30 September 2009

Mystery Bulge Update

I finally met with my surgeon today. After waiting in his office for an hour (that's right, and hour -- he was running late at the hospital next door), I found out that he doesn't think I have another hernia.

Wait, what?

That's right. It's NOT another hernia. Based on the results of my CT, he thinks it's just a fluid-filled sac where my last hernia was. Nothing to worry about, no need for more surgery. This is great news, except...why have I been in pain for the last three weeks?

He doesn't have an answer for that question. It could be any number of things -- scar tissue, muscles stretching, tacks (sutures) that attach the mesh to my inner bits dissolving at last. I'm not happy about this part of it. I need to know WHY. So, I'm going to work on a few things on my own and see what I can figure out.

In the meantime, I have two choices: I can just move on from here, go back to work, start working out again. Or, the Doc can stick a laparoscope in my gut and "look around" to see if anything not-so-good is going on. I'm going with option A. I don't want to miss any more work, I have to get back to my running, and well, quite frankly, I am so sick and tired of this crap that I just want to put it all behind me.

So that's the haps, kids. I wasted three weeks to end up right back where I started. Oh well.

29 September 2009

Pugtastic Tuesday - 9.29.09

Faithful Companion - 9.20.09

28 September 2009

The Weekly Austin - 9.28.09

We Appreciate Your Interest. Thank You for Taking the Time to Write - 9.24.09

Ever wondered who really writes this blog? 

25 September 2009

Things They Don't Tell You About Husbands

You'd think that since Charlie and I lived together before we got married, there wouldn't be a whole lot of surprises. I have news for you, kids. It's just like a box of Cracker Jack; there's ALWAYS a surprise, and most of the time it sucks. Here's a few of my favorites:

1. When you really need to pee, he will camp out in the bathroom and take a paint-melting, bowl-shaking, stinkier than a bullfrog's armpit, giant explosive CRAP. And fail to use either the exhaust fan OR the air freshener. Ideally, this will occur in the downstairs bathroom, about three seconds before dinner guests arrive.

2. It will seem at times that the longer you are married, the dumber (or deafer) he gets. The truth is, he's acting dumb on purpose so that you will stop asking him to do things.

3. He will go get you Krispy Kremes at ten o'clock at night. (Or refuse to get them for you, depending on your current diet status.) He'll also eat them in bed with you while watching old movies.

4. Occasional gifts will become less romantic and more practical. Perfect example: Last night, I was given a pooper scooper. Because, you know, nothing says "I love you" like a set of tongs used to scrape dog dookie off the grass.

5. Not much has changed since he was ten. He still likes cereal, Transformers, and fart jokes. Now he just knows about BJs.

6. You will love him more and more every day, even when he tells you his favorite show of all time is "Saved By The Bell."

This one's for you, Hubs. I love you!
You Drive Me Crazy in the Best of All Possible Ways

24 September 2009


I was taking photography classes at a local community college. Photo was my favorite class -- black and white photography with an honest-to-goodness darkroom. (Remember those? It's before we all got those newfangled cameras with chips and LCD screens.) I was living at home with my dad, but spent most of my time in Norfolk at my then-boyfriend's house with my best girlfriend. We partied a lot, mostly at a bar right down the street from Boyfriend's apartment. Boyfriend had a cool roommate, a musician, who let me take nekkid pictures of him and also spent a lot of time staying up late and talking about life while we listened to Steely Dan.

As often happens, Boyfriend and I broke up. Shortly afterwards, Roommate introduced me to a guy friend of his, who in turn invited me to a party at his house. I went alone (stupid). When I walked in, it didn't seem like much of a party. Just Guy and his housemates, two big military types. I felt very awkward, and something didn't seem quite right. But I stayed (stupid, again).

I sat down on the couch and one of the guys left the room; he came back with a drink and handed it to me. "What's this?" I asked.

"Just drink it, you'll like it!" (Stupid, stupid, stupid.)

By the time I finished the drink, I was drunk. Now, I was by no means a pro boozer at that time, but it usually took more than a single cocktail to get me buzzed. But I figured they'd just fixed me something extra strong (say it with me...stupid).

