Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thank God I Have This Blog, Because Damn, Do I Have To Whine!

Oh my hell. Is this week over yet? I am feeling so friggin' overwhelmed and exhausted that I want to cry.

Scratch that. I want to whine.

You guuuyyyysssssssss...... I am SO stressed out! I've had this major project at work, and I took forever to get into the right frame of mind to tackle it, and then it was close to my deadline, and I started to stress because other things kept coming up, and then I was off on Monday for my birthday, and then on Tuesday I had to work on this whole other project with a colleague and it took almost all day, and on Wednesday my acupuncture appointment ran super late because they forgot about me and left me lying there with 30 needles going down my back for an hour more than they should have, and the project was due yesterday and I felt to frustrated and flustered, and so I devoted all of today to putting the finishing touches and reviewing everything, but I still felt this huge block, like, my ideas weren't flowing, and I felt like I could be doing so much better, but it wasn't happening, and by 5:30 p.m. today I could barely handle the pressure and practically started bawling on my boss about it, because I wanted it to be perfect, and she was like, "it's no big deal," and I was like, "bwwaahhhh! I fail!" and then I'm sure she rolled her eyes and I went home still obsessing about this thing and what she's going to say to me when she actually reads it.

Meanwhile, I've been so stressed about this and feeling pressured because of everything else I've had to deal with (both in and out of work), that I've abandoned all efforts to keep a nice, organized house, and now I have a total mess on my hands. It's awful. And Lou is coming tomorrow with a birthday meal just for me, which means I have company coming, and my company deserves a nice, clean house, and I have to provide it for them! But it's now Thursday night, and I'm only like a quarter of the way done, and I can't possibly let anyone in here with the house in this condition, and I'm soooo tired and just want to crawl into bed and pass out.

On top of that, my sister and BIL got me a gift certificate to one of my favorite jewelry websites, and I need to pick something out soon because they're having a private sale for loyal customers like me, and I just can't decide what to get. I've narrowed it down to a necklace, but which one?

This one? Or this one? What about this one, which I've long admired? This one is so cool, too. I'm digging this one, too. Oh wow, I hadn't even noticed this one until now - crap!

I think I have a headache now.

Oh man, I so need a bubble bath.


Posted by Tere @ 7/31/2008   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Baby That Will Never Be, and the One Who Will Soon Light Up Our Lives

It hit me full force the moment I bent down and pulled an item out of my box of maternity clothes. One moment I was explaining sizing; the next I was out of breath, a giant lump in my throat, looking at these beautiful clothes that I will never again wear. If I remember correctly, I had to sit down and compose myself, all the while hoping no one noticed.

I thought then about the baby I will never have, the one I was hoping to conceive later this year. The one who caused so much angst for reasons that went far deeper than basic apprehension; the one I knew even as I hoped things would change that I would never have. Sitting there on my couch, I felt like I was being slapped - assaulted, really - by the overwhelming hopelessness that sometimes feels true of my life now, even though I can normally temper this feeling with reason.

I think a lot about this baby - not because I want him/her so badly, but because he/she has come to represent the life I feel I will never have: no more children, no true love to call my own, no home in the way I would have wanted. I don't say this to be dramatic, nor do I even think that I what I have now is bad in any way. It's just that there were things I wanted for myself, there was a way in which I wanted my life to unfold - and with the exception of Max, none of it ever panned out. And now, now everything is more complicated and I know I have to be realistic. I stepped into this new chapter of my life with my eyes open as to what I could realistically hope for. And so I know. I know how far I can go, how much I can ask for, before the door - for lack of a better term - closes.

And so there is this baby, this baby that I will never carry, never birth, never know; this baby that was real enough for me to feel its loss, but never real enough for that loss to devastate me. It is only in moments that catch me off guard, like that day when I sorted through my maternity clothes with my sister looking on, that it hits me most deeply, that the weight of all that has happened and the questions of what lies ahead press most harshly against my chest.

