Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Why is it all of my girlfriends are defensively single? If I say anything about dating or ask about a man they may have met I am faced with a look of utter contempt. All of them are fiercly independent and quite capable of being on their own. Feminism at it's height...the collective goal we as women supposedly aim to achieve, free from the reins of a man... safely out of love's way. So it makes me wonder if my road taken is a bit cliche, I mean is it last century to find your True Love and raise some kids? It seems coupledom is being pushed aside as women are infused with a warrior cry of singularity. In marriage you trade your autonomy for partnership, but this is supposed to be beneficial and not at all sacrificial. So pardon me while I fold my husband's shirts and get dinner on the table by 5... I don't feel at all repressed, in fact you might say I feel... loved... adored... free... feminine.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Don't tell the Tish...

Christmas has swept in and emptied everyone's bank accounts, and ran off like a bandit with a trail of cheap plastic and torn giftwrap in it's wake. The last 4 days I have done absolutley nothing but enjoy my beautiful family, and imbibe in the occassional drink. 5 pounds heavier and a filthy house staring me in the face, I'm the happiest I have been in months. The kids look like gypsies, earlier today Mica was wearing pajamas under her clothes, the same clothes she had on yesterday, while JT is making a fashion statement in backwards Diego sweats, 2 sizes too small. There is a mountain of laundry in my bathroom, the dog keeps fruitlessly attempting to reach the top, his usual resting place long since buried. In fact, I haven't seen him in a while, I should check to be sure he hasn't been buried alive in dirty, holiday-colored sweaters. We've eaten at least 4 boxes of mac n'cheese, and an assortment of stolen tamales from various family members... that was just today. Now the clock is inching closer to bedtime, and I know when I awake in the morning Paul will be at work, the spell will be broken. I'll feed the kids a real breakfast, put on my raiders apron and pull out the bleach. Christmas is gone for another year, and with it goes the magic, leaving me and my calories to get back to reality. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'm leaving my bad luck in 2008!

I wish I was here updating everyone on the results of JT's MRIs. Unfortunately during his physical the doctor found that his airways are swollen from his asthma, and it would not be safe for him to be put under general anesthesia for the MRI. This news would have been only a slight annoyance if earlier that same day I hadn't:

*Left my keys in Paul's car, and had to impose on our friends Amy and Bridget to drive us to the appointment and watch Mica since I had NO carseat!
*Arrived at the doctor's office, only to find they had canceled JT's physical appointment under the false assumption it had to be done by an MD, not the PA on staff at the moment.
*Got dropped off back at home, called the MRI place, found that yes in fact the physical could be done by a PA, called the doctor back, and had the rude and unhelpful nurse tell me that no, they would not squeeze him back in even though the entire mess was their fault! Excuse my language, but BITCH!
*Made an appointment at a local clinic, had JTs godmother Miena drop everything, come get us, drive to the clinic and wait 3 hours past our appointment time to finally be told....

No, JT cannot have MRIs tomorrow!

For those of you who don't know, besides having NF2 and being visually challenged, JT has asthma and is allergic to eggs, milk, and dustmites. His teacher thinks he has ADHD, and he has motor skills problems (he is 6 and still can't swing correctly, and has problems writing)... but he is so damn smart and started reading at age 4, and would literally give the shirt off his back to a stranger. He is the sweetest little thing, and all of these obstacles will only serve to make him stronger, I will personally see to that myself!

Also, by the way, I came home to a fried network card and am typing this out on my dinosaur of a laptop. I can't front like I understand anything more than buying shoes on Zappos and posting pictures on Meetup, as evidenced by the fact that I used asterisks as bulletin points and have no idea how to do a HTML "list." I had my friend's husband come help me out and he was kind enough to keep me going on my old laptop while he gets me a network card.

Now I am off to play Spongebob Operation with Mica...

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a hope New Years!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Angel Baby

Before discovering I was pregnant with J.T. I was a hot mess. I won't even lie. I did what I wanted, when I wanted, and was all about immediate gratification. I was morbid and allowed myself to float from bad situations to worse situations. The very day I found out I was pregnant with J.T., I began to live. From that moment on little man has given me the strength and courage to leave an abusive relationship, clean myself up, and commit to a respectable existence. After a difficult pregnancy and a simple labor I finally held him in my arms. In 9 short months I had completely changed my entire world for this little tiny baby, and every tear I had shed was worth it. He was born adorable and bright, even now he is handsome and fiercely intelligent.

