My Day From Hell

And here I thought that August 31st, 2004 was the worst day of my life….

First, my husband, me and the baby got into a car accident with an oil truck and totaled our mini van on my way to my mother’s house. We have no money saved up right now, hubby doesn’t get paid till Friday and we have no car insurance.

My brother drove us to my mother’s house so we could help her make the decision of whether to put our 8 year old Boxer down or not. He had been getting progressively worse and worse for the past year and had lost almost all control over his hind end and it was slowly spreading to his front legs. For the past week, he hadn’t been able to walk, eat without help, drink, or go to the bathroom without falling in it. My mom had been giving him 24/7 care which was really too much for her… Being 61 years old and not sleeping for a week isn’t good for anyone.

We finally decided to bring Duke (the dog) for a third opinion – a new vet. They said he had one of 2 problems, neither of which could be fixed. The vet said in his condition, he was only going to get worse and wouldn’t live more than a couple more weeks, so it was best to put him down sooner rather then later. Putting down a dog is the hardest thing in the world to do, but it’s even harder when it’s you and your mom – no father – and that dog has been the only thing keeping you alive. My mom bought Duke for me after my dad died and we babied that dog sooooo badly. He was like a brother to me…. So it was like pulling the plug on a family member. Literally.

We had him put to sleep and he died on my lap – the same spot as when I picked him up as a little tiny puppy. The runt of the litter.

We brought him home in the back of my mom’s Saab and my husband lovingly dug a hole in my mom’s backyard. I wrapped him in his favorite brown blanket and lowered him into his final resting place. With him, I placed his favorite toy – a monkey – and my daughter’s favorite pink hat. She had just learned how to say “Dukey” 3 days before this…. She loved him so much.

I buried him and put a cross over his grave. My poor mother couldn’t watch. She was so empty now… He was all she had left. Now she would be completely alone.

I wept over his grave for an hour… I never thought losing him would be so hard. It took me over a year to mourn over my dad’s death, but sobbing for the passing of my dearly beloved dog came so much easier. Maybe because I am older now and I’m tired of suppressing my emotions. I just let them fall out everywhere….

I didn’t think anything else could happen in one day, but when I got hom several hours later, my sister in law found out that her mother has ovarian cancer and only has a few months to live.

I was pretty sure my day couldn’t possibly get any worse. Boy was I wrong… My mother in law, whom I haven’t seen in well over a year, decided to finally tell me everything she’s been thinking and not saying for all this time. And it wasn’t pretty. I don’t know what I was expecting when I told her to “just be out with it already” and tell me what her problem was. Maybe I expected her to do it with a little bit of respect. Or decency. Or at least not dish out an enormous plate of blatant lies and absolutely untrue misconceptions about me. I am shocked, hurt, at a complete loss for words and I don’t see how I will ever be able to even talk to her again. If you only knew what this woman thinks I’ve done… It’s heinous. Something I would never in a million billion years do, even if I was a mean, hateful person. Which I’m not, despite my recent ranting about Obama………………..

There is no way for me to explain to her the truth because she’ll never believe me. She’s chosen to think something about me and I know she’s going to take it to her grave. There is little I can do to prove my innocence on this issue, at least in a way that will matter to her… She’s obviously in a very bad place mentally right now and nothing I say will matter to her. I don’t know if I should even bother to try… She’s cutting off her nose to spite her own face…

I’m at a loss.

At least nothing else can happen today…

Went Shopping at The Garden State Plaza!

And what a shopping experience THAT was!

Last week, my husband went to New Jersey on a business trip (he travels for work) and so I decided to go with him. I knew that the Hyatt hotel he was going to be staying at was just miles from the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus NJ. I had heard about the wonder that is the Garden State Plaza Mall, so I jumped at the opportunity to go!

The 3 hour drive wasn’t fun with an 11 month old, but we made it there in one piece. And the hotel was pretty nice as far as hotels go. Nice living room area with a 42″ flat screen tv, really comfy pillow top bed, granite counter tops in the bathroom, etc so all in all, not a bad place to spend 4 days. Oh yes, there was an indoor pool too!

So Monday night, after my husband was finished with work, we went to the Garden State Plaza Mall.

It is HUGE.