But there is another baby, one who will soon arrive and make my family that much richer: my niece. My sister will have her first child in December, and the joy I feel for her and my brother-in-law is endless. I love this little girl, love her as if she was my own. I can't wait to see her, to hold her, to cover her in kisses and feel her breath on my face. She will be beautiful and sweet and adored by us all (except perhaps Max, who right now doesn't want to hear any of this baby talk). She will be to me all that my other nieces and nephew are to me, all that Max is to his aunts and uncles.

My heart fills when I think of her, when I imagine what she might look like, what her name might be, what her voice will sound like. And yes, I wonder if I will see in her the daughter I hoped for. I wonder if the loss of my imagined second baby will be assuaged by her presence in my life.

Mostly, I wonder about the way in which life takes away then turns right around to give more than you ever thought you could contain. Joy denied is joy multiplied. Hope diminished is hope everlasting. I am sad and worried even as I know that everything will be o.k. and the taste of happiness is on my tongue.

And so I await the arrival of my niece with my heart swelling even as I let my second baby go. The magic of this new life, in the end, is more powerful than my secret pain for a life that was never going to be.

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Posted by Tere @ 7/30/2008   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This Birthday was Great for Unexpected Reasons

A Monday birthday pretty much seems to be all about relaxing and taking it easy (and sharing creme brulee, mango mousse and tiramisu in one sitting). Lunch with Wide Lawns was great, as it always is when we get together.

But the real celebrating was on Sunday, when my family gathered for breakfast at my parents' house, a ritual we do regularly enough, but which this time included a big, gooey cookie cake baked in my honor.

These Sunday-morning breakfasts are never a big deal, but with so many people (my *immediate* family is at least 13 people), it always has a bit of a clusterf**k element to it. Personally, I love the chaos; it's this crazy jumble of conversations, yelling, laughing, crowding and delicious food where we all catch up and talk crap and make plans. It is these breakfasts that best exemplify my definition of "family" - because there will always be individual moments where we discuss something important, where we fight, where we agree to do something together, where we do a whole lot of nothing - and then we break (delicious, soft, heavenly Cuban) bread and drink cafecito. Family is nothing if not these things.

My birthday breakfast ended up being among the funnest and funniest we've had in a long time. It turns out that my sisters and brothers-in-law all recently got the iPhone (and I felt bitterly left out, so much so that I may just have to get that damn iPhone now to fit in with the cool kids), and they pulled them out to compare. Soon enough, my brothers-in-law were engaged in a full-on war, with their iPhone lightsabers as weapons. It was the most hilarious thing we've seen in a while, and the video I filmed of this battle is priceless.

Later on, the cookie cake was brought out, and it was so incredibly sweet to hear that boy of mine sing "happy birthday" to me - I was a puddle of melted bliss on the floor. Unfortunately, for a family so full of photographers (professional and amateur), there wasn't one shot taken of me in all my candle-blowing, cake-sampling glory. However, right after that, everyone whipped their precious iPhones out again, this time to take pictures of everyone else so that that person's picture pops up when they call. We had a total blast making silly poses and acting like fools. Seriously, this is my idea of the perfect Sunday morning.

Later that afternoon, I learned that for all the hype that Miami is all about luxury, flash and designer goods, people here really are a bunch of cheapos. We decided to take advantage of free Sundays at Vizcaya, and ohmygod, was it ever crowded. Cars were parked all over South Bayshore Drive and people were everywhere. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. O.k., in my head, Vizcaya was empty and we had it all to ourselves and there was plenty of shade and water was readily available; but in reality, we were among 2,000 people, the sun was blazing hot (seriously, the sweat was trickling down my back and gathering in my pits), and I was so thirsty I could cry. Later on we found out that there had been more than 7,000 visitors to the museum that day. And I thought, oh yeah, this place is usually empty, yet the day there is no fee, every soul in Miami decides to visit. Including me, so I can't really complain.

The truth is, I hadn't been to Vizcaya in ages, and it really is a lovely place. The house was closed because it was at maximum capacity and they would soon be closing, but the gardens were simply beautiful. The area by the bay was breathtaking, and had it been less crazy, sweltering hot and less crowded, it would have been absolutely perfect.