I don't remember a whole lot after that. I remember getting pushed up a flight of stairs, and then my clothes were gone, and then a lot of really bad stuff happened very fast. Three guys in the house, and one of me. They took turns. And there was a video camera in the room.

Afterwards, they put me into the bathtub and turned the shower on. I'm pretty sure I passed out at that point. When I came to, I was curled up on the bathroom floor. I'd managed to find a blanket and covered myself up with it. It was barely dawn. Everyone in the house was asleep. I stumbled around and found my clothes and my keys, and I got in my car and left.

When I got home, my dad was furious. I'd been out all night without calling -- a big no-no. I didn't tell him what happened; I just said I'd fallen asleep at a friend's house and forgotten to call. He told me to never let it happen again.

I went to school that day feeling very hollow and confused. Did I really do that? Did I just have sex with three guys at once? What the hell? So I called Guy's house, thinking it might have been a bad dream. One of the housemates answered. When I asked what'd happened, he laughed and said, "We drugged you. What'd you think happened?"

I remember laughing. He has to be joking, right? He hung up. After that, I wasn't so sure.

I told my therapist that I had "hooked up" with three guys, and when she got the story out of me, she told me that it didn't sound like a hookup to her. She didn't pressure me to do anything about it, and it just sort of fell out of our conversation after that.

I never heard from or saw them again. I never told my friends that it had been against my will. I never called the police, never told my parents. I buried it, and it's lurked there for ten years.

I don't want this rotting inside me anymore. So, there it is, the first and last time I'm telling the story. It's done.

23 September 2009

Silent All These Years

It's been a long time since I listened to Tori Amos. In high school, it was a daily thing. It fit perfectly with my emo/goth/friend o' the lesbians thing. I even got to see her perform at the Harrison Opera House - it was one of the first concerts I ever saw.

I remember singing these songs at the top of my lungs, shut up in my room with giant Koss headphones hooked up to my enormous (yet very cool at the time) bookshelf stereo system. Listening to them now is a bit different. My son sleeps upstairs and has no idea that Mommy is riding a piano down Amnesia Lane.

They're still amazing and intense, full of sadness and angst and quirkiness and sometimes rage. I still have the urge to sing at the top of my lungs, rocking back and forth, hammering my fingers on my desk like a piano keyboard. But that heart-wrenching teenage passion I felt is faded; it's given way to a sort of scarred sadness that hides underneath my daily self. The music's a stinging salve; memories burn, the scars pull taut, and sometimes I think what's hidden underneath will spill out and stain all the beauty that's in my life now.

22 September 2009

Pugtastic Tuesday - 9.22.09

Pugslide - 5.21.2007

Pugly's having some health issues lately. We noticed him limping about a week ago, and the vet says it may be a neurological problem (as opposed to a muscular or skeletal problem). We have to keep him confined to his crate for two weeks. If there's no improvement, then we'll have to have some tests done. It's a sad affair, really, especially when I watch little clips like this one that show him in his prime.

21 September 2009

The Weekly Austin - 9.21.09

Playing Before Dinner - 9.13.09

15 September 2009

Pugtastic Tuesday - 9.15.09

The Long Ride Home - 5.27.06

Someone asked me recently what Alabama looked like as a puppy. This is her at about eight weeks old, sitting in my lap on the ride home from the breeder's place in Galax, Virginia.

14 September 2009

The Weekly Austin - 9.14.09

BOO! 5.16.08

Another "oldie but goodie." Where'd all that face chub go?

09 September 2009

Here We Go Again

I was drying myself off after a shower the other night, and felt a familiar bulge in my stomach. I pulled up what I lovingly refer to as "The Flap" (my huge post-baby gut thing) and saw a lump sticking out about the size of a large egg.

MotherFUCK. I know exactly what this is. Another goddamn hernia.

If you've been reading this here blog for a while, you may recall that back in February of this year, I discovered a similar lump in my belly that turned out to be an incisional hernia. I had surgery to repair it in March, and everything's been fine since then. At that time, my biggest concern was that I wouldn't be able to have more children after the surgery. My surgeon told me it would not be an issue, as long as I waited a year before getting pregnant. Cool, right? I could deal with that.

