeling better.  

THAT was really the most important thing she needed to get done. The kitchen could wait. Feeling better could not.

She knew she wouldn’t magically feel better just because she wanted to.  She knew she couldn’t feel better solely on her own. Thank goodness he kept trying to help.

 

 

 

Spouses: If They’re Really Good At One Thing, They Really Suck At Something Else

English: A male and a female holding hands.

When we first fall in love, we notice only the admirable qualities our partner possesses. Mother Nature has watched many a fool, in the beginning stages of a relationship, believe they have found True Perfection, and she has laughed her ass off each and every time at such naiveté. True Perfection in human character is nothing more than a fond illusion; for every superior quality, an equally superb flaw exists.  Though it may take some time for these blemishes to reach the surface, there is no avoiding the inevitable pus-filled Character Defect Outbreak in the end.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  (Did you hear that, self? I’m talking to you, too). Mother Nature is both a giving nurturer and also a cruel beast.  

A random sampling of examples exhibiting what one can be good at, and simultaneously royally sucking at, can be found below:

Can spend two hours maneuvering a chainsaw and chopping down a 30 foot tree, ensuring it falls safely away from the house, but cannot spend 4 minutes chopping an onion or green pepper to help prepare fajitas for dinner.

Can take apart and reassemble a car engine, a vacuum cleaner or a laptop computer, but can not take apart and reassemble the rice cooker in the kitchen or the toilet paper roll holder in the bathroom.

Can scrape the paint from the exterior siding of an entire house, yet can not manage to scrape the price stickers off of birthday or holiday gifts before giving them to the recipient.

Can notice a speck of dust on the mantle, or a wisp of spider web in the upper reaches of a tray ceiling, but can not notice when the soles of their socks are held together by only 7 interconnected threads, or that their eyebrow hairs are extending beyond their face and inching towards their ears.

Can figure out a way to budget and put away money into multiple savings accounts, stocks and 401k’s, can implement projects which save the company at work at millions of dollars, but can not figure out how your bi-monthly hair cut and color can possibly fit into the family budget (meanwhile 37 sports package add-ons can be added to the cable bill).

Can understand complicated instruction manuals (even the ones from IKEA) and could navigate to safety if lost in the woods with only a map and a compass, or perhaps even armed only with a mental image of the constellations and a view of the night sky, but can not figure out which type of medicine could possibly be taken to remedy a headache or a stuffy nose. Tylenol Cold and Flu?  Sinutab? Mirilax? It’s SO CONFUSING.

Can sit stealthily up in a blind for hours on end, not disturbing a squirrel, ladybug, or any other living thing, with the hopes of hunting down a deer, but can not eat a bowl of cereal in the kitchen without sounding like they are chewing on a bowl of gravel, and the grinding echoing through the house.

Can remember every relative’s birthday, every family member’s doctor and dental appointment dates for the entire year, and can remember what your second cousin George’s ex-girlfriend-from-7-years-ago’s cat’s name was, but can not remember to turn off a light switch. In any room, hallway or closet in the house. Or garage. Ever.

Can bathe, suction snot out of noses, clip fingernails and read educational books to the kids, while simultaneously cooking dinner, doing 4 loads of laundry and mopping the floors, but can not talk, speak or listen while applying mascara.

Can work out six days per week, can be capable of performing yoga hand stands and running marathons, but can not open a jar of pickles or a screw top beer without assistance.

Can excel at cooking, gardening and sewing but can not manage to find common ground with your mother, who excels at cooking, gardening and sewing.

Can use alarms and timers and careful planning to be punctual for every appointment and event on the calendar, but can not manage to remember that there is meatloaf in the oven or noodle casserole on the stove top that needs to be stirred until after it can be smelled burning.

What does your spouse do well….and not so well?

If you liked this post you may also like  10 Key Pointers For Picking A Mate and  Ten Tips For Sustaining A Long-Lasting Marriage

10 Tips For Sustaining A Long-Lasting Marriage

During the honeymoon phase, relationships are easy. They are all adventure and excitement and newness.  But as the years wear on, the excitement dies down and reality sets in.  Here are some tips to ensure that you are giving your spouse what he or she needs, so the two of you can make it for the long haul.