Behold, part of the gardens:

The spot between the house and the gardens:

Shot of the house from the bridge/dock:

Oh, and yes, I was there!

From there, it was off to Scott's place for a very cool, relaxing get-together with friends and some very nice new people. His sons are absolutely beautiful, and it was just such a great evening, full of interesting conversations, fabulous fresh salsa, and a Cocker Spaniel so sweet I almost stole her and brought her home.

The day ended with the best burger in town: the Caribbean burger at the Loggerhead (Flannigan's). Devoured at the bar, with a few bites of the baby back ribs, while the jukebox played some good old rock n' roll.

All these things - the simple, completely normal activities of one hot, ordinary Sunday in July - they came together so sweetly, so unexpectedly, that it made for a wonderful, special day.

To say that I feel blessed and happy for this - for my son, my family, my friends - it wouldn't even begin to express what I feel. The words for that are right now really hard to find.

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Posted by Tere @ 7/29/2008   | | | links to this post

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh Hai, Yes, I'm 31 Now

Took the day off. Had my coffee. Saw two episodes of the Golden Girls. Lunch later with Wide Lawns.

I foresee a nap. I have to do groceries and may or may not take care of that today. Later, I'll pick Max up and we'll do something fun. I'm not sure yet what that will be - the park? the bookstore? We'll most likely end up at "cake" (what he calls Starbucks), so that we can each have a special treat. Once we get through the bedtime routine and he is asleep, I will write. And then this day will be done and I will start tomorrow a little wiser.

O.k., maybe that last part's not true.

This is 31, and it's looking very, very good to me.


Posted by Tere @ 7/28/2008   | | | links to this post

Friday, July 25, 2008

Things I Need Right Now to be Happy

Why is it that as my birthday gets closer, I get more obsessive than usual about all the pretty things I want? Why do I want such pretty things? Why do I find such pretty things when there isn't enough time left for me to order them and receive them in time to bedazzle myself on my birthday?

Sigh... I want them anyway.

1. This bracelet was made for me. Seriously. They were like, "oh, this is perfect for Tere; she'd look great in this. The green compliments her coloring and - hello - pirates! She is our muse for this one."

2. But then they made this other bracelet, and they were like, "damn, Tere loves seahorses, too! She is so totally our muse; we love her. She inspires everything we do."

3. Another seahorse! From one of my favorite jewelry sites.

I just found out I'm to receive a very special package from Canada, and I'm so happy about that. I can't wait!

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Posted by Tere @ 7/25/2008   | | | links to this post

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Said it was for Him, but I Lied

Coloring books are the best. Max might have picked out the ones he wanted, but I'm the one who's going to have a blast filling them in.

p.s. Check out how sweet Thomas is on the Little Mermaid.


Posted by Tere @ 7/24/2008   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wherein my Brain is Sent Away on Vacation

I was midway into my rant when I suddenly realized I really wanted to shut up. Like, badly. I had no sense of what I was saying, or where I wanted to go with it. There was no point I could make.

But how do you just shut up halfway through a semi-coherent monologue about life, love, fate and soulmates? Shit, how do you even line up the thoughts correctly, translate them into words, and get those words out?

By the time I talked myself into an impossible corner and no longer had enough steam to keep going, the only thing I knew for certain was that I had no business talking about these things, and that I, to put it mildly, needed to shut the eff up.

Later on, alone in my bed, reviewing with horror that insane outburst of mine, I laughed at myself. Because the truth is, I don't at this moment have the luxury to think about life, love, fate or soulmates (a term I now despise and have banished from my vocabulary). I know and can speak of what I've always known and felt - but this is a new reality under which I'm living, and my previous feelings no longer apply. To speak of these things now - it just makes no sense.

Maybe that is what I was trying to tell him - that everything I thought I knew no longer applies. I am at zero, back to nothing, with beliefs that have done nothing but fail me.

