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It’s taken me a long time to even be able to think about writing about our Sabbie here, but I’d regret it if I never said anything, so here it goes.

On a cold November day in the year 2000, Ed and I went to the SPCA to get our first pet together. We’d been caring for his mom’s cat for a while and she was taking her back, so we wanted to get a cat of our own. I was hell bent on getting a female orange cat–it was all I could think about. And then we walked in to the room full of kittens, and this tiny little boy cat, white and orangeish brown, scaled my leg and body until he was perched right on my shoulder. And there he stayed, even as we looked at other cats. He wasn’t what we were looking for, but there was no questioning that he was ours. He picked us.

For his nearly 15 years with us, he was my constant companion and who I always called my real first born. He started acting weird on a Sunday. By Tuesday we had him at the vet. An xray showed that he may have ingested something he shouldn’t have–maybe a tree ornament hook, but a sonogram was ordered to be sure. We had to decide then and there, if it was a foreign object, were we going to pay for the surgery to have it removed and have his stomach and intestines repaired. We decided to keep him there to run the tests to see if he was strong enough for surgery (old cat, heart murmur, hadn’t been eating) and to wait for the ultrasound to get a better look.

The initial news was great–aside from being dehydrated and having lost a good deal of weight, he was in great shape. No organs were failing. The vet wasn’t sure whether the ultrasound would be that evening or the following morning, so I kept my plans to have dinner with some work friends and tried to relax. We’d just ordered when the vet called to say that the ultrasound had been done and that the prognosis wasn’t great. Sabbie hadn’t actually swallowed anything but had a huge tumor in his stomach that was blocking his intestines. Cancerous for sure. We could have the tumor removed, have his stomach and bowels resectioned, and deal with recovery, BUT he’d also need daily meds and chemotherapy. All of this meant that if he even survived the surgery, he’d have maybe 6 months to live.

So, I finished my dinner and went to pick him up to spend a few days with us at home before we took him back to be euthanized. They were good days. He nibbled small amounts of tuna and had tons of snuggles. I slept with him on the couch for all 3 of those nights. He was exhausted and weak from not being able to eat much, but he was still happy to be snuggled up with either of us and to be loved on.

We took him in on that Friday morning, so, less than a week since it all began. Ed walked us in and said his goodbyes but couldn’t stand to stay. I sat with him while everything was taken care of, and sat with him for a while after. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

He was a really good boy. I still think I hear him, or see him out of the corner of my eye, or sometimes think I feel him laying on my feet. It’s weird that he’s not here. I will miss him forever.

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The End

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For years now, we’ve discussed the end; specifically when we were going to put an end to the possibility of more babies and who was going to, you know,  take care of it. I’d looked in to procedures for me. I’d even considered having my tubes tied after the twins since I was having a c-section anyway, but couldn’t have it done because we were in a catholic hospital. For years, we’ve danced around it, both certain we didn’t want any more babies, but not certain enough to go through with anything permanent. Until now, that is.  Ed is scheduled for surgery next week.

Which, you know, is great. I never thought he’d be the one to do it. Never EVER, and even though it’s a bit more complicated (he can’t have it in office; has to be put under), he’s still going through with it. I’m relieved to be able to say once and for all that we are done and not have to worry about it, but at the same time, I am very very sad.

I can say without a shred of doubt that I don’t want another baby. I don’t look at our family and feel like anyone is missing. We have 5 perfect children. I am certain that we are all here. I don’t want to ever be pregnant again. For the better part of 10 years, my body was not my own. Pregnancy was hard on me–especially the last 2 times. I don’t think I could handle being physically and mentally taxed that way again, even if I did want to. So, if I am secure in knowing these things, why is it so hard?

It feels like more than the end of an era to me. We will look back on the years of 2003-2013 as the years we were growing and having babies. 10 solid years. Putting a permanent stop to it just seems so final to me, and it kind of makes me feel like “now what?”. We keep raising these 5 kids obviously, but before we know it, they will be gone. Living their own lives and THEN what? We sit around waiting to die, I guess.

Ok, I don’t think that I really feel that way, but it’s hard to not feel like everything is bleak and dark and terrible. I think about the early phase of pregnancy where only a few people know, and it is just the best and most exciting secret ever. And then when everyone knows, and is caught up in the anticipation and waiting for the new baby: boy or girl, who it look like, what kind of small person it will be. And then to those newborn days…man I just love having a newborn around to snuffle and to be all consumed with their care. It is probably one of my very favorite things. And it’s just over now.

 I know that I’m done with that phase of life. By choice. I don’t want any more babies. But to make it official well, it’s just very hard to process all of the feelings that come along with it. Telling myself that we are all here now and looking at their faces is a great comfort. Really, it helps; so much so that I am going to say it here. Our family is done growing. We are all here.