1. Schedule your sexy time. Instead of silly, immature, impromptu sexcapades, ask your spouse if they want to have sex at 7pm on Tuesday. On. The. Dot. Everyone appreciates it when time is carved out just for them. However if they arrive any later than 7.15, withhold sex acts of any kind. No one likes to be stood up for a date. When they try to make a move, pull out your day planner and have them reschedule.

2.  Announce every time you’re going to the bathroom. The old, “Honey, I’ve gotta take a crap” routine never gets old, and everyone appreciates a truly open an honest relationship

3.  Help each other remove excess hair. Shave your man’s back, or help wax your lady’s upper lip.  A bit of southern landscaping may or may not be needed, from time to time.  Everyone appreciates when their significant other makes them feel attractive.

4.  Sleep with the television on all night. But, only if your spouse prefers silent, inky darkness. It’s good to help them broaden their horizons.

5.  Eat the last of the Chocolate Moose Tracks.  Or whatever favorite treat your spouse enjoys. Everyone wants someone to help them stay in shape. Tip:  This is especially true during/after pregnancy.

6.  Pretend to be asleep when you hear your child wake up.  Do NOT get up, no matter how long it takes your spouse to finally get up and tend to the child, because everyone appreciates being able to spend some extra quality time with their kid.

7.  Provide a counter-argument for every stance your spouse takes. Parenting. Politics. Religion. Pantry organization. No subject is too big or too small to stand up to spousal scrutiny. Your spouse will either gain negotiating skills or become so beaten down that he or she will go to great lengths to avoid a debate with you. Either way, it’s a win.

8.  Ask for things. A glass of water. A slice of bread with peanut butter on it. Help doing any task your spouse routinely does independently, such as carrying the baby AND the diaper bag, simultaneously. It’s good to help your spouse feel needed and capable. Bonus: If you ask for that water when you’re both upstairs in bed, you’ll also be helping them tone their quads and glutes by trudging up and down the stairs.

9. Ogle attractive strangers. Stare at your waitress as she walks away, eyeball your kids soccer coach, demand to watch a movie because your favorite on screen lover plays the lead role. This is a tough love tactic. No one wants to be taken for granted, so reminders that your spouse isn’t the only fish in the sea are sometimes needed.

10.  Answer questions with mirror questions. “What do you want for dinner?”  “What do you want?” , “What is the name of that show with the chainsaw murderer who works at the daycare?” “What is that show called?” The only communication tip better than this one is giving an answer to a completely different question than the one asked. “What do you want for dinner?”  “I heard about this high protein shake mix that you drink right after a workout that’s supposed to help build muscles 82 times faster than normal”.  By utilizing one of these communication modes you’re sure to engage your partner and avoid any awkward silent moments.

What other tips would you recommend?

If you liked this post you may also enjoy 10 Key Pointers For Picking A Mate and A Special Fart. One I View Lovingly.

A couple of 14-carat gold wedding rings. Pictu...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10 Key Pointers For Picking A Mate

How to pick a mate – from the fairer sex perspective.

1)  Pick someone bigger than you.  It doesn’t matter what size you are, it matters how big you are compared to the person next to you. If  you are 4′ 8″  and 79 lbs, you pick someone who’s at least 5′ 2″ and you’re good.  If you’re 6′ 3″ and 330 lbs, go for the 6’5″, 440 pounder.  If you aren’t sure if your choice meets the criteria for being enough bigger than you, refer to the spousal proportionality index (I’m sure it can be found on Google).

2)  Pick someone who looks like they could be related to you.  Just because it seems to work out well, usually.  Bonus:  This same rule applies to picking out pets!  Ignore this rule if you hate your family.  Then pick someone with exactly opposite features.  You have big, round eyes?  Pick someone squinty.  You have darker skin?  Pick someone who burns after 4.3 seconds of Sun exposure.  Hate communicating with your mother?  Pick an English language learner.  You get the idea.

3)  The hairier the better.  Even if you are a hairy brute, if you pick someone with 342 hairs per square inch more than you have, you’ll look delicate in comparison.  You will, however, have to invest in laser hair removal for your children, in lieu of a college fund.

Notice how my ooly warms appear relatively  dainty?  This is how you do it.

Notice how my wooly arms appear relatively dainty? This is how you do it.