I stare at my life now and think about all the things I so fervently believed were true, to the point that I perhaps forced too roughly that they be real in some way, somehow, without stopping to fully consider what that could mean, what the consequences would be. I don't know if I was wrong all along; or if the problem is that I have a need too vast and deep to fill; or if the fear and guilt that have ruled over so many of the bigger decisions I have made set me up for this. All I know is that in the end, this is where I am: with nothing to show for myself and nothing to offer, in this place where my vision of happiness was clearly not something I could make a reality.

I don't know what to believe in now, what I should dare hope for myself. I don't know why some dreams persist even as I take inventory of all the ways in which I just can't seem to communicate or be the very things I want. Where did I end and any one of the others begin? How much of it was me and how much them and their endless issues? How much of it was my reacting to their emotional unavailability, their bullshit; and how much of it was me fearing the very real happiness I felt at times?

I go back to zero. And zero offers me a chance to do the one thing I want most right now: to not think anymore. I don't want answers to my questions; I don't want to ponder my past and its many failures; I don't want to worry about what may or may not be; I don't want to fret over how worthy I am or am not of someone else's time, attention, affection, etc.; I don't want to wonder if I will ever find someone who will look deeper and see me for all that I am and can be, or cry when it seems like the only possible answer is "no"; I don't want to miss everything before me for fear of all that I've left behind me.

And so I happily, willingly will shut my brain down. I will take a break, be easier on myself, and not let so much hinge on every little thing. I will finally allow myself the luxury of enjoying for enjoyment's sake.

I told him, somewhere in that crazy little rant of mine, that I have nothing left to lose. And if that is true, then the one thing I can believe, the one thing I can hold on to before letting all this go, is this: I now have everything to gain.

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Posted by Tere @ 7/23/2008   | | | links to this post

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Oh, But I Still Want Presents

I mean, just because there's no official celebration doesn't mean I don't want gifts! Please! And it just wouldn't be me if I didn't helpfully point out all the things I want.

Looking over the little list I jotted down, I realize we should call this birthday The Year of the Gadgets. I can't believe I want so many shiny toys, because I usually don't at all care for these kinds of things. But well, there you have it: I'm all tech-happy for the moment.

So what does Tere want this year?

1. A stereo system that can play CDs but also my iPod. Right now all I have is the iTunes in my laptop, and I think I'd like something that can play my CDs as well, since they're not all in iTunes. Something like this would be good; I don't care as long as it's got the basic criteria I want and speakers that are not bulky.

2. While my pink Motorola Razr is still as lovely as when I got it a couple of years ago, I've been thinking it's time for a new phone. Now that I have a Moto Q for work, my own phone seems too blah and old-fashioned to me. I'm completely smitten with the iPhone, but am not completely convinced. Instead, I'm seriously considering the very adorable Palm Centro (it comes in white!), especially since AT&T has such a sweet deal for one right now. I may get this one as my b-day gift for myself.

3. This one thing, this is the one that is most out of character for me. I can't believe I want this; I can't believe I am thinking so seriously about this; I can't believe I feel so giddy when I think about playing with it. Maybe this is just a phase and it'll pass. But right now I want it and am a bit embarrassed about it. I can't even tell you guys what it is: you'll have to see for yourselves.

4. So, three gadgets. That's unheard-of for me. But boots and shoes? W00T!!!! These lovelies are probably more up my alley, right? Ooohhh! Or how about these? Oh, and these are so cute!

5. The spot under my mango tree is perfect for a hammock. So I ordered a cute one; and then it arrived, and it's much too narrow! I mean, my butt alone is way too big for it! So something like this one would be better for me (not that my butt is that big; it just looks more comfortable!), but cheaper; $70 for a hammock is crazy!

O.k., I'll stop there. Or else I'll go on and on about books and iTunes and gift cards, and this list will stretch into forever. I'm never at a loss to find something to want!

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Posted by Tere @ 7/19/2008   | | | links to this post

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Non-Birthday

It seems like the stars have aligned this year. My birthday falls on a Monday, which to me is a good thing, because I get to take it off and therefore enjoy a long weekend.

