When I mess something up, at least everyone escapes with all their limbs intact.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

And suddenly, he hath forsaken the Isle of Sodor

My toddler, like almost any young boy you'll find today, was completely enraptured with Thomas the Tank Engine in all his wonderful, stop-motion glory. For 15 minutes at a time, he would sit in silent awe, only daring to gently mouth the word "Thomas" with severe reverence lest he somehow disturb the characters on the television. He would grip his tiny hands around his two favorite trains: Thomas (natch), and Percy (though, try having your two year old say THAT name to you and not want to cringe/giggle/ask him to say it again. Say it out loud in your best two-year-old voice. AH, now you get it.). He was so excited about wearing his Thomas T-shirt, or using his Thomas blanket in his bed that had Thomas sheets...he was quite the fanatic.

Then he started to lean towards Caillou, lovable, whiny, bald Caillou. Caillou and his little sister Rosie. Caillou and his frequently missing cat, Gilbert. Caillou and his gimmie-whatever-drugs-she's-on Mama. Etc, etc. Maybe two months go by where Caillou is the top entertainment dog, not Thomas.

This brings us to last month, where I unearth the "Hero of the Rails" Thomas DVD that I'd misplaced. I was really happy to have found it and was so sure that he would be, too, that I popped it in the DVD player immediately and proclaimed it MOVIE TIIIIIIMMMMEEEE!

Why did my toddler run into his room and hide behind the door?

All of a sudden, he's terrified of Thomas. He won't watch it on TV, won't use his blanket, and most certainly won't go near that DVD. I tried showing him an old Thomas DVD that he had liked but I was met with cries of "NO THOMAS!"

"Hero of the Rails" is a CGI movie; Thomas is generally stop action. I vaguely recall a couple of girlfriends saying that their toddlers, all Thomas freaks, were scared of the HOTR movie...but how could my guy watch it several times and THEN develop a fear of it? Is this a phenomenon? Do your kids fear the CGI Thomas?

It's sad that he's letting this go, because we had fun as a family playing and watching Thomas. We will mourn him. I will mourn him especially while watching Caillou DVDs on repeat.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Laundry Quandry

Laundry. Let's discuss.

I am probably one of the few people who loves doing laundry. I like the routine and cycle (ha!) of it. I like watching my pile of dirty clothes become a pile of clean clothes. I love pulling warm, wonderfully fluffy towels out of the dryer and pausing just long enough to shove my face in them and take a deep breath before I toss them in the basket. I even love shopping for laundry detergent - when I worked at the grocery store, it wasn't surprising to find me in the cleaning aisle smelling all the new and exciting laundry detergent and fabric softener scents. I'd get all excited when it was time to buy new stuff and I'd wash everything that could possibly construed as dirty just so I'd get to have that new smell on my clothes (you know, so I wouldn't have mismatched scents warring against each other...can't walk out of the house with your top smelling like Tide and your drawers smelling like Gain).

One of my all-time favorite things is coming across the smell of someone else doing laundry - walking outside and having the Downy-fresh scent waft in your general direction.

Mmmmmm. Wafting laundry scent.

But...(and there's always a but, isn't there?)...I am positively allergic to putting the shit away. I'll sort it. I'll wash it. I get it dry come line or machine HELL, I'll even fold it. But I cannot, nay, will not, put in on a hanger or in a drawer.

Unless it's my son's clothes, and then I have no problem putting everything away in nice neat rows of mostly color coordinated but definitely sleeve-length segregated and jeans vs. khaki separated drawers.

I'm sure that in most relationships there is a yin to the yang, a partner who can take up the others slack. In mine, there is not. Hubs is equally incapable of returning cleaned laundry to its rightful place.

And so, the laundry sits. Folded in baskets and laid out for hangers, the clothes wait to be put away. They never stay this way - we go to find something, some article of clothing I know I just washed and, dammit, I know it's stacked on the right bottom side of the blue hamper - and instead of putting the stuff away while we look for it, we merely move it to the side, or on a chair, find what we need, and move on. At first, we might carefully put it back in the basket, but after a day or two we have a hard time making hide or hair of what's clean and what's not, until laundry day comes again and I'm sniff-testing everything on my closet floor because it's just a big jumbly mess and I'm out of empty baskets because they're still full of LAST WEEKS LAUNDRY.