4)  You need one nag.  There has to be one person who cares passionately about the lights being turned off, the counter tops being cleared, and the organization of the shoe rack.  Passionately!  If we do not all pair up to ensure this 1-1 nag ratio, the Earth would implode while simultaneously being taken over by an evil cat dictator.  At least, that’s the general idea I’m getting, based on Mr. Grouch’s feelings towards lights, counter tops and shoe racks.

5)  Pick a boozer who isn’t too much of a boozer.  You don’t want someone who doesn’t like to drink.  That’s boring.  But, you also don’t want someone who’s going to ruin the office Christmas party by signing photocopies of their ass and stuffing them in the decorative stockings on the walls, either.  Helpful Hint:  If you can find someone who truly drinks socially, as in 1-2 drinks max, then you’ll always have a designated driver.

6)  Pick someone who will let you complain.  You need someone to vent to about your stupid job, to side with you when you get pissed off at your stupid cousin, and someone to lean on when your stupid dog dies.

7) Pick someone who will tell you to shut up.  You don’t want to become some bitter, self-righteous harpy.  Even when your cousin is an asshole, or your cat chokes on a hairball (his, yours, or your mate’s) and bites the dust.  You need a kick in the pants every once in a while to regain some grace and put things in perspective.

8)  Make sure you can put up with their most annoying habits.  Because they aren’t going to go away.  The snoring and the loud chewing and the good morning farts will actually increase in intensity 20-fold. At least.  Learn to deal, or get out now, before your ear drums burst from the sound of Honey Nut Cheerios being munched, or you’re suffocated by cockcrow fumes.

9)  Pick someone whose family members you don’t want to punch in the mouth.  I mean, sometimes you will want to give a quick little sucker punch.  Pow. But, to be fair, you also want to give a little tap to members of your own family from time to time.  In some ways your in-laws will never really understand you, but in other ways you will be closer to them than your own blood.  Even though they are not yours by ancestry, they are now yours by proximity.  Don’t foolishly think they will go away – relatives love to stick nearby one another and drive each other batshit crazy, until the day they die.

10) Pick someone who gives you your space.  In the honeymoon stage all you want to do is cuddle and kiss and pet each other.  Once you’re over that sweet little hump you’re still going to enjoy spending quality time together, but you’ll no longer be willing to give up your weekly coffee dates with your friends, book club meetings (aka wine drinking and laugh-fests) and you are absolutely not going to want his foot to touch yours when you’re sleeping.  Trust me.  I have never understood how a King sized bed is the largest bed they make. There is so not enough space for two people who have been together for more than one year.

Any other tips for long-term couplings?

Couples at square dance, McIntosh County, Okla...

Couples at square dance, McIntosh County, Oklahoma (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Camping Trips As Spousal Screenings

Mr. Grouch and I met in 1997, my freshman year of college, his sophomore year.  It didn’t take long for me to fall head over heels.  At 18 years old, I knew he’d probably be the one I married, but we were young and foolish and we used to drive each other batshit crazy.  We broke up a few times and after 4 years of mostly-together-but-a-little-apart, we thought we might have broken up for good.  We were separated for  3 1/2 years before getting back together for ever-ever.

Within The Hiatus, we each dated other people.  I briefly kept company with a guy we’ll call Featherweight.  Featherweight and I decided to go camping for a weekend, and visit my friend Nic, who was in the middle of a months long hiking adventure on the Appalachian Trail.  I called Nic the day before we left so we would know his exact location on the trail.

Before hanging up, I asked him, “Have you seen any bears?”  I was expecting him to say no.

Nic is a tall, lanky blonde, who was dirty and smelly and scruffy from months of hiking along the trail.  He also pilfered 3 rolls of toilet paper – by unrolling them by hand – from the stalls at Applebees when we took him there at the end of the trip. The look on his mangy bearded face was priceless when we pointed out that we could have just given him several rolls we brought. But, that is completely irrelevant to the story.  Back to the phone call.

Apparently only one day earlier, he had been walking briskly, arms swinging, with his 40 lb. pack on his back.  He was listening to music and was so comfortable on the trail that he was paying more attention to his thoughts than the scenery, until he noticed a dark image out of the corner of his eye.  He turned his head to the left, threw his arms up and let out an “Ahhhh!” when he realized there was a large brown bear standing at close proximity.  He discovered that bears take loud yelling, accompanied with raised arms, to be an aggressive posture.  He told me, “Everything you learn about what to do when you come across a bear goes out the window.  I just started running”.