There has to be 200+ stores in that mall… It’s 3 stories with 6 anchor stores including Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, and Neiman Marcus. My local mall doesn’t have any of those stores!

It took us 4 hours to just walk around the entire 2nd floor of the mall. We had just enough time to window shop and walk through a few stores like Juicy Couture and Louis Vuitton before the mall closed. I knew I would have to go back later to check out the rest of the mall…
During our travels we found another shopping discovery… Daffy’s. I spent 3 hours in that store and barely got through the 2 stories of fantastic bargains. If you live in Manhattan or somewhere in New Jersey, then find a store near you. And even if you don’t live near one, definitely plan a day trip to go shopping there. It’s seriously that wonderful. I purchased a pair of brand new Guess sunglasses for $20, that retail for $95. How cool is that? And I found a super comfy pair of flats from Blowfish for only $10.

Thursday morning we had to check out of the hotel, but my husband had a few more work things to do before we could drive home, so he dropped me off at the The Garden State Plaza Mall.

I was there for 6 and a half hours and thankfully, my 11 month old daughter was fantastic! She love riding around in the stroller. Plus, she slept for about 2 and a half hours and just about every 5th person that walked by stopped to say “Hello” to her. She’s such a doll…

My first stop was Forever 21, which I had never shopped in before. I’ve ordered things online, but have never been in one of their stores. It’s fantastic! It’s kinda like shopping in someone’s closet. All the racks have like a mixed bag of items to choose from and you just go from rack to rack, poking around for interesting things. I spent nearly $150 in there! The first thing I picked up was this canvas tote except mine has little motorcycles on it. I couldn’t find it online though… It’s soooo cute though! You can see the motorcycles on the wallet though.

I also got 4 really nice dresses! (this one in yellow, this tribal dress in a different print, and 2 maxi tube dresses – one in navy and one in brown.) I also bought 2 basic tees and a cami in olive green to try layering under the maxi tube dresses I bought. I also found a really neat tunic in a giraffe print.

I almost bought this Carmine Floral Top but decided not because I already have a very similar shirt and I wasn’t crazy about the banded bottom. And I almost bought this Ethnic Print Maxi Dress but decided I had already spent too much and didn’t want to put back anything in my arms! It was really pretty though…

On my way to check out H&M, I stopped at the Herbal Pack Aromatherapy booth. I was so impressed with the aroma from these packs and the calming heat, that I bought the shoulder pack and the mint pack. They wanted $60 for the shoulder pack and $30 for the mint pack, but I haggled the lady for 10 minutes until she agreed to give me both for $40! I will post more about these later.

I thought I would find a lot that I wanted in H&M, but I was actually pretty unimpressed. There wasn’t very much to see and everything kinda looked the same. There were lots of items in magenta and tribal prints. I found a yellow jacket I liked, and it was on sale for $30, but I decided not to get it not knowing whether yellow would be popular in the Fall and Spring 2009.

I really wanted to get some new shoes, but try shoe shopping and trying them on with an antsy 11 month old. Not gonna happen… I had to keep that stroller moving at all times!

To wrap it up, I ended up buying a fabulous Guess pocketbook (which I will show you later) that they wanted $40 for and I haggled the girl into giving it to me for $30!

Then I got 4 totally awesome products from Seacret Spa, a unique collection of skin care and spa products, with nutrients essential to the health of your skin and body. Minerals such as Magnesium, Bromine, Potassium, Calcium, Sodium, Zinc, Sulfur, Iodine, Strontium, Boron, and Iron have been scientifically proven to contribute measurably to feeling and looking your best. This was another point at which I haggled a great deal. I got the Salt and Oil Scrub ($50), the Body Lotion ($20), the Facial Peeling Gel ($65), and the Facial Serum ($85). That’s $220 worth of products and guess how much I paid… $100! Yeah, now that’s some serious haggling in action there! I will post all about these products later.

So I spent quite a bit of money and I used $22 more than was in my account (I keep most of my money in my savings account!) so it was fun. I never get to go shopping like that anymore. Babies change lives!!

Have any of you been to the Garden State Plaza Mall?

If you want any information about any of the products I mentioned, just leave me a comment!

Spring Time

Photo © 2007

It seems like time is going by so quickly now. I can’t even keep track of how many weeks along in my pregnancy I am anymore. My brain is so preoccupied with how many things I have to do between now and July, I can’t even begin to think about being a dedicated blogger.

