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Surprisingly, this looks better on me than when I got the shirt, back in May.

May until now to do something about it. That is a long time. I wish I had a good reason, but I don’t.

****

Sunday night Lucas had a hard time sleeping, and I wound up staying up with him. I didn’t even fall asleep until 7am Monday morning. I spent the majority of yesterday in a zombie haze, so I didn’t take a shower. I have to shower or my hair gets gross, but I just kept putting it off. I watched the OSU game with Mat, and it didn’t end until 11pm. I told him earlier that I needed to shower because if I didn’t, two days of unshowered hair would be grosser than gross, and then I would want to shower in the morning, and then I wouldn’t want to go to the gym because I had just showered… it was going to snowball. But I kept putting it off, and then the game ended and I was so zonked that I told him… nah, I won’t go shower.

I knew that making that decision meant no gym today. I knew when I said those words that I was sealing my fate for the next day, but I felt like I didn’t care, whatever. What’s one more day that I don’t go?

I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and I eyeballed the scale. I had a ton of water all day, I ate decently, so I was curious. I had just weighed myself the day before, but… eh. I hopped on in my pjs, and it read 284.

“Hmmm,” I thought to myself. “284 at the end of the day… I wonder what it will read in the morning?”

I sighed and turned on the shower. If I am going to lose this weight, at some point, I will have to go to the gym.

****

This morning I woke up late, 10 am. I didn’t sleep well again, this time all my fault. I tossed and turned all night and Mat let me sleep. He popped his head in and said, “I guess I am going to the gym alone?” We had made a raquetball date, but I felt so… groggy. Fuzzy. I mumbled something to him, but I couldn’t get back to sleep because I had to pee.

I stumbled into the bathroom, did my thing, eyeballed the scale again.

“I shouldn’t step on it,” I thought. “This is just waster weight, and it doesn’t mean anything.”

282.0.

I have been in this horrible loop of weight loss, and I just wished for once I could get off of it. I finally broke through the barrier of the cycle. This is the sign I needed that maybe I am finally moving in the right direction.

So I told Mat to wait, and I got dressed, drank some water, and we played some raquetball. 452 calories worth of raquetball.

****

I will wear this shirt for realsies.

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I have never worn make up, except on my wedding day.

I rarely wear dresses.

I don’t own a curling iron.

Or hairspray.

Or mousse.

My shampoo smells like nothing in particular.

I don’t even own perfume.

I shave my legs occasionally.

I don’t own a purse. I shove everything into my pockets and pray nothing falls out.

I don’t own any pantyhose.

Or high heels.

Or wedges.

The only jewelry I own is a necklace Mat bought for me last summer and my wedding set.

I don’t like romantic comedies.

I refuse to read Nicholas Sparks.

 

But – I am still a woman. And just because I am a woman in a man’s field, doesn’t mean I am only the secretary. I have opinions also. I am intelligent, I am resourceful, I am creative.

I let this group get away with it this time, treating me less than.

But heaven help whoever winds up in my group next time, because I will NOT let it happen again.

This will be a brain dump. I am sorry in advance.

****

I am 30. Mat is 29. We have two kiddos already, 3 and 1. I graduate in 2014, Mat graduates in 2013. But in August 2014, we’ll hopefully be in a new town, where Mat is starting graduate school and I am starting that new career I have (and will have) busted my butt to get. I will be 33.

I won’t want to put off starting my career. I will already be at least 10 years behind everyone else starting with me. So, give or take a year or two before I would be willing to take maternity leave. But MFA programs are only 2 years (3 if you streeeeeeetch it out), so why take that time off when we’ll be moving again? Hopefully. Hopefully we’ll be moving so that Mat can finally start his career. I will be 36.

So we’ll move, again, and then I’ll start over at a different job, again. And I won’t want to take time off right away for maternity leave, so give or take another year or two, and then I’ll be 38.

I have PCOS. Even though I had two children at break-neck speed, fertility is supposed to drop the older you get anyway, and combined with PCOS, it could be a pain. I have never had to plan to get pregnant. It just… happened. Who knows how long I would have to go, waiting. And I know there are meds, there are options outside of the nice, boring traditional way. But. I will be 38, 39, 40. Xan will be 10, 11, 12. Lucas will be 8, 9, 10. Another child would be so separate from the other two, it almost wouldn’t seem fair. It would be like your first day at a new school where everyone has known each other since kindergarten, and you find yourself eating with the teacher at another table alone because no one knows you, and they don’t care to know you because they all already have each other.