I might need a little bit of time, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be ok.

That Time I Relied on the Herd

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00hannahFive years ago, we had a very sick baby. She wasn’t gravely ill, mind you, but sick enough where there was a lot of fretting on my part. Would she ever sleep? Would the reflux that usually goes away in infancy ever actually go away? Would the ear tubes make a difference and finally give her some relief? Would the medication I was leery about help? Would it present the scary side effects I’d heard about?

Hannah had chronic ear infections beyond anything I’d ever heard of. One on top of the other, never fully going away. A side effect of her ear issues was horrible acid reflux. Hannah didn’t sleep through the night until she was well past 3 years old because she was so sick as a baby that she never developed the good sleep habits. Even after we got her tubes placed, she required a year of medication to basically dry her up. I worried constantly about her during that time. I wanted her to be better right away without having to go through surgery and medications. I didn’t want to play a game of wait and see, but unfortunately, I had no choice.

As a result of her already compromised immune system, Hannah’s vaccines were severely delayed. I worried about so many things then, but it never once occurred to me to worry about her contracting measles or any of the other communicable diseases for which we are routinely vaccinated. Herd immunity wasn’t a term I knew then. It didn’t even begin to occur to me that she could be in danger. Why? Because people vaccinate! Duh!

Of course now we live in a world where we know that isn’t true. The anti-vaccination movement is in all of our faces. Multiple times a day on Facebook. Debates on Twitter. On both local and national news. Everybody is talking about it. Everyone has an opinion. Until now, I thought my role in supporting vaccines was to quietly stand by, share some articles on Facebook here and there, and just be glad that all five of my children are fully vaccinated. I thought to myself countless times “I’m not well spoken about science. I’m not great in debates. This is about all that I can do.” That is, until I remembered, and I went from being a quiet advocate to being really pissed.


I have a fury in my gut that I can’t even place right now.  I’m not angry at any one person or even anti-vaxxers in general. I don’t think that someone who doesn’t vaccinate their child doesn’t love them and I believe that most who are anti-vaccine have actually done a significant amount of research. My problem is that none of the research that supports the anti-vaccine movement has any basis in science, but so much of it is presented as such.

Thankfully, Hannah is 6 (and a half, she will remind you) now, is perfectly healthy, and as I mentioned before is fully vaccinated. I am grateful for the modern medicine that first got her well, and later gave her immunity to deadly diseases. I’m not going to be as quiet anymore. What we went through is not very uncommon and it pains me to think of the fear that parents going through the same thing today must feel. Vaccines are important. Herd immunity is important. I’m just a small voice. I can’t force anyone to listen to me, of course, but knowing now that things could have been worse, I have to try.

Nearly Six Months

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That is, since the last time I wrote here. I’m pretty sure that’s the longest I’ve gone without writing since I began blogging 15 years ago. Part of it is that the filters on my work computer have actually blocked my blog. I did a fair amount of my writing on my lunch break, and while I technically could open my personal computer then, it just hasn’t happened. I’m trying to figure out why.

Lots of things have happened since I last wrote. Hannah turned 6, Cait 9, and Eddie just turned 11. The twins will be 2 in like, 3 weeks. If anyone can explain to me how that is possible, I’d be ever so grateful.

Anyway, I’m dipping my toes back in tonight to see if I really miss this as much as I’m telling myself I do. To see if I want to commit to making the effort.

I…kinda think I do.

Protected: Let’s just say…

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Protected: How I feel about it/her/everything (Part 1)

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Quick Bits, Including Questions

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I have lots of small things on my mind, so it’s definite;y time for bullets.