On top of that, I don't have Max that weekend prior, but do have him on my birthday. That means I get to enjoy a relaxing weekend, doing whatever I want, without being tied to the usual routine and putting Max before myself, but I still get to be with my boy on the big day itself. It's like I'm getting the best of both worlds.

But you know what? I just don't feel like celebrating this year. No,wait, I actually DO want to celebrate; what I don't want is to plan jack shit. Every year, it's the same thing: I plan, plan, plan and then get stressed over the whole thing (friends and family, I love you, but you all suck at RSVPing). Even when I wouldn't do the actual planning, I still had leg work to do: researching restaurants, making lists, etc. More than this, I've been bugged for a long time by this feeling that while I'm all excited and happy about my birthday, no one else really gives a shit, so - I don't know - I feel crappy over that.

And all of a sudden, I'm just tired of it. I know that, technically, if it's my birthday and I want something, I have to be the one to do it, because I'm the one with a vested interest in it, right? I mean, seriously, what exactly should I have expected from anyone? Why should they be as excited about it or go out of their way for me? But going through this year after year after year blows.

I'm trying to be good to myself and indulging in small luxuries: bubble baths, good books, yummy food, a pedicure in the next couple of weeks. I feel like I totally, completely deserve to be pampered, or to pamper myself. But the thought of having to organize a dinner, notify everyone, and then agonize over who will go and who will RSVP so I know the correct number and can be sure to make reservations for the right amount of people and by the way it's my birthday but I'm not exactly enjoying all this work and stressing and if people don't come, does that mean they don't like me? and - OMG - it's just too crappy a thought for me right now.

So, this year will be a quiet, low-key one, with nary an acknowledgment of my turning 31. Well, except maybe two or three or ten more posts about it. But, you know, no actual party or big dinner or any fanfare of any kind.

At some other time, all this might have been really upsetting to me; it's too closely tied to some long-held feelings of indifference and rejection. But right now, I'm honestly feeling good. I'm happy and hopeful and very aware of all that I have: my beautiful son, my family, my friends, my peaceful home and good job. So this is not a big deal. The weekend and day itself are going to be good whether I'm sitting home alone on my couch or dancing my butt off at Purdy Lounge with a group of friends.

Of course, there still better be some cake at some point, or I really will be a total cry-baby about the whole thing. I think I'm going to hedge my bet and order me some Antella's key lime cake right now. Mmmmm..... cake.......

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Posted by Tere @ 7/17/2008   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Please Get Them Out of my Head, and Other Random Nonsense

I have tons of random crap to unload on you! YAY!

Happy Birthday To Me (We're so Discussing the Issue of my Birthday in Another Post Later This Week)

First, my BFF Mel sent me the best birthday present ever: two boxes of See's! It was the best surprise I could have gotten - she totally made my day. Now I have two delicious boxes of perfect chocolaty goodness to feast on.


I Love the Music, but Sometimes the Music Doesn't Know When to Stop

The lyrics to the following songs are all playing on a continuous, jumbled loop in my head. It's driving me a bit crazy, because it just. won't. stop. I mean, I love these songs - and in their own ways, they each have a special meaning to my life right now. But come on. Give a girl a break, you know?

One Sweet Love by Sara Bareilles

Collide by Howie Day

Realize by Colbie Caillat

Labios Compartidos by ManĂ¡

Nothing Left to Lose by Mat Kearney

Ever the Same by Rob Thomas

Dance Inside by The All-American Rejects

Overkill by Colin Hay

Got You (Where I Want You) by The Flys

I'm Yours by Jason Mraz

Seriously, this is insane. What's worse, I've begun to sing each song as well - out loud, no less - which might not be so bad if I didn't sound like a crazy person mumbling to herself. (Oh, and I totally want to post all these lyrics up in the hopes that they'll drive someone else crazy, but really, that'd just be overkill.)