****

When I was pregnant… the first time… I didn’t know for long before I lost the baby. But I had already named her. A girl. I just knew it would be a girl, and she would have big, full cheeks like me and her father’s carmel colored skin. I held firm to that idea, even as I was losing her. Lost her. In my dreams, she would visit me, with dark brown eyes and a sweet smile. It took a long time for the dreams to stop.

****

I want a daughter. I gave my mom hell, but I still want a daughter. I want to fight in the aisles of JcPenney, searching for a not-so-slutty prom dress. I want to gasp and have my eyes well up with tears as I see her come out of the dressing room for the first time, wearing a beautiful wedding dress. I want to hold her hand as she gives birth to her first child, kiss her cheek as she breathes through the contractions.

I want. I want. I want.

****

I love my boys. I love them with such a fierceness that I can’t stand sometimes. I have been so down about this. Which son would I give up just to have a daughter? Neither one of them. I can’t imagine replacing them with the idea of a daughter.

I need to be here, to be present and enjoy my boys. I need to let the dream go because it’s just not happening. It’s not. There will not be a little girl in a tutu and a crown at her 5th birthday. There will be no prom dress, no wedding dress.

It will be trucks. And dirt. And holes in the knees of the jeans, and standing up to pee. Baseball games, matchbox cars, remote controlled cars, and fart jokes. It will be suits and tuxes and pacing the waiting room, waiting for the birth of their own children.

And I can handle that. I can be 100% happy with that. I can. And I will. And I am.

But will I feel complete? I hope so.

****

Read this. Please. Read all of it, and cry with me.

http://rosylittlethings.typepad.com/posie_gets_cozy/2011/11/well-things-fell-apart.html

I know, right? It stings. I cried forever for that couple.

But then wait. Read this.

http://www.jenpluschris.com/i-am-a-mama-again/

I have been reading these two entries, over and over again. I almost have them memorized.

I know biologically my chances of producing my own daughter are 50%. And honestly, let’s face it – Mat gave me two Ys, his dad gave his mom 3 Ys, so chromosominally speaking, my chances are probably even slimmer.

I keep running things through my mind. Could we do it? Could we adopt some day? Is there a daughter out there for me, who doesn’t have someone to put a tutu on her for her birthday, pick out her dresses, put her in pig tails?

 

After this weekend, I am terrified to check our bank account balance.

When we made the silly decision a few months ago for me to go back to school, we knew it would be tough. It would require a lot of willpower to keep our account balance at a certain level so that we weren’t scrambling at the end of the semester, digging pennies out of the couch to pay for gas. Mat and I have never been good at saving money. When we were both working full time and making really good money and had no kids and life was easy, we were still getting our cable shut off because it just seemed easier to go out to dinner every night than to make sure money was put back for our cable (our only saving grace was that we were at least diligent about paying rent, car payments, and utilities above all else). We kept telling ourselves we had PLENTY of time to save up for my maternity leave. No big deal, right? Nine months is a long time to save money, except, not really, when you keep saying, “Next pay check.”

We all know how that worked out – Mat lost his job, and we had no money saved up.

We lost my job before we even started thinking about saving for the maternity leave I would have to take with Lucas.

And this go round, it isn’t that we’re just that horrible with money; although, we did eat out more than we should, and we let our families guilt us into trips we shouldn’t have taken. We bought my mother in law’s plane ticket back home from Haiti, but at the time we thought we’d be okay.

And honestly, we are okay, but… Christmas is coming and my natural instinct is to spoil my children rotten, and I can’t. We got a flat this weekend, and when Mat went to get it repaired on a Sunday so that we could make it back home for his job later that night (that pays our rent), the place only had the most expensive tire left (surprise!) and so what was our entire Christmas budget, is now on our car. Here kids, I put a bow on the tire! Go stand by it so mama can show you what you got for Christmas!

****

I believe in karma. I try, for the most part, to do right by others, not so much just because I am a nice person, but because I don’t want bad things to happen to ME.

I am not a fan of my sister in law. I hate to put it out there in case she stumbles upon this some day, but . . . I am not. Well, let me rephrase that – I am a fan of her when she’s not planning a wedding. She was a pretty awesome cat before she got engaged, and I am hoping she returns to her sane self in a few months when the wedding stuff is over and done with. Leading up to the wedding, she was really driving me buggers, and so I let it all out to some friends, who did what friends do, and joined in on the bashing. And the picture bashing, and it escalated and I was still SO ANNOYED that I let it all happen (I don’t feel like I encouraged it, but I definitely didn’t stop it either).