  • We are having our lawn regraded and reseeded within the next week.  In the short term it’s going to suck because the kids and the dog won’t be allowed on the lawn for 2 weeks, but I am looking forward to even terrain and lush grass this summer. Our yard has been a mess because of the remodeling we’ve done over the last 2 years.  I’m sure the neighbors will be happy that the yard doesn’t look like a bunch of hillbillies live here too.
  • We have broken 3 scales in the last month. THREE. Not for any good reason either; they just randomly stop working. Our last one lasted like 8 years, so I don’t know what the deal is. Tell me, do you have a good scale? I need to know what to buy that is going to last because I’m going nuts.
  • Does anyone ever win the jackpot on the prize wheel in Candy Crush? I land on it frequently only to be bumped off. I think it’s a racket.
  • SPEAKING of rackets, I am so irritated with Cait’s dance company. First, we get a note home that dress rehearsal is at 4pm on Thursday, so I’m annoyed becuase my kids don’t even get home until 4, so I have to pull them out at like, 2:30 to have Cait in costume and ready to go to be at the venue (30 minutes from here) by 4pm. THEN! Yesterday they called and told me that I never paid for my rehearsal tickets, and that I needed them to get in the door for dress rehearsal tomorrow. I’m sorry, but what the actual fuck? I pay $50/month all year, whatever the costume cost, $15 per ticket for the recital itself, and now I have to pay for her to rehearse? I’m beyond livid! She’s not doing it again next year.
  • She’ll be cheerleading anyway. So will Hannah. The season including competition goes through November, so we are saying No to dance.  Eff that noise. Eddie is playing football too.  I have Feelings about this, but he has begged since he was little, and I’ve never seen him be so passionate about anything before. I’m super nervous about injuries and such. He’s a tough kid, but he isn’t invincible. I wish he was content to keep playing flag, but he’s not. And i know, we’re the parents and blah blah blah, but I have issues with not being allowed to do anything I wanted to do in my childhood (I had no extracurriculars until I was old enough to get myself there and back) and, well…anyway. He’s doing it.
  • Um, are you guys watching Fargo? We are and we are LOVING it. Two of the main characters are named Molly and Gus, so that’s fun too. It is so good though, and Billy Bob Thornton is fantastic.  Watch it if you aren’t already.
  • I had a super weird dream last night that Mike Rowe really liked a piece I wrote on my blog and shared it on Facebook. He was going to try and get me a deal with a publisher. I was super nervous that because of him, my mother would find my blog, so I declined and went to work as a secretary for one of Howard Stern’s assistants. It was weird, and given that I barely slept since Molly is sick and refuses to sleep, I think my brain must be going haywire.
  • I will update on my other blog probably tomorrow, but my program is going pretty well. I’m down about 13lbs overall which is pretty good for 3 weeks, I think. Of course Ed is down 25. Don’t worry, I haven’t murdered him. Yet.
  • I got new glasses to wear all the time instead of just for reading, and I’m still getting used actually wearing them. I definitely notice when I don’t have them on though. Getting old is a real bitch.

Thoughts on Twin Parenting-Month 14 (What??)

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I can’t believe that I never even got around to posing about the twins’ first birthday. Work and life man. I know.  Lame. their actual birthday was good though, aside from Gus completely losing his shit over frosting being all over his hands and being totally uncooperative for any photos. There were a few though:










Month 13 is kind of a blur. They did some things, I guess. I don’t remember. It was a whole month ago! A lot of Double Trouble happening for sure:













Which brings us to today, when they have turned 14 months old. It doesn’t seem possible that so much time has passed, and yet here they are.  Molly is walking and running. Gus finally gave up the army crawl for regular crawling, but really has no interest in doing any walking himself.  They chase each other around. They play together and babble at each other and it is really just the best thing ever. Well, except for when they kiss and hug each other.  THAT’S the best thing ever. There is also a fair amount of rough housing, hair pulling and slapping. I guess it’s to be expected, but damn.

They have quite a few words between the two of them. Both can say: more, kitty, no, mama, Hannah, banana, Caitlyn, woof, bottle, hiya, hi, hello, ball, night night and thank you. Molly can also say shake. Gus also says: Go (usually shaking his finger and always “go go go!”), tickle and sock. Both love to give kisses and hugs, and know how to high five. They pretend lots of toys are phones and put them to their ears and say “hewwoo?” and it’s adorable. They sleep pretty well, though Gus has been ending up in our bed for a good chunk of the night recently. They eat pretty much everything we do, and BOY can they ever eat. They eat a ton. They are pretty delightful little toddlers.


















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The thing about putting stuff out there on the internet is that now, if I do fail, everybody will know. This is all so much a mental thing for me. Already, my brain is telling me that I’m never going to make it through 12 weeks.  That I’m not good enough. That even if I do make it through, it won’t be worth it OR that I’ll just go back to my old ways later on.

I was talking with my brother (M) about our youngest brother (T) this week. I’ve been pretty vocal about not being happy about his life choices, and the upheaval he insists on causing our family. M thinks that subconsciously, T has learned from our mother that no matter what, someone will always just be there to bail you out and take care of you. No matter how awful things get. No matter the consequence. And while this is some deep shit to get in to, it really resonated with me. He may not be wrong. I am something of a successful adult but I have to work hard to overcome an attitude of “Meh…things will work out just fine…” and actually get off of my ass and do things. I think am more like her than I really care to admit. I’m not calling my mother out for being a horrible person here. I’ve mostly made peace with the person she is and I know she will never change. I have decided to love her anyway. My kids think she hung the moon, and they never have to live with her day in and day out, so it’s good. It’s fine. I’m rambling.

But. BUT. I have a point.