Broken Compter Parts Make Me Break Apart

Also. The CD/DVD drive on my computer is broken, just at the moment when I'm really wanting to upload a bunch of CDs to my iTunes. This sucks. I checked online what it'd cost to get a new drive, and it doesn't look like I can get anything for less than $75, which means I'm not getting a new drive. And when/if I get it, I'm going to have to to factor in the installation cost. Have I mentioned this sucks?


Yes, I'm Lazy; also, Overwhelmed

Oh, and I have what I think is a pretty brilliant idea, but really, what do I know about brilliance? I'm thinking - if I invite you all over to my house for food, drink, music and good times, would it be fine if I gave you each some kind of chore to handle for me? I'm thinking, yes, it would be perfectly o.k. The wonderful time you will have is totally worth all the work I need you to do for me.

Seriously. There's the really cute swing chair I need hung from the mango tree; a bunch of stuff I want to put up on the walls; some light painting (touch-up); and picking up/storing all kinds of clothes. Not so bad, right?

So, how about it? You, me, some time-consuming chores? Yes?

Hey, at least I've learned how to change the light bulbs high up on the ceiling.

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Posted by Tere @ 7/16/2008   | | | links to this post

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Obsess!

Being completely swamped at work has not deterred me from obsessing about a variety of trivial things. Actually, maybe it's obsessing about trivial things that has gotten me through the week.

Let's get to it.

1. Avocados. It's the season! Down here we go from mangos straight into avocados, and I finally care. I only started liking avocados about a year or so ago (after a lifetime of my dad trying to get me to eat them and putting on a "that's so gross" face and declining). I love making my own guacamole and figuring out what else I can add avocados to.

2. Shoes. Oh God in heaven, help me. My desire for shoes is back with a vengeance, and I blame the yellow sandals. Now I feel like an insatiable beast. I used money from an old gift card yesterday to buy two awesomely awesome pairs of shoes, and honestly, I just want more. MORE. More shoes, damn it!

3. My hair. Yup, it's still fabulous.

4. My lawn. It's horribly overgrown. My landlord has a nice old guy cut it every 3 or 4 weeks, but in the summer, it's long just a week after it's cut. So right now, I've got a jungle around my house. Seriously, I step on the grass and my foot disappears. It's freaking me out.

5. The mess that multiplies. I've been doing a good job (I think) of keeping my house orderly. I figure that if I spend a few minutes every day picking up Max's toys and cleaning up whatever new mess either one of us made, it's way better than facing a huge mess at the end of the week. I love having a house that's semi-neat and orderly all the time.

However! I've also been doing a lot of sorting and throwing out or creating piles for charity and storing and organizing. Doing such a big task in-between work and parenting and regular cleaning has proven to be a little hard for me, and I'm admittedly kinda slow and ambivalent about the whole thing.

I've realized that I need help, someone to hold my hand and keep me company but also keep me in line to make sure I do what needs to be done. They should be strict with me but also ready to reward me when I get the job done, as if I were a puppy.

It's just too bad I won't let anyone in the house while it looks like this.


Posted by Tere @ 7/13/2008   | | | links to this post

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Terror of the Night

I'm sitting here on my couch, with my legs up, huddled into a little ball of fear. I'm terrified to step down, to move, even, for it is at this hour that they come out.

The roaches. The damn, damn roaches. They are taking over my house, and I am their prisoner.

You need to know that I'm terrified of roaches. It's right up there with flying (roaches, flying and alligators: THE TRIFECTA OF TERROR). I have horrible childhood memories of roaches (nay, those huge, hideous Palmetto bugs that FLY) and am completely traumatized. Like the time when I was about 3 or 4 years old and we were all in my mom's bedroom because my dad was out of town and whenever he traveled we would all stay locked in my mother's room with her at night, and a large, evil roach flew, in, buzzed around our heads, smacked into the wall behind our heads, went into some kind of seizure and thrashed all over the room while we screamed and cowered in the bed. Or that other time when I was around 9 and was in the bathroom, setting up my cassette player so Barbie and I could sing and dance while we bathed, and as I'm settling in to the tub, adjusting the water, this hideous creature crawled up from the drain, walked right towards me, and backed me into a corner while I screamed in fear for my life.

