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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crazy is as Crazy does

Today was a fun day.  Lily and I ventured into Savannah for some last minute DC trip preparations.  I purchased some new jeans (yay to losing more baby weight!), Lily got some more fall clothing, and I had my eyebrows threaded.  Just a little something extra to make me feel like a woman, not just a mother.  On our way home we stopped at Wal-Mart for dog food and house-sitter food.  I don't think he'd enjoy continuing my diet of Special K, salad, and bake potatoes.  Lily obviously enjoyed the trip. 

We got home just in time for supper.  Lily was enjoying her pears and peaches, and I was listening to NBC Nightly News.  Imagine my surprise to hear Brian Williams tell me to be on alert for a tropical storm headed my way.  Imagine how angry I got when I saw the projection map showing the storm heading straight up the east coast, THURSDAY.  THURSDAY.  The day Lily and I are flying up to DC.  Supposedly.  I have no idea where this storm came from.  I watch the news every morning and evening, and I've been paying attention to the tropics.  This thing is a complete shock.  I called the airline, and right now they don't have any alerts.  I'm just praying this thing dies out, and Lily and I make it safely to DC on Thursday.  I'm going a bit crazy here without Cayce.  How crazy you ask?  Lemme tell ya.

The maintenance man was here today to look at the issues with the house.  Lily and I left for Savannah when he left for supplies.  When we came home I checked the black hole on the back of the house, and sure enough it's still there looking like it hadn't even been touched.  So I decided that he hadn't returned.  I realized someone had been back to the house when I flipped the switch to turn off the attic light.  The light switch I made a mental note about earlier in the day when I turned it off after the maintenance man climbed down from the attic.  So now cue my paranoia.  Yes, I know what I'm about to type is insane, but it's me and I just deal.  I let it seep into my mind someone was waiting in the attic to pounce once Lily and me when we went to bed.  Once this thought crossed my mind there was no turning back.  I called Cayce told him about my ludicrous imaginings.  He tried to talk me down from the ledge, but I would not see reason.  In the end Cayce called Joe Ditzel at 9:00 at night, (on a Tuesday, Wednesday being a 6:15 AM PT day), and Joe kindly came out to the house crawled and bent at weird angles all over the attic ensuring there was no one hiding in the insulation.  Joe went home with some fresh made brownies for his extreme trouble.  Yes, I baked brownies at 9:30 at night. 

It's been a long day.  I had grand plans of packing once Lily went to bed tonight.  Here it is 11:00 PM, and nothing more than the six pre-made formula bottles and 11 diapers are in the carry-on bag.  Six bottles instead of three (one for lunch during the flight, and two for emergency) is also due to the slightly off kilter way my brain works.  Now I'm worried about being stranded for two days at Charlotte.  CrAZy I say!  I think I really need to reign in my worrisome nature.  Perhaps this is something I can work on in therapy.  On that note I'm going to turn off the tv, laptop, and head up to bed with the excellent book I am currently reading. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet Murphy

Today we finally received the rain we haven't had in weeks.  While it cooled things off and made for a relaxing day the effects of the torrential rains exposed how the creatures have been entering the attic. 

Somehow the rain detached the siding from the soffit.  I guess it's kind of understandable since the wood under it appears to be a porous as cheese cloth.

You can imagine just how quickly I dialed the property manager.  Unfortunately, due to the weather no one could come out today. They'll be here tomorrow. *sigh* No wonder we've been invaded.  It's crazy.  This house isn't even that old, but that's some serious rot. 

I can't wait to move.

On the upside here's a sweet baby who's found a new way to play with her swing.

She likes to roll over under it and grab a hold of the belt strap and swing it from underneath. 

She also likes to use her feet and kick it back and forth, but I didn't get a picture of that!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Murphy, you're not welcome here.

There's a lovable saying in the Military community.  Military Murphy's Law:  When the spouse is away for work.  What can go wrong, will.