Nic started trotting down the trail and the bear started galloping after him.  A couple of trail runners were jogging in the opposite direction, and when they saw this chase, they turned around and started running the other way.  Three people in a row, sprinting as a brown bear followed.  Eventually the bear swiped at Nic’s pack and then stopped the chase.

Brown Bear in Spring

Brown Bear in Spring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember, this was the day before we were going to meet him on the trail.  My panicking-about-bears problem was born.

So Featherweight and I start hiking on the “trail”.  You can’t follow the Appalachian Trail by looking down at your feet because there aren’t clear paths worn away by walkers.  In order to make sure you stay on the trail, you have to look for white swipes of paint, called blazes, on the trees.  You scan to the left and to the right and when you see a blaze, you know to walk in that direction.  Then you scan again and search for the next blaze.  This is what they look like:

English: A typical white AT blaze along the tr...

A typical white AT blaze along the trail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After 3 miles of walking, Featherweight and I realize we had been walking in the wrong direction.  Crap.  We turned around and after 6 miles of hiking, we were back at the beginning.  The beginning of the end.  We were now going to arrive later than we thought, and later in the day meant closer to darkness and I now knew that darkness was full of bears.

I started walking faster.  It started getting darker.  I started walking FASTER.  Featherweight started lagging behind.  Featherweight started whining about his pack being too heavy.  Featherweight started whining about night-blindness and was all “I can’t see any of the blazes”.  Featherweight started whining about me going to fast.

I stared at him incredulously.  Darkness.  Blindness.  Bears.  This is when I knew for sure he wasn’t the one.  The proverbial straw on the camel’s back, if you will.  I will not be slowed down and potentially end up lost in the woods, in the dark, with bears.  I. Will. Not. Be. Slowed. Down. Even though Mr. Grouch and I never went camping, I knew if I needed him to keep up, he would.  He wouldn’t let me get eaten by a bear.  Even if he was tired, and hungry and couldn’t see, he’d at least protect me by making sure to keep up, you see?

Needless to say the camping experience with Featherweight was tense and awkward and we were so clearly OVER.  I advise all couples to put themselves in a few stressful situations before picking a mate, otherwise you might not realize you’re dating a Featherweight until it’s too late.

Mr. Grouch and I are now older and we still drive each other batshit crazy.  But, he can keep up with me, which makes him a keeper.

If you liked this post you may also enjoy An Open Valentine To Mr. Grouch

An Open Valentine to Mr. Grouch

I thought I had already completed my obligatory Valentine’s Day post, when I wrote a love letter to my nasal irrigation system.  But, then I thought there was no reason to disregard my OTHER lovey-dovey.  No need to mention which or whom I love more.

Mr. Grouch, you are a man apart,
You wake me with your Good Morning fart.

We met in the year Nineteen Ninety Seven,
According to you, we’re a match made in Heaven.

It is true that sometimes I want to give your head a punch,
And hear the bones in your nose go crunch.

But I am often reminded of your positive traits,
Your brains, your balls, your beautiful face.

You'll call customer service and be firm, yet nice,
You can get anyone selling to come down to your price.

You're a man! A strong man! You demand lots of power,
(yet I find it endearing, how bats and mice make you cower).

Your handyman projects save us so much dough,
That it’s okay the bathroom trim looks only so-so.

You're an incredible father, at parenting you're top rate,
Good luck with your plan though, to never let her date.

You rub my back and pull out my chair,
And do not care that I need vats of Nair.

You put up with me during my times of despair,
And my panic while camping - of attack by black bear.

If I asked, you’d make me coffee in the morning,
Except I no longer trust you, you made decaf once, without warning.

You are a manly man, a work of art,
And I love everything about you, for the most part.
Early 20th century Valentine's Day card, showi...

Early 20th century Valentine’s Day card, showing woman holding heart shaped decoration and flowers, scanned from period card from ca. 1910 with no notice of copyright. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The New Normal

So, my husband and I have been trying to have a child for about 3 1/2 years.  The first year we were just not “not trying”.  We figured it would happen within about a year – give or take and weren’t too worried.  To be honest, I was slightly nervous (read: terrified) at the thought of having kids, so I wasn’t in a huge rush.  After the year passed, we decided to officially “try”.  I’d had plenty of time to digest the reality of what children would bring to our life, and I was definitely ready.  “Trying” involved using ovulation predictor kits, and then when those were inconclusive, trying to have sex at least every other day (we actually did a pretty good job with this 😉 ).  But, in the end, there was nothing to show for all of that hard work, and after a second year had passed, we realized we needed a little more help.  Clearly, we should have realized we needed some intervention earlier, but we had naively thought that it would just happen, eventually.