Around the age of 1 my cousin Steven, J.T.'s Godfather, commented that J.T. was a bit cross-eyed. After slapping my cousin in the head I made an appointment with an opthamologist. Following a morning of eye drops and waiting, the doctor came in and began to write. He asked me if I had ever heard of neurofibromatosis. With those written words, my heart broke into a million pieces. How could my precious, perfect, beautiful son be carrying the same disease that had ravaged the lives of everyone I know? I prayed everyday, everyone I knew prayed everyday, yet God still found it necessary to allow this to befall my little angel. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't think, I really couldn't breathe... I started to hyperventilate. At some point I let the doctor know that yes, I knew what neurofibromatosis is, that I have NF2, and I was well aware of what I was being told.

The following days were a blur. Referals, MRIs, neurological exams, insurance claims. All things I had dealt with my entire life, I couldn't believe I was now doing thess things in relation to my baby. A blood flow exam of the eyes revealed J.T. was born with retinal harmatomas, tumors on his retinas. In his right eye the tumor blocked 80% of the retina, causing his vision to be 20/800, which is legally blind. In the left eye was another small tumor that was thankfully not causing any problems as of yet.

Every year J.T. will be followed up and seen by a neuro-opthamologist, have MRI's and be seen by a pediatric neurologist. So far each year there has been no growth, and his eye has strengthened to the point that he can see a bit more. Next Tuesday J.T. is having his annual MRI's and visit to Dr. Loudon, his pediatric-neurologist. All I can think is: Will this be the day the doctor tells me my baby has a tumor in his spine or brain? I was well aware from the first day I found out I was pregnant that he may have NF2, and this was the inevitable direction the disease would take, but was too self-involved and immature to absorb the reality of that risk.

Would I have changed a thing? Would I have been more careful? Should I have been? All I know is J.T. is the light of my life, he showed me what it means to be somebody's baby. Everyone is somebody's baby, and because of him I actually care about the world and myself. He is a beautiful person with his own purpose in life, and I am just grateful to be blessed with the gift of raising him. So would I have changed a thing? Never.



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where have I been?

Baking, cleaning, laundry, school drop offs and pick ups, planning parties, getting food on the table, an overdrawn bank account, sinus infection, last minute Christmas shopping, JT losing his jacket, huge homework packets, late library books, rain and lost wages.... I am going to lose my damn mind.

I have had no time to breathe, let alone blog about it this week. I even skipped the gym yesterday and have had guilt pains all night. I have a crying baby tugging at my arm, and 2 different Christmas parties to be at before noon...

Merry Recessmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Las Vegas pics!

Finisher's Photo, only in Las Vegas baby!
The whole family, so tired! Wait why are they tired!?
My Dad said my finishing the half-marathon helped motivate him to quit smoking!

The Fitness Jar

I can't believe yesterday was the first time I have been to the gym in almost 2 months! I had to wait for Mica to be able to use the potty completely on her own before I could put her in the gym daycare, and she is finally able to do that! I love the gym, no seriously I do! I leave Mica in the childcare and get 2 whole hours to put more change in the fitness jar. Everytime I work out I remind myself, even if I don't work out tomorrow or next week, this workout is in the bank! Change in the fitness jar.

Now that I am able to commit again I have set up a schedule for myself. Yesterday being Thursday, I ran intervals on the treadmill. Intervals are when you run a short distance, such as 400 meters, slightly quicker then your goal race pace. Then you walk, then you run it again. You repeat this 4-6 times, and increase the number of intervals every week. My goal race pace is a 10 minute mile. So I ran 6x400 meter intervals at 6.2 mph, with 1 minute walking breaks in between. I set the treadmill at a slight incline to make up for the fact that I was not running outside, the treadmill is easier and counts the miles a bit leniently.

After intervals, weight training, yoga and hitting my abs a bit hard I picked Mica up from daycare and dragged myself home for a protein shake. I am a bit sore today, but it's all just change in the jar...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How can a Christmas Tree break my heart?