Welcome to my home.  I completely forgot about this fun little part of TAD, TDY, Deployments etc.  Lily's teething up a storm.  Her two front teeth are about to pop on out.  We've been making due, and really only at night do they seem to be an issue.  Even so we've been able to soothe the pain with teething tablets, Tylenol, and frozen cantaloupe in a mesh feeder.  I was actually patting myself on the back for handling her night time fussiness so well (I just love my sleep, and can be grumpy with out it).  Go figure that things would get a whole lot worse before Cayce would come home.  Cue the pitter patter of raccoon feet.

It's no secret we have a gang of rowdy raccoons in the neighborhood.  We've (stupidly) welcomed and photographed one on our porch, and we've watched as our Lab bravely rescued our Cocker Spaniel from the clutches of one hungry trash digger. 
Then started the nightly serenade of tinkling raccoon toes on our roof.  It wasn't too bad.  The dogs got a little miffed, but eventually even they got used to the sound.  In my mind I imagined them crawling up the large tree overhanging the roof above our master bedroom, quickly sprinting across the roof to the tree overhanging the back porch, and single file climbing down that tree to search for delicacies a la Mautino.  We keep our back porch closed in during the night, so we never really worried about a raccoon invasion.  However, the buggers defied our human barriers (screened door) and punched on through to get  to the tasty dog food and trash can kept there.  Color us angered when we discovered the busted screen the next morning.  So we learned our lesson.  Dog food is now kept in the kitchen and trash is now really and truly raccoon proof.  Since the kibble buffet and dumpster diner have been closed our raccoon encounters have greatly diminished.  Until last night.  I was sleeping peacefully, enjoying getting a full night of sleep without any pitiful cries of pain from Lily, and at 6:22 AM a sound awoke the dogs and me.  At first I thought it was just the Ricky Raccoon gang coming in for their tour of the yard, but then I heard the sound of our INSULATION (!!) being pushed around.  I just stared at the ceiling listening to the intruder scamper from one end of our bedroom to the other.  We have a very large master suite and he/she was certainly getting a workout.  He/she was digging, thudding, and prancing all over the attic.  Of course the dogs are going nuts.  I was afraid to move.  Of course rational thought tells me the raccoon's not going to crash through the drywall and attack, but at 6:30 AM anything's possible.  Finally the commotion ceased, and I thought the dogs and I could go back to slumberland.  Cue Lily.  Poor thing woke up crying.  I headed into the bathroom first only to discover the toilet had been running ALL NIGHT.  I jiggled the handle, took off the lid, did something to the things in there, and said screw it this is going to have to wait 'til Lily's back to sleep.  Luckily that did not take long at all.  She nursed for only 10 minutes and happily went back to bed.  Upon returning to upstairs to the bathroom I found the toilet in proper working order.  I attempted to go back to sleep, but stayed up listening to the raccoon ballet while every one in the house around me slept peacefully.  I've been up since then, haven't eaten, and already put in the maintenance request.  When Lily takes  her afternoon nap I may just join her.  Only 5 more days 'til we're in DC, and hopefully the house stays standing while our house-sitter is here.  If not I may just pack it in, and call it a day.

It never fails.  The best toys are the 4 legged kind.  Since Cayce's been gone Choco has really taken to Lily.  She gives Lily lots of kisses every day, and is trying to teach Lily to play fetch.  She's super patient with Lily, and lets her grab and hold onto her fur and face.   Lily thinks Choco is the bees knees and giggles and laughs at her all the time.  Makes me happy :-D

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 2

Bath time was a success last night!