It happens every. single. week. Once a month or two, we'll get a hair up our tushes and get everything sorted and put up, all facing the same direction on the hanger and his shirts sorted all "Sleeping with the Enemy"-like...but then our patterns slowly creep back and I end up as I was this afternoon, rear planted firmly on the floor among several piles of laundry (definitely clean, somewhat clean, OMG! That's foul!, and did something pee on this?) contemplating how much time and money I spend rewashing the same clean clothes every year.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


No, not the Calvin Klein type.

I become, shall we say, extremely focused on the attaining of goals once I have set them. I read everything there is, talk to people who have or might have known someone who had knowledge on the subject, and daydream scheme plot make plans.

It's a tedious task for me, and one that makes friends and relatives run in fear when I've set my sights on something.

Nicely put, I become obnoxious.

I find myself presently in this predicament. I am obsessed with finding a new house - you know, one that's bigger than a breadbox? - in my hometown, where we spend most of our waking hours, and where my husband still works. Both our families are there. Nice place to live. Makes sense, right?

So I've been working on our current house and had planned to have it on the market in September...only, my ankle had other plans. (Thanks, ankle! Cookie for you, and all.) Because I'm at the mercy of my injury, things have stalled. I'm really close to being done, and it's frustrating because at this point, I can't even clean my house effectively, let alone renovate.

The house across the street from the one I grew up in, where my brother and his wife still live now, is going on the market. The elderly couple who own it have moved to a independent living community much more suited to their needs and their children are putting the house up for sale. I have spoken with the family, and we may be able to work out a deal in the next few months should the house not sell for what they wish.

This house is beautiful. It has four bedrooms, two decks, and a fireplace. The yard is private, thanks to large, dense evergreen trees that completely block the neighbors view. The yard is large enough for my dogs to run happily and for my son to play and it's right across the street from my family. On MY street. In MY neighborhood. It's home.

I felt so comfortable sitting there, talking with this couple's daughter. I felt like this could be home, and it felt wrong to leave it.  I'm already planning what room will serve what purpose, and where furniture will go, and how amazing it will be to have coffee on the deck in the fall, or be snowbound in the winter, or watch my son and my nephew play in the backyard come fall.  I want that house. I need that house. I have to have that house. NOW NOW NOW!

Did I mention that I get a little obsessive about things?

This is not the first time that I have had a feeling about a house recently. There have been several over the course of the past year. Suffice to say, I can pretty much see my family in any decent house that isn't the one we're living in now, for the most part.

This one, though. This one is different, man. I can't stop thinking about it. I want it, and I want to work hard at whatever I need to do to get it. Problem is, I can't do the work because I'm recovering from this damned surgery. This vexes me greatly. I am a worker - I want something, I work hard, I get it. Right now I want something and I am in no position to do the work needed to get it. I am also not in a position to brow beat my husband into doing it, either. I'm really, really frustrated.

I need to get my house on the market so that I can even have a shot at this place. It needs to happen really, really soon. Yet here I sit, on my tush, waiting for a "work party day" on Saturday when my husband can start to tackle the projects, with as much non-weight-putting-assistance as I can muster.

This feeling will pass. It'll take a few days, I'll calm down and come back to reality. I know that what is destined to happen is going to happen. If this is supposed to be my home it will be.

I just want to pick out paint colors while I wait.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In hoping that the laundry will fold itself

Have you ever tried to cross your legs comfortably with an orthodic boot on? It's not pleasant. Especially if you're a leg crosser to begin with, it becomes a very frustrating venture wherein you find yourself constantly shuffling your feet because, dammit, you just can't cross your legs.

I am now a little over three weeks past my surgery. Where I was feeling strong only a week ago, I have backpedaled into feeling weak (break for attempting to cross legs - dammit!) and, well, weaker. I keep having to tighten the boot because my leg muscles are slowly deteriorating from lack of use. My toes are starting to go numb again. Every so often I forget that all this has happened and I stand up and even take a few steps before going "SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! Crutches! No weight bearing! GAAAAHHHH!"

I have bruises everywhere. I have to take an asprin a day to keep the blood flowing freely through my non-stimulated leg and it's causing me to look abused. I bruise easily to begin with, so this is really disturbing to see. I have a bruise the size of my open palm on my good leg right under a knuckle-sized bruise on my knee, a series of small bruises on the knee of my bad leg from falling (and no, for the last goddamned time I'm not overdoing it, I fall. A lot. Katie = klutzy. I don't know why or how I'm so good at drawing blood because, really, I'm a hazard to myself.), a bruise under my left eye from an errant sippy cup that flew my way, and a bruise on the underside of my thigh from TRYING TO CROSS MY LEG OVER THE DAMNED ORTHODIC BOOT.