We started fertility treatments, since it turned out that I have PCOS, and was likely not ovulating on my own at all.  And so began our “new normal”.

The new normal involved counting cycle days, and taking medications like Clomid, Metformin, Prometrium, Follistim and Ovidrel (the last two being injectable hormones – so I was giving myself shots 5-7 days per month).  The new normal meant having to use up precious sick days (will I have any left for maternity leave?), since internal ultrasounds were needed 2-3 times per month to check my ovaries and the progress of my follicles.  Sometimes these doctor visits could be done at a local facility, and other times we would have to make the hour-long commute for doctor appointments there.  It seemed many appointments ended up needing to be done on Saturdays, which meant spending a couple of hours in the car for a 20 minute appointment, since the local office wasn’t open on the weekend.

The new normal meant not being able to make plans for weekends or breaks, or having to cancel them, because I couldn’t be out of town if an ultrasound was needed.  It meant, at times, bringing along my zippered case of injectable meds, and heading to a bathroom stall between the hours of 6 and 8 pm to give myself a shot.

The new normal meant the continuous development of ovarian cysts, from the follicle stimulating hormones I was injecting into my abdomen.  These were incredibly disappointing as I would have to skip a month before we could try again, lest my ovaries become hyperstimulated (which can potentially lead to permanent infertility).  The cysts also meant I was often unable to run, something I very much enjoy and use as a stress reliever; it was feared my fallopian tube could twist due to the excessive weight of the ovary, potentially leading to the loss of that ovary.

The new normal meant going in for lab work, a few times each month.  One of the medications I was on resulted in me not starting a period as I normally would, so this included a blood draw at the end of a cycle, to determine if I was pregnant.  I got used to the pitying tone of the lab worker telling me, sorry, not pregnant.

As the months passed, the new normal became diminished hope and increasing frustration.  The new normal was a cloud of blackness, with days here and there where grey poked through.  Staying positive was a constant effort.  And, sometimes I just didn’t have the energy.

The new normal meant tears of anger and frustration at every announcement of a child-to-be. As one would expect, everyone around me started getting pregnant.  Or, at least that’s how it felt.  My friend’s announcements would leave me full of joy and excitment for them, while simultaneously feeling like I’d been literally punched in the gut and even more hopeless and frustrated than before.   After anyone who told me they were pregnant in the last year and a half, I typically cried the entire way home after hearing the news.  A little too much self-pitying, I knew, but the frustration and anger usually escaped.   And how dare some of those people COMPLAIN about pregnancy symptoms, or things they couldn’t do as a result of being pregnant?  I was certainly not understanding or sympathetic to those complaints (I’m still not, really).  I was sometimes a little bit mean.

The new normal meant having timed intercourse on certain days of the month, for the sole purpose of conceiving a child.  This takes a bit of the fun out of the process, let me tell you.  And, while we were generally lucky, this meant having to drive out of town to meet my husband where he was, if he had to travel out of town for work, on “cycle day 15 and 16”, or whatever days the doctor told us were the days to try.  Only once did I have to take a sick day, in order to drive 5 hours, into Ohio, to have sex with my husband that night and the next morning, and then immediately turn around to make the 5 hour return trip.

I’d see the baby pictures posted at the fertility center, no doubt supposed to be an inspiration, and literally wondered if those babies were actually the result of anything that happened in that office. I was pretty convinced they were ALL in-vitro babies, and all of the time and energy we were putting in was in vain.  Were they trying to get as much money from us as possible, knowing we would have to do in-vitro in the end anyway?

The new normal meant wondering what would happen if my husband and I couldn’t have children.  Ever since we met, he had talked about wanting a kids, and that this was something he felt was needed to lead a happy and fulfilling life.  The scariest thought ever, “Will my husband and I make it if we can’t have children?”  This was by far the worst part of the entire process.  Even though I never once doubted his love for me, I seriously began to wonder if he would be able to stay with me and live a childless life, or if he did, if he would be truly happy.