When my Mom was living in a nursing home I would visit her as much as possible. We both just wanted to spend as much time together as we could since we had finally discovered how much we enjoyed each other's company. For so long we had fought, and said horrible things to each other. Now we shared everything, our hopes and fears ran the same course. Her room was very small, but she was incredibly lucky to have her own room and be so well cared for thanks to my Gramps. At this point she was paralyzed from the waist down, half blind, almost completely deaf, and had facial paralysis on both sides. She had to be assisted in all parts of her day and spent all of her time in a hospital bed squinting at the captions on her soaps. Her face would light up when I walked in, and everytime I left that room I felt like I was abandoning her. She was so small and fragile, with such a brave smile. She never complained about being alone. She couldn't really leave her room easily to enjoy the tree her home had, so my Gramps or maybe my Dad bought her a tiny fake tree with fiber optic tips. She decorated it with her bears, she loved her bears and seemed so happy to have a little tree to brighten up her room. On Christmas morning I sat with Paul and JT in our tiny little apartment, under our brand new artificial tree, letting JT open all of his presents and just thinking... right now my Mom is alone. She is sitting in a little room, by herself, after almost 40 years of loving and giving of herself she is trapped in that little room. Of course as soon as all of the gifts were opened and paper cleared away, we did what we did every holiday and went to see my Mom. I sat and quietly watched while people who she hadn't seen in months showed up for an hour and left. I looked through her few Christmas cards she had tacked up near her bed, not seeing any from the people she had spent her entire life with. The rest of her wall was covered in pictures of JT and myself, of my Gramps and Diana. We were everything to her, and she has to know she was everything to me and still is. As we left I probably was happy, it was so long ago now, I can't remember, but I was probably just happy to have spent the day with her. I'd like to be dramatic and say I tore myself from her bedside, but the fact is I never really grasped that her bed would be empty before the next Christmas. When December came around again my Dad pulled out the little artifical tree, and I brought it to my home, where now it sits every holiday. The other day I saw Mica hug it. I love that damn little tree but God it breaks my heart. So I am preparing for another Christmas without my mom, and I keep telling myself she's the lucky one, she is with the Goddess, she has probably reincarnated and is long gone from this life. If I could have only one thing for Christmas it would be to know for a fact that she is somewhere warm and happy. That she is somebody's baby, and that she is no longer trapped in that little room with a tiny little tree.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Las Vegas Half-Marathon 2:39

I'm back! I have piles of laundry and my legs are so tight and sore! The race was awesome, I actually preferred the course over Long Beach. In Long Beach there were huge stretches of beach, just sand and water, nothing to look at or hint at how much further. In Vegas I know all of the hotels so I could set mini goals and have a general idea of how far I have gone. I made one really big mistake... I drank WAY too much water trying to hydrate and had to wait in line for a porta potty on the course! My official chip time was 2:39 which really completely bums me out. I want to improve at each race, not get slower! I saw the clock as I came down the final 3 miles, and pushed hard to make time up. My lungs were burning, legs pumping, even my arms were screaming at me to stop. I threw all of my little self forward and just pushed chanting to myself "Pain is temporary, Pride is forever!" I was like freaking Mel Gibson or something... ok maybe not but I felt like I was flying down that last mile. Every time I thought I was there it was just a little further, then I saw volunteers throwing their arms up and I saw a cluster of bright yellow CTF shirts and my babies waving at me from the sides, and I crossed the finish line in what felt like a blur. I received my medal and took my finisher's photo, and met my family who gave me tons of love and hugs. My Dad had promised to quit smoking when I finished the race, so we crumbled up his last cigarette and took pictures with our patches: his nicorette and mine for muscle pain!

Pictures will be up soon, I have to wait for my Dad to send them, I don't have a camera right now!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Vegas baby yeah!