I can't look at them, touch them, or be in the same room as them. In fact, I've been known to wake my father up at 3 in the morning so he can hunt down that evil roach that I just know is hiding underneath my bed, or in a corner somewhere, or in my closet. Many times. Throughout the course of my childhood and into my young adulthood.

And now, I live in an old house, with lots of plants/dirt/planters/grass surrounding said house. I also live in Miami, where it's hot and humid and currently the rainy season. You know what all this means? That I am a roach's dream come true. They see my house, and they're like, "Oh HAI, old house with lots of cracks to sneak in through. Move over, spiders, Palmetto mofos in the house!"

And so every night, as I'm trying to relax with some TV or a book or a long overdue email to my prison pen pal good friend, I inevitably glance around or try to get up for some milk or a nice, juicy mango, and BAM! there's one of them. Crawling ever so slowly across my living room. Approaching me. Trapping me. Disappearing under the very couch I'm sitting on.

This madness has to stop. I've taken to keeping a bottle of Raid within arm's reach, and I can't stand to use that kind of pesticide in my house. That's how desperate I am, though. I foolishly slacked on my preventive treatment (spraying a blend of water and clove oil all over the place every day), and now I'm paying the price.

I no longer have anyone to kill and dispose of roaches for me. Oh, I tried to get Max to do it, but all he does is point and squeal, "Mami, look! Bicho!!!!" And when I urge him to pummel it to pieces, he steps back and goes, "YOU do it!!" So much for that. And I suppose I could call my dad - I mean, he is just up the street - but you know, he's older now and does so much for me as it is... so I just can't.

That leaves me; me to be a big girl and take the roaches on by myself. And I thought, o.k., I can totally do this; I just point and spray, and throw some roach motels around and I'm done. But I failed to consider one thing: what do I do when the roach is dead? I mean, I can't pick that thing up! Not even with a paper towel or a bath towel or a comforter. It might not really be dead, you know. It's just pretending, so that when I lean in, it can jump up and attack my face. And that'll be the end of me!

As I ponder the cruel turn my life has taken, a couple of days pass and I accumulate one or two dead roaches, which I ignore as best as I can (and no, Max has not been here to witness any of this, and we must never tell him). I soon notice that there haven't been any more roaches trying to attack me, and I realize why: because of their dead compatriots.

So, those monsters get it. THEY KNOW. And with those dead roaches, I put them on notice: let this be a warning to you bitches! I don't mess around! The same fate awaits you if you cross my path! I will make examples out of all of you!!!!!!

And then yesterday, I realized I could just get the broom and dust pan and sweep them up. So I did. But they're out there, waiting. They'll be coming back. And I'll be terrified, curled up on my couch, but ready.

That's right: bring it on, bitches, 'cause I'm ready.

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Posted by Tere @ 7/12/2008   | | | links to this post

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Words of Wisdom; Obviously, They're Not Mine

I have a pretty hard time writing about my spiritual side. I think it's a part of me that is deeply personal, and it's just very difficult for me to find the words to convey what I feel and why, and how that affects every aspect of my life. I don't want to come off as a nut, or a new-age flake, or a "Catholic by convenience," or one of those annoying people who's always like, "Oh, I am SO spiritual; look at me, the yogi in the tree; be amazed by how deep I am!"

But if I could say one thing, it's that everything I am and have, every moment where I feel like I have some small triumph or can laugh at myself or where I'm able to understand (or try to understand) someone or something very different from me or where I'm convinced that darkness will pass - it is all due to my faith, my beliefs, and the strength they give me.

I share this to offer a little more explanation to my current post over at GNMParents. There is so much about parenting that for me is tied to faith, to thing unseen and unknown. It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, in matters that are ultimately trivial, and I find myself asking many times, "what's the point of all this?"

When I wrote the post, I was thinking about all this, and I wanted to share some words that guide me and help me find meaning in what I'm trying to do as mother when I feel ungrounded or mired in b.s.

With that, I invite you to read more here.