Two days after Christmas, I called to get the results from the lab, as I had done many times before.  The lab worker said, “Well, you’re numbers look good”.  Being my skeptical self, I wondered what the hell they were looking at, I didn’t care about all of my numbers, I only cared about the HCG – and she hadn’t specifically said THOSE numbers looked good, or, for that matter, what “good” meant.  She then added, “You’re pregnant”.  My jaw dropped, and my eyes popped out as I turned to look at my husband, who was sitting right next to me, listening in, in disbelief. I literally could not speak anymore and can’t remember if I just hung up on the lady or if I handed the phone to my husband to finish the conversation.  After hanging up, we had the longest hug ever, and I cried (at least this time I could blame it on the hormones).  I guess that trip to Ohio was worth it, after all.

The new normal became cautious optimism.

While there were a few scares early on, overall, this conception impaired blogger appears to be a pregnancy viking.  Finally, the second trimester has begun, and the new normal is sharing the good news, having an even greater sense of relief and excitement.  And, also becoming slightly afraid of stepping on the bathroom scale.

While I am fully aware that my sleep deprivation is only going to get worse, I’m very much looking forward to the new normal, about 6 months from now.

Sleep Deprivation Can Make You Do Stupid Things. Or, Maybe I Have ADD.

For our 4th anniversary, my husband and I decided to go on a road trip.  We bought a new (used) pop-up camper, hopped in the Jeep and headed West, towards South Dakota.  He had the idea for me to “blog” about our trip (which meant a facebook note, since I didn’t have a blog yet.  He didn’t realize at the time the blogging-monster he would soon create) so I documented as we drove, and it was really quite a jolly time.

Except for the day and a half that it sort of sucked. The first day of suckage, is pretty much unrelated to the second day of suckage, they just happened to be connected within the time-space continuum.  In my original post, I blogged a lot about the wind turbines and the buffalo and beautiful geology at the Badlands.  Included here is just the blurb about the day and a half that weren’t so fun.  Enjoy.

July 8th:

OH. MY. GOD.  We just got to our campsite for the night.  OH. MY.  GOD.  Ok, so we didn’t decide until 10pm the night before we left that we would drive for several hours, instead of stopping in St. Joe and staying with my sister on Thursday night, thus, we didn’t book any campgrounds ahead of time – as would be my preference.

So today, at lunch, we stopped somewhere with wireless so we could find a place to camp for the night.  We ate at a diner and we agreed we should drive for 5 or so more hours.  Ends up we would be near Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Ok, perfect.  So I Google campgrounds near Sioux Falls and Tower Campgrounds pops up.  It is close.  I call the number and they have ONLY ONE spot left.  So I think, well if it is full, it must be decent.  Didn’t check the reviews, honestly just wanted t o get something booked and done with.  I feel flustered and anxious when having to do things on short notice, or when I don’t want to do them (i.e. I wanted to do it ahead, but didn’t, so now just rush and don’t do a good job searching).  EFFING HORRIBLE IDEA.

So, it is right in town.  As in, I can see a gas station from our camp site.  Which, ok, not great.  But, could be dealt with on it’s own.  But then, each camper/tent is literally 5-10 feet from the next.  And I clearly understand now why this one spot was empty.  The lady in the camper next to us appears to live here.  She has a couple of dogs, and several cats, along with many young kittens living in the camper.  There are dozens of flies buzzing around the windows inside and outside the camper.  Husband went to the shower (we decided it wasn’t very safe here and should go one at a time).  And I hear her talking – I’m assuming to the animals in there, or perhaps to no one… yelling things about leaving her alone and “get out of there!” etc..  I hear a flicking noise which I believe can only be a lighter for which she is lighting her crack pipe, as she shoes her crack-addict pets away from her.  WE ARE NEXT DOOR TO THE CRAZY CRACK HEAD CAMPER CAT LADY….UGH!

I tried to convince Husband to pack up and leave, told him I could drive for 4-5 hours and stay at a rest stop.  He said this was my punishment for not checking the reviews.  I go to shower, come back and Husband noticed a bunch of dog shit near the table we had set up.  I again asked him if he wanted to leave.  After eating, I immediately retreated to the camper and thanked Husband in my head for bringing the TV (I normally hate the TV).  I just hope we can turn it up loud enough to drown out the din of traffic surrounding the site.