I think we'll stick to baths in the sink while Cayce's gone.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 1

Lily is 6 months old today!  She's such a big girl!!  I don't know where this time has gone, but it's definitely flown by.  I can't even remember what our lives were like before we had our sweet baby girl.  I know today is a bittersweet day for Cayce.  He left for DC early early early this morning.  While he is excited to go to this school he will miss his Lily girl.  He made Lily a 6th month birthday card, and left it on the dining room table for her.  She successfully threw it off the table where it landed dangerously close to the dogs' water bowl.  So far today has been just like any other day.  I'm sure to Lily it feels like Daddy's at work, and Mommy's doing the normal routine.  Even for me it feels normal.  It'll change when Cayce's not here to feed Lily her supper and bathe her.  Lily will be bathing in the kitchen sink tonight.  That will be a new adventure for both of us!  I'm actually looking forward to it.  We're all stocked up on food for Lily.  I was on a steaming/pureeing rampage yesterday.   We only have 10 days of figuring out how to operate without Cayce, but I think we can handle it.  The dogs will probably be the ones most affected by Cayce's absence.  Around 5 o'clock each evening they start pacing looking for Cayce's truck.  They'll probably spend this first night barking at every sound thinking it's their Daddy finally home.  Fun fun.  Anywho I have few new pictures to share including Lily's 6th month shot.  In honor of Cayce I dressed her up in her Kansas City Chiefs' cheer-leading outfit!

This was taken about a month ago.  We were doing a marathon shopping trip, and Lily crashed in Cayce's arms.

I was trying to do some last minute chores before Lily and I settled in the recliner for bedtime.  She was not thrilled at the delay in her bedtime.

Lunch with Daddy!

We know who ranks highest in this family!  Meet Chief Mautino!  (Wearing Chief Bru's cover [Cayce's boss])

Disclaimer:  Lily really enjoyed her photo shoot today, so there were many good pictures of her, and I couldn't decide which was best.  Therefore, there's pictures a plenty!

In my opinion this one is the best, but it was taken with my camera phone so the quality is lacking.  It looks great on the phone, and Cayce was able to enjoy seeing his princess all gussied up for game day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


It's not just for your face.  I've shocked myself and the world and taken a stand to be proactive.

As can probably be surmised from my previous post I'm dealing with some issues.  Progressively over the past month or two I've slowly been cycling into a dark little pit.  I've successfully isolated myself, and taken the role of hermit to a new level.  Cayce and I keep having the same argument over and over and over and over..... no resolution in sight.  Mostly due to my irrational thought process.  I've learned what it truly means to be an insomniac and live in a constant state of anxiousness.  I'm harboring irrational anger/envy towards those who don't deserve my ire.  I'm definitely making mountains out of mole hills.  Like Mt. Everest sized mountains.  I cry at the drop of a hat, and stay in this depressed mood for far too long.  This is a total 180* shift from the previous year.  I was on cloud 9 during the pregnancy, and with the exception of crying a little easier during movies and hallmark commercials I was the picture of an emotionally stable and happy being.  Lily has truly been my one bright spot for the past couple of months.  She's such a joy.  Oh Lord, she's such a joy.  I love everything about her.  Even the sound of her breathing gives me peace, but even she is not *enough* to pull me out of this destructive rut. 

After a rough few days, starting with the loss of Kevin, spiraling towards other fabricated craziness Cayce and I were able to have a long heart to heart.  He kindly *no sarcasm intended* pointed out my erratic behavior as a whole, and urged me to think about seeking professional help.  He understood that no matter how much he loves me he is not going to be able to pull me through single-handedly.  Surprisingly I took this well.  Maybe so.  Maybe this is more than the perceived foibles of others.  Maybe the rest of the world's not wrong, maybe it's me.  Just a little bit.

So I thought about it, talked to mom about it, and decided to do something about it.  There's an awesome program, Military One Source, available to Military members and their dependents.  They can be contacted and confidential arrangements (without command involvement or Military medical records noted)  can be made to access mental health professionals for free of charge.  So I, who hides from all things new and different, called Military One Source last night.  I talked for about 45 minutes to a licensed therapist named Mike.  He assessed my needs and referred me to a female therapist here in town for 11 free sessions.  It was an amazingly healing 45 minutes.  Even in that short amount of time I received some helpful tips for helping me sleep and alleviating some of my perceived stress.  I've always advocated to others the wonders and need for reaching for a healthy mental and emotional state.  However, I myself have never chosen to access those resources available to me.  I don't want medication.  I'm not looking for an easy way out.  What I'm looking for is a new way of thinking, feeling, living.  I'm looking for a way to get back in touch with the outgoing fun-loving side of me who existed 2 years ago.  The me who had friends.  The me who enjoyed new experiences.  The me who walked into UNF not knowing a soul and voraciously took a hold of my life.  I want *me* back.   I need this for Cayce, Lily, and most of all, Me.