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Posted by Tere @ 7/10/2008   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Help Me Spend Money!!

People! Praise Jesus, for he loves me!!

So here I am, feeling all kinds of crappy, when I get an email telling me I've won a $100 gift card! Ha! This sounds like I'm about to be a fool being set up for a scam, but no! It's real!

The cool kids over at Guanabee randomly selected me from a pool of readers who took their survey, and so, I win! I WIN! W00t! I am a super winner! Of money! In the form of a gift card! For me to shop with!

And this, just a couple of weeks from my birthday (oh sure, the birthday I'm in no mood to even mention, much less celebrate, but this makes it all better).

The thing is, what do I do with this nice surprise? The conscientious, guilt-ridden part of me says, "Use it to stock up on pull-ups, toilet paper, organic meat and all other kinds of good, responsible mother-like things," while the rest of me is all, "Piss it away! Piss it away! Cute tops, more shoes, books galore, loads of coffee! GO CRAZY, woman!"

Damn, I can't decide. What to do, what to do? The card hasn't even arrived and I'm already stressing out. The pressure!

So, help a sister out and tell me how I should spend this money. Please!

Posted by Tere @ 7/08/2008   | | | links to this post

Monday, July 07, 2008

What's a Girl to do When She Feels Like the Most Awful Thing Ever?

Quite simply:

Because what else can you do? A new pair of cheap, cute, comfy sandals is sometimes a good enough balm for the blahs.

This last week has been mother-effing grim in these parts, folks. Like, GRIM. I'm talking tears, anger, self-pity, despair - the works. Seriously, I'm exhausted.

Believe it or not, though, I'm taking everything in stride. I've asked myself to take each day as it comes, and no more. I would normally be planning and preparing for and worrying about the future, obsessing over a million big and little things. But while I do worry about a bunch of big-picture things (mainly all related to my son), I am pretty much just aiming to make it from one day to the next as best as possible.

So I have days that are better than others, and what's really helping me is all the writing I'm doing - you know, the kind that's really personal, semi-coherent and freakishly over-analytical. There's a good chance I may read over everything a few years from now and feel mortified, but for now, it's helping, and that's all I care about. I'm all about examining my behavior from every angle, trying to better understand what I did wrong and why, and shredding the entire relationship apart (in a nice way) in an effort to find answers. And yes, I'm doing the same thing to Ben and his behavior, but that's a delicate territory I don't wish to tread on right now.

The funny thing to me is my need for answers of some kind. Is there any point to seeking answers when something is over? What difference will it make? Still, I feel like making sense of everything is key for my healing and moving on. So I'm just accepting that and going through the steps that will get me where I need to be.

The bright side of everything is Max and how normal and like his usual self he's been through these rough weeks. It may all take a turn for the worse, but for now, he's good, and that's one hell of a relief. While I'm pretty much sticking to his usual routine (as all the books have stressed is SUPER IMPORTANT), there are changes that must be made, time and space that have to be filled as I try to realize my vision of "home." To that end, I'm working to be firmer and clearer about the rules and my expectations of him, but we're also spending a big chunk of time playing and learning. And I, I'm trying to create my own routine, to fill my own spaces and time with activities I've long neglected or rituals that help me relax. For now, this is all I can do.

Now normally, this would be the post that highlights the Obsessions of the Week, but I haven't had much of a mind for much this last week beyond my own personal situation. Well, except my hair. I'm still obsessed with that because it looks so gorgeous lately. I realized like three or four days ago that it's now past my shoulders, almost halfway down my back. I love how long it is and how it makes me look. I've also been taking extra care of it, and combined with my recent cut, it's just an awesome mass of brown loveliness. And for whatever reason, it smells good all the time. For real. Even if I get lazy about washing it, it's not retaining any stink. It's like my hair is now magical!

So, you know, awesome new shoes and fabulous hair may be really insignificant things, but they make me feel a little better. And "a little" is better than "not at all," so I'm going to take it and enjoy it.

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Posted by Tere @ 7/07/2008   | | | links to this post