My legs hurt. My ankle hurts. I feel the difference in my blood when I try to skip the asprin. MAKE. THIS. STOP. I want it to be over.

I'm at the point now where I'm having to do a lot of things by myself and I'm more active than I probably should be. It's now that I need help.

I'm whining.  This is not the post I intended to write, but it's probably the post I was supposed to write.

I just want to clean my house. I want to pick up my son and walk with him. I want to drive my car.

Most of all, I want to cross my legs in peace.

**Edited twice for shamefully blatant grammar mistakes**

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Going Slowly

This one's for you, Katharine. It's no novel, but it'll do for now.

I'm a week removed from my ankle surgery. I'm not in pain anymore. In fact, my biggest complaint is that the boot I have to wear makes my toes go numb. I am my own worst enemy because I am klutzy by nature, so I fall on or kick something with my bad foot almost daily. I've borrowed the knee walker from my father-in-law again to help me be more self-sufficient (and fall less). Using this allows me to stand on my good leg while supporting my bad foot and keep my hands free to, say, make a sandwich.

I occupy three spaces: the bed, the toilet, and my computer chair. Occasionally, I substitute the recliner for my bed, but for short periods of time. I finally showered last night. Judge if you will, but it wasn't the "come to Jesus" experience I was hoping for. My foot is still yellow from all the iodine disinfectant the surgeon used, but my hair is clean and my skin is soft. You try sitting on a chair in your tub and keep your foot on the back wall so it'll stay dry and tell me how glorious it is.

I haven't had as many people come by as I'd hoped, but the help I've had has been capital-F-abulous. They've brought me Starbucks and chocolate and Bananas Fosters French Toast and cleaned my house so I'd sit still (I love when people are as clean-freaky as I am, or can at least pretend to be for a short while). They've taken my son out to breakfast and taught him to feed ducks at the pond. They've brought me fried chicken and chauffeured my son to and from daycare and rocked him to sleep at night. I've been a bit lonely on the days that no one has come, but it's kind of nice because I used to be alone a lot as a child and I kind of miss it.

It takes me for-ev-er to do anything. Using the crutches makes it faster to get from point A to point B, but I can't carry anything and it winds me (lifting 200+ pounds with every step would wind you, too. Perhaps, when this is all over, I'll have disproportionately buff arms...no, wait, I'm back. I was lost in buff-arm land for a second. Apologies.). I've managed to use the knee walker to my advantage in terms of taking things, like a drink, from one place to another. I have strategically placed stable, flat surfaces throughout my house so I can take a cup, roll to the edge of the kitchen and place the cup on the microwave cart, then move the walker the step up into my living room while using one crutch that I've left against the wall to help support me, lean back far enough to reach the and roll it to the TV tray I've put next to the recliner (if that's my destination, then huzzah!) OR, I roll it to the edge of the living room where there is a step down into the foyer and at THIS point I stop and reach the cup around the corner to the hutch where I gently place it so that I can roll the walker down the step, pick up the cup, roll it over to my desk, where I set it down and dismount the walker in such a fashion that I only place body weight on my good foot and plant my rear in my computer chair. My house is not very big - it's 600 sq. ft., total - and this is a lot of effort just to read my blogs while drinking a cup of coffee. But, priorities and all that. It's more complicated when I'm trying to eat a meal that requires a plate, so I've taken to tossing whatever food I want into a large Tupperware container and then putting the whole thing into a plastic grocery bag that I can hang on the handle of my walker.

It's more frustrating if I find that my cell phone is going off in the other room, and where I'd normally make two large strides to fetch it now it's a major production involving the walker, or crutches, or both.
What I am truly enjoying about this whole thing is the amount of Food Network Television I've been able to watch. It's like daytime-TV crack.

So, in trying to get the melancholy out of my system, I've left out the fact that I feel a lot better. I'm getting some random things completed that I'd never have time to do otherwise, and seriously, for the first time in the past 3 months my foot doesn't hurt, which is awesome. I'm doing well, and taking it easy, Katie-style.