Here's to the search!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Little *Me* Time


Today is a tough day.  I'm struggling a lot.  I'm a ball of fury. 

This has nothing to do with Lily.  She's wonderful in every way.  I love her, and she's so perfect.  However, today, even she could not keep me from roller coastering.

I'm being blunt here.  Infertility is a bitch.  I have wounds people.  Deep deep wounds.  And, no, finally having a baby does not heal those wounds.  There's still six years of bleeding, festering, sores under the surface.  I've nicely bandaged them.  The gauze holds tightly for everyday wear and tear, but there are things out of my control that creep in and rip those bandages right off. 

I wish it were okay to wear a badge that says "I have fertility issues, do not ask or mention the following:  Why did you wait so long to have a baby?  When are you having more children?  I got pregnant after only a month or two of trying.  He/She was unplanned.  Boo Hoo pregnancy sucks. etc."

I am sensitive.  I own it.  I also understand that it's not people's fault that I'm so sensitive about my situation.  I understand strangers being clueless, but I think some people have decided to forgo manners and butt into my personal life.  If I want you to know I will tell you.  Those who do know me, well they should know better, and each time the subject is breached I draw myself further and further away from them.


Ya know one of the reasons I hesitate on "trying" again.  I'm not ready to open myself back up to that pain and misery of BIG FAT NEGATIVEs. Until you've lived through it you have no right to comment.  Of course I want more children.  But ya know what?  I'm so unbelievably happy with the one I have why would I choose to subject myself to the possible pain of failing.  The Lord will provide what's best.

The end.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What's so funny Lily?

Lily learned to laugh a while back, not just giggle but LOL, laugh.  However, she only laughs at certain things.  Lily doesn't think funny faces are funny, she's not a fan of tickling, and blowing on her stomach, nope not even a grin.  She does think something about the dogs playing fetch is hilarious, and just about each night I hear her and Cayce laughing away while he dresses her for bed.  Last night our home was not a place of laughter.  This home that has been filled with an overabundance of joy since Lily's birth was suffocating under sorrow and grief.  Our cousin Kevin tragically passed away yesterday.  Our tiny family just lost a binding and balancing member.  Something strange was happening in our home last night.  During dinner Lily sat in her high chair laughing. At what we have no clue.  She just laughed and laughed and laughed.  While I took some time to find solace with Cayce Lily sat in her swing laughing her little heart out.  When it was nearing her bedtime I put her on her swaddle blanket in her room, and once again the laughing started.  Each time we delighted in her laughter, but were puzzled at the source.   After Lily was put in her crib Cayce and I reflected on our little giggle monster.  We realized at the time we were finishing dinner and Lily began her first bout of contagious laughter Kevin was leaving this world for a better one.  Whenever I started to get particularly maudlin Lily would start her laughing again.  We were never able to see anything that we could attribute her laughing, but I want to believe there was someone making her laugh.  Someone we couldn't see, but someone who knew those laughs were needed then more than ever.  I want to believe Kevin was making our baby girl laugh.  Kevin was no nonsense, a tell it like it is kind of guy, a "doer," and a man of action.  So Kevin was just continuing that "put me to work" spirit he carried in life.  He was working through Lily's silly laughs to keep us from falling too deeply.   So maybe we won't ask Lily "what's so funny?" every time.  Maybe we'll let ourselves believe Kevin is what's so funny. 

Rest in Peace, Kevin.
  Tell Grandma and Grandpa we love and miss you all!