After they left for their honeymoon, and I was back at the hotel reading what everyone wrote, I felt bad. I shouldn’t have let them do it, I shouldn’t have joined in either. I should have put a stop to it, because it’s not a nice thing to do. And I am sure, to them, she’s a fictional character – someone they’ll never ever meet or have a chance to meet, so it’s the equivalent of making fun of a Kardashian or a Bieber.

I had a bit of a pit in my stomach. What if… what if somehow, some way, she stumbled on what people said? Facebook is wonky, what if something becomes unprivate? The drive home I kept thinking about how whenever you unleash something to the internets, you can’t get it back.

Then our tire went flat. The tires that we just replaced not that long ago.

So we dug everything out of the trunk to get to the spare, and discovered our tire iron was worthless. Stranded on the side of the road in the exact middle between home and where we had just left, where the nearest person was over an hour away… it sucked. Thankfully the kids were remarkably well behaved considering the circumstances.

As we were digging through the trunk, I realized we left behind:

1. Xan’s most beloved Mickey Mouse

2. My wedding shoes, that I intended to take back to get the money back since I wore them for all of five minutes

3. Xan’s wedding shoes, that he only wore for about 10 minutes, tops, also planning on returning

4. My spanx

5. Xan’s favorite jacket

6. Mat’s favorite hoodie

It’s like we left this massive trail of our things all over the city.

Part of me can’t help but wonder … if I had put a stop to it, or if I hadn’t even complained at all and opened up the opportunity for some jokes at someone else’s expense, if things would have turned out differently.

Ugh. Damn karma.

 

– Opening the coat closet, and seeing your volunteer firefighter’s jacket and hat hanging on a hook, always giving me a little fright

– Being pulled behind you on a trailer as we picked up firewood for your house

– Watching you paint intricate details on your wood pieces, as you were getting ready for a show

– The sound of your bass voice, as you sang next to me in church

– Coming out of the bedroom early in the morning, and seeing you hunched over the bar in the kitchen, reading your Bible by just the small overhead light

– Opening presents at Christmas, you holding the video recorder telling us to hold it up so you could see what you got us

– Riding on the dusty country roads as I rode with you while you delivered mail

– Watching you ride around the property on a riding lawn mower, checking on the builders, grandma standing on the back of the mower holding up your IV bag

– Sitting with you while you slept in your room, telling you about boring work gossip

– Saying goodbye one last time

Why today, of all days, it hurts so much that you’re gone, I don’t know. It could be the overwhelming stress of school bubbling over, making me tired and extra mopey. It could be that last night Xan asked me again about MY pawpaw, and all I have are a few pictures. I can’t actually take him to you.

I could, but it would be just a stone. He wouldn’t understand, and he’s too young. But maybe some day. But instead, he holds the small picture of you in the silver frame, and he listens to me talk about you.

12 years… and it feels like yesterday.

 

If you need me, I will be up to my eyeballs in books.

I feel like complaining, but then I realize that a) I will be doing this again in four weeks during finals, and b) I asked for this. Of course in my mind I pictured my kids going to bed at a decent time, but the littlest kid fought bed time, and at 11:45pm the biggest one is rolling around on the floor.

Presentation tomorrow. I will rock it, but I hope the rest of my group doesn’t tank.

 

Ahhh… college.

I forgot to post yesterday!

I finally had a girls’ day. My best friend came up to visit (a nice, long 2-1/2 drive) and stayed the night. I hate shopping, and my feet were exhausted, but it was nice to have someone to talk to other than my husband and the kids.

Plus, she’s awesome.

I have known her longer than I have known my husband. I am not even sure when we met … we were practically babies. I was 5 and she was 1, so she doesn’t remember it, of course. She was my brother’s friend long before she became my friend, but we all hung out (one of the nice things about church youth groups). My church didn’t have a college aged group, so I wound up going to all their events as a mini-chaperone. We went to the same college, and we majored in the same thing (chemistry). She got married exactly one month after me (3/29).

I don’t have a lot of friends. It seems like I keep my friends’ list pretty short, and for the most part that’s how I like it. But it’s nice to know that she’s held a spot for about 25 years.