I have butterflies all through my stomach, I am hyped up and just want to get on the road! I have to wait for Paul of course. Only 2 days until race day in Las Vegas! Yeah baby! I love Vegas but since my parents live there we have become honorary locals, meaning we don't really go to the strip. I love South Pointe, and even some of the Station Casinos. Everything is cheaper and less pretentious. I doubt we will even do that this time. We'll get in late tonight and settle in. Tomorrow morning we will hopefully see Paul's Aunt Lori, then head to the Health Expo. Straight from the expo we'll have dinner at Planet Hollywood in Ceasar's Forum with CTF, then head straight home for sleep... because we are meeting the team at 4:30 in the morning!!! Race time is 6 am, I plan to finish the half in 2:30, but since the course has a slight incline and my wisdom teeth set me so far back I just want to at least make the same time I did in Long Beach, 2:35. After the race we'll grab lunch and head back home! Wish me luck and hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

When Mommy is sick...

... Mica gets M&Ms for breakfast...

What a world... what a world....

I've been up since 4am. If you know me at all, you know I am a total bitch right now and would do horrible things to innocent people in my quest for adequate sleep. Unfortunately I cannot rip my own bladder out. I get urinary tract infections (UTI's) chronically and have since I was 12. If that is TMI for you go find a man's blog and read about cars because right now I don't give a flip. If you have never had a UTI, it feels like a small fire right in the place most women would hope to never have a fire, I mean unless that's your thing. It starts as a tickle, and within an hour I'm confined to my bathroom with a gallon of water, a bag of craisins, vicodin (I mean hey why not?) and a magazine. As I sat contemplating why my traiterous body is so intent on misbehaving, Paul woke up for work and came in to get ready. He had the damn nerve to tell me he wanted the toilet, I'm like do you see I am glued to this spot writhing in agony? Or close to it at least. Go use the other bathroom! Then he *sighed* at me! At me? I silently cursed him and gave him my silent evil jedi stare... he stalked off to the other bathroom and left me to whine in peace. I sat so long I think my butt still has a red ring on it. Supposedly Alka Seltzer provides "immediate relief" so at 5 am I found myself rifling impatiently through my huge medicine box which somehow has accumulated a whole lot of expired vicodin (how did that expire?) but no Alka Seltzer! I popped my emergency stash of antibiotics and am just as of this moment feeling a teeny bit better... but this better clear up because no way in hell am I running 13 miles at 6 am with a UTI this weekend!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition

Today my girlfriend Wendy started her own blog, The Devil Wears Sweatpants. Great name right? Haha Wendy you finally gave in! Welcome to the dark side, love. She came over today to get some help setting up, which is really cool because I remember just a few months ago going to Kadi over at Womb at the Innsane and begging for help. So I got Wendy going and her blog came out so cute I had to redo my own. So basically I made it about me, I'm good at that. I really felt like my last layout didn't reflect my true self, this blog is much more "Olivia." I do wish I could have found the damn ribbon in hot pink! Purple will suffice, and oh yes I am on the hunt for a hot pink ribbon image! Ok let me know how you all luf my new layout...

Creative Writing?

I am reading a book on creative writing right now, well not right now but over the last week. Thanks Adria! The book has started by suggesting I just write everything and anything, starting with my childhood. I'm supposed to sit each day and just write what I could see through a one inch window. I am probably going to use my blog to do this, so you will all be subjected to hideously self-absorbed clips from my childhood. If there is anything I have learned, nobody wants to hear about someone's childhood! I mean really, who cares if your Mommy got you the wrong Barbie or some boy picked on you? I think letting go of childhood pain is something we all accomplish as we get older, and revisiting those memories may not be the greatest of ideas. So I guess I am conflicted, I want to work through the assignments in the book, but I really don't want to recall being called Chia Pet and feeling too dark and ugly to all the blue-eyed white boys I crushed on. I mean cry me a river, right? I could reminisce on all of the surgeries, the hours spent in waiting rooms, my abandonment complex... but I am fully aware most of you right now are thinking "Don't, just please don't." *sigh* so then where does that leave me? I am incredibly tempted to dig out my old journals and share old things I wrote, hopefully reminding myself that once upon a time I was the kind of girl to scrawl out pages of pretentious yet imaginative short stories. I would dig back into my mind's eye and a running descriptive litany would pour onto the pages. I want to go back there... I'm heading to my closet now and hopefully by tomorrow when I sit down I will feel the juices flowing...

Monday, December 1, 2008

My beautiful babies...

Thank you so much Michelle for capturing these beautiful memories!

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