And now here we are six months later, and I have another hernia. It's not in the exact same place, but it's close. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of my guts are creeping out from the edge of the mesh that was installed (installed? like a dishwasher?) last time. I have to go back to my doctor and get another CT scan to be sure. At any rate, it means another surgery, another month off of work (and working out). And this time I'm not sure what the outlook will be on future babies.

I'm trying really hard not to be upset about this. Last time, I got very, very depressed -- the surgery derailed my fitness plans, and taking a month off of work was a big kick in our financial balls. This time, I'm angry. I want to know why this is happening. My first instinct is to blame my body ("Well, if you didn't have so much FAT pulling on your abs, this wouldn't happen!"), but I'm trying to let that go. I may have to just file the whole thing under "Shit Happens" and move on.

My mom, Charlie, and my personal trainer (you can read about him over at my other blog) have all been really supportive. Charlie gives me comfort, and Mom and Smith are keeping me from giving up on my fitness goals. I have awesome friends to hold me up, too. Overall, I'm a lucky gal. I'm trying to focus on that instead of the negatives.

08 September 2009

Pugtastic Tuesday - 9.8.09

Look At Zees Face! How Can Yoo Rezeest?

07 September 2009

The Weekly Austin - 9.7.09

Jeffrey? Is That You? 9.6.09

Charlie took Austin to the zoo while I was at work yesterday. Apparently, little man is very into giraffes right now.

04 September 2009

He Saves My Life

Having worked with kids in the past, and babysat for what seemed like a million years, I know that one of the best parts of working with little kids is their hugs. They're sometimes sticky (or stinky, even), but so worth it. What I didn't know was how hugs and kisses from my OWN kid could save me from the worst days, the sad-sack days, the days when everything goes wrong. Or how your child can tell when something's bothering you, and gives you exactly what you need.

I've had kind of a crappy day. A lot of little things have gone wrong, nothing life-altering, but a little stressful just the same. When I went upstairs to get Austin from his afternoon nap, he looked up at me from his little blanket-nest in the crib and gave me a huge smile. "DA!" he said, and jumped to his feet. His little hands clutched the rail, and he flung his head into my chest -- his loving head-butt.

I carried him down the stairs. We reached the bottom, and instead of wiggling out of my arms, he shrieked when I tried to set him down and nuzzled his head into my neck. We walked around a little bit, me and my Bug, looking out the windows, talking to the dogs. I asked if he wanted to watch a show, and he nodded his head yes. Normally, he'll watch about five minutes of an episode of say, "Bob the Builder," and then ignore the TV and play. Today, when I sat down on the floor, he crawled into my lap and leaned back against me. I wrapped my arms around his waist and kissed the top of his head, and he let out a big sigh. "Yeah, Buddy...tough day, huh?"

He nodded, "Da," and stroked my jeans. Tears welled up in my eyes. Not tears of sadness, but of gratitude. Oh, why did no one ever tell me it could be like this?

Thank you, thank you, thank you, God or whoever, for this tiny person who heals my heart.

03 September 2009

Dairy Love

Dear Greek Yogurt,

I love you. Please, don't ever leave me.


02 September 2009

Don't Wanna

I'm having one of those days where I want to hide under the covers. I know I'll feel better after I get a shower and a second cup of coffee. But right now? It is teh suck.

The weather is beautiful, Kid is behaving (sort of), Hubs got out the door with breakfast in his stomach and lunch in his bag. But something's bugging me, and I can't put my finger on it. I'm a little tired...a little frustrated about work...a little annoyed that the kitchen sink was full of dishes when I got up this morning. Hopefully I can shake it all off before I head to work in a bit. If not, it'll be Surly Day at Starbucks.

01 September 2009

Pugtastic Tuesday - 9.1.09

Partners in Crime - 8.30.2009

Austin and Alabama seem to be inseparable lately. She's always been more interested in him than Pugly was, but now the two of them seem to be best buddies. Maybe she thinks of him as her pup? 

(Or maybe he just feeds her cherry tomatoes from the garden all day.)