She posted on Facebook maybe two weeks ago that she was finally done.  Quitting smoking. She had support and just knew she could do it. (She doesn’t smoke around my kids, FYI) You see where this is going, yes? She lasted maybe a day or two and just goes on acting like she never said anything. So, I guess my fear is that now that I’ve made the sweeping declaration, that I’m going to fail too, but maybe try to hide it. Or act like I never said I wanted to do this. This is maybe The Crazy coming out. I don’t know.

What I’m thinking here is that the biggest obstacle I have to overcome is myself. I need to be accountable to my support person, and to Ed, but the number one person I need to show that I CAN actually do this, is me. I think the only way to make it happen is to take it day by day.  It’s still super scary, but taking it one day at a time makes it less so. I can do this. I will do this. I’m not talking myself out of it today. If I need a mantra, that will be it.


In other news, I’ve signed up for My Fitness Pal, purchased a FitBit, and am considering a good blender for smoothies and juices. I also started a separate blog to talk about what I’m doing. Let me know if the comments if you want the blog link or if you want to be friends with me on the other things and I will email you. I feel like the more people I have on my side, the better. Most of the time my excitement outweighs the terror. Yes.  I’m excited. Let’s go with that.

Doing Something About It

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It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like myself. I mean, a really long time.

I was kind of getting back to me before I got pregnant with the twins.  I was enjoying life, and felt balanced between work and home. I got involved at the kids’ school and made friends. I was exercising and I was actually enjoying it. This isn’t to say that the gestating and birth of the twins ruined me by any means, but I have felt a bit set back, stretched thin, frazzled, anxious and definitely not the person I want to be. I discovered recently that a good chunk of feeling this way had to do with letting my thyroid meds lapse.  I was super foggy and sluggish and it was impacting every aspect of my life. I’ve gotten that under control, and am 5 weeks in to re-medicating and I feel a lot better.  I’m functioning like a human again. Remembering to do the simple tasks that I couldn’t focus on before and thinking clearly.

And this has been great. I’m organized and getting things done and still having time left over for some fun, but I’m not quite there yet. I’ve been thinking a lot about last summer, how I went on a “diet” which basically eliminated gluten and dairy from my life, and how I can’t remember the last time I felt that good.  And I began beating myself up because, why, if I was feeling so great last year, would I start putting all of the things that make me feel so terrible back in to my body.  And let’s not even get started on my body image, and how badly I feel about the way that I look. That’s sort of secondary to wanting to be healthy, but it is still something I struggle with. I don’t want to be a MILF, per se, but I do want to look as if I haven’t completely given up and it’s hard to do that when for all intents and purposes, I have.

I originally gained a bulk of weight due to a long misdiagnosed auto-immune disorder that gave me a severely underactive thyroid. Once diagnosed and medicated, some of the weight came off but I had to work really hard at it. Then I got married and started having babies, and basically said “fuck it.” It is so much easier to eat what I want when I want it. To not have to worry about willpower. To be one of those people who says “I may be fat, but I’m happy!” I’ve been on health kicks before, but they always fall by the wayside when something better (for example, cake) comes along. I’ve talked myself out of it a million times–I’m actually pretty healthy. I have low blood pressure and great cholesterol numbers. I exercise some–not enough, but some, and this is probably the only reason that I don’t weigh double what I do now. The problem is that I cannot stop shoving crap in my mouth, which starts a cycle of me feeling badly in both my mind and my actual gut. I almost always regret the junk I eat within minutes, but of course, the damage is already done at that point. So I eat more. And it doesn’t stop. Ever.

What I want is for food to stop consuming my life. I want to be able to have a slice of cake on occasion and not be tempted to eat the whole cake. I’d like to go to the grocery store and not be consumed with what treat I’m going to buy myself. I’ve thought a lot about it, and have decided to get some professional help. This is very much a mental thing for me; something I’m never going to get past by just dieting on my own.

Ed has a friend who runs a weight loss clinic. He was on one of their programs when I was pregnant with the twins and had a lot of success. I’ve tried being accountable to myself and it hasn’t worked. I’ve tried to do it on my own for the better part of 15 years. I can’t do it. So, starting on Monday, for the span of 12 weeks, I will have someone telling me what I can eat and when I can eat it. I’ll be checking in with her daily and meeting face to face weekly.  I don’t think that it’s going to be easy. In fact, I’m kind of nervous about it. What will I do when I can’t eat my feelings?

I have to keep a daily journal as part of the program, so I’m considering blogging the whole thing–probably not here but in a different space. I’ll share that link if it happens. In the meantime, I’m going to do my best to not binge eat this weekend. I was going to end this by saying “Wish me luck!”, but I don’t think I need luck. I need strength, and maybe just some love. I want to be a better me–for my kids and for my husband. And for me too. I really hope I can do it.