Ok, let me shout this loud and clear:  I WAS WRONG.  I WAS IMPATIENT.  I SHOULD HAVE CHECKED.  I’M GLAD MY HUSBAND BROUGHT A TV AND DVDS (I hate tv, and we had to negotiate him being able to bring this) !  GAH!!!!!  But having to stay at this shithole is certainly cruel and unusual punishment enough.  I have learned my lesson.

July 9th:

Um.  Ok.  So, I sort of understand why Texas has edited their history books – they don’t want to look like jackasses.  I was going to edit the history of this trip but the Husband won’t let me.  Penance.  So I’ll start by saying that maybe I have ADD.  And, I have sleep deprivation which makes me forgetful.   And, stupid.  I got distracted..by this crazy little devil girl at the campground…she was talking to me while I was supposed to take out the braces, that support the mechanical arms that hold the pop-up “up”.  I took them both off and then since I was talking to her (about why we were leaving and how we were ready to leave the shit-hole site) for some reason I put one of the braces back ON.  This didn’t work out so well when the Husband was turning the crank which was lowering the pop-up.  The one corner with the brace stayed up, popped some cable and we ended up having to call a maintenance guy to come lower the arm for us and then take it to an RV repair shop.

If my dad is reading this, I know he is slowly shaking his head, and thinking to himself how glad he is that I am off his hands and Husband now has to deal with me.  So….we ended up having to stay in hotels for the entirety of our trip, and we dragged our broken pop up behind us, like a bum leg, the entire 22 hours home.  (It ended up costing us $600 to fix the arm; plus we had the added costs of hotel rooms and going out to eat each night).

I asked the maintenance guy if he would still love his spouse if she did this, and he just said he didn’t have a wife.  I told him if he ever decided to spend his life with a special someone this sort of thing may happen and he would still have to love her.

Thank goodness this happened when we were celebrating our anniversary, since it forced my husband to at least partially focus on how lucky we are to have each other.  It appears the Husband still loves me and that is the only thing I care about.

A Special Fart. One I View Lovingly.

This blog is not about farts. If you are a fart-lover, I regret to inform you that this isn’t going to be chock full of anecdotes regarding gaseous emissions.  However.  There is one special fart that does belong here, as it ties in nicely with the topics of sleeping and waking.

While we were dating, I do not recall my husband being much of a farter.  Nothing note-worthy, anyway.  Once we got married, though, it was like someone turned that lever parallel to the pipe and let the natural gas flow. Usually after an emission, especially a nice loud one, my husband will look at me with an impish grin, and I will look back, repulsed, roll my eyes and say, “That’s gross”.  This is our routine.  In fact, sometimes my husband will just say, “That’s gross” for me, in a mocking, high-pitched voice.  At least he knows how I feel.  However, early in the morning, while I am still buried under my piles of blankets, I hear a different kind of fart.  It has a different timbre.  It is longer in duration.  Much longer.  It sounds slightly forced, but nothing painful. It’s like the equivalent of a loud yawn.  And this is the indication that my husband is going to get out of bed.  There is usually about a 5-10 minute window where he checks the news or Facebook on his phone, and then he arises.

I’m not even sure he knows that I know he does this.  Keep in mind, while he bounds out of bed, full of enthusiasm for the day, I am curled up in a fetal position, blankets tucked around me tightly, head buried in my pillow.  I may or may not be groaning a bit, in despair.  Each night, the sheets on my side of the bed become twisted and ripped from the mattress, so I am  laying directly on it (sidebar: this means that my cat, who sleeps at my feet, is also laying directly on the mattress and then my husband gets mad that there will be cat hair on it. Sigh.  I can’t help what I do in my sleep!)  My hand is poised to hit the snooze button so I can avoid the inevitable torture of placing my feet on the floor.  I am so exhausted at this point, that I don’t believe I have ever had the energy to respond to his vaporous alarm clock, I’ve never told him that I named this special little guy.  And I certainly have never told him that even though my face has a scowl, my eyes are squeezed shut, and my garbled response to anything he asks me is completely incomprehensible, that, for some reason, that sound makes me smile.  Well, at least on the inside.  That sound reminds me that he is such a better morning person than I am and I know that it makes him happy to greet the day with his flatulence.  And that makes my heart happy, too.  That’s true love, right there.