Being without internet for 6 weeks was an interesting experience. The first week, I was stressing out a little bit. The second week, I started freaking out about not being able to post on my fashion blog (which is exploding in popularity). By the third week without an internet connection, I gave up being stressed out about. Then by the forth and fifth week, I realized what an amazing blessing it was not having to worry about email, blog posts, and the other 500 things I do on the internet everyday. It was a nice vacation.

When the Comcast guy came and put in our internet for us, I was very relieved. That is, until I checked my email… I have 10 email accounts I had to check. (Yes, they are all absolutely necessary.) Well… I had almost 2,000 emails altogether and only about 1,000 of them were spam or solicited emails. That left me with about 1,000 emails that I had to either deal with, respond to, file away, or at the very least, read. That took about 3 days.

During that time with no internet, I came down with a sinus infection/cold. I was sick with that for about 8 days and then felt like I was improving for 2 or 3 days. Then, I suddenly came down with pneumonia. I was sick in bed with pneumonia for over 2 weeks. At one point, I was so sick I could barely breath (with me asthma and all) and was convinced I had no other choice than to go to the hospital. This was the 6th time in my life I had pneumonia and 4 out of those 6 times, I went into the hospital. Only 2 out of those 6 times with pneumonia, I almost died. Colds etc really hit me hard…

The day that I was my very sickest with pneumonia, my husband was on a business trip and I was home alone. My mother just happened to come over that day to bring me a bureau for my bedroom. I felt so miserable, I didn’t let her leave. I needed somebody, anybody, to just be there with me in case I decided it was finally time to go to the hospital. I really didn’t want to go though…

I made my mom stay overnight with me. She cleaned the apartment for me while I laid on the couch in a semi-coma type state. Being a holistic nutritionist, she gave me all the vitamins I needed to fight the pneumonia as well as making sure I took all my asthma medications so I could get enough oxygen for the baby. She made me chicken soup, did my laundry, and took care of me.

Surprisingly, I made a near miraculous recovery in less than 4 days. After being sick for 2 weeks and feeling like I was near death for almost 1 week, I couldn’t even believe I was still alive.

My mother stayed with me for those 4 days until I was well enough to take care of my myself and my husband was home. During that time, we did a lot of talking – something I think both of us really needed to do. We ironed out so many things in those 4 days together. I confronted her about everything that has been bothering me about our relationship over the past 3 years and she cried and apologized; something she has never done before. We got the pink elephant out of the living room (so to speak) and worked through a lot of things that needed to get out in the open and over and done with. Kinda like closure…

I didn’t enjoy being sick by any means, but if I hadn’t been in that position, I don’t think my mother and I would have gotten a chance to talk like that and be open with each other. She was in a vulnerable position having to take care of me and after three years of gaining my own personal strength, I was able to confront her without hesitation. I think the whole thing was an amazing blessing, as awkward as it may seem.

I feel much better now that I am not on the “outs” with her. I hadn’t really realized how much stress that was causing me. She’s my mother and I know she’s not perfect by any means of the word and I know that she has mental issues and is deeply conflicted, but it doesn’t bother me or affect me anymore. I can see it, realize it, and work around it. Now if she says something that puts up a red flag in my brain, I either call her on it or ignore it completely. Before, I took everything personally and over-analyzed every word to the point of delirium.

I find myself very protective of myself, my body, my baby, and my husband. I wasn’t like that before I got pregnant. I am very quick to stand up for myself and what I think is right now. It’s like being pregnant with this child has given me a whole new level of self confidence and assertiveness. I still avoid conflict whenever I can, which has made me become distant from certain people, but I’ve been peaceful, which is the most important part.

I have been so much happier with my pregnancy and the direction of my life the last 2 months. I was really depressed for my first trimester and half of my second trimester. There were a few people in my life making it very difficult for me to be happy. I was very conflicted, depressed, and easily insulted. I think getting away from all of it while I was sick for those 3 weeks, really gave me the time to think and get a better perspective. It’s been a combination of a few different things that improved my outlook though. I put distance between the few people that were getting on my overly-active pregnant nerves and I started thinking about the things that really mattered. Important things like my little girl. I feel a lot closer to her lately instead of like I have some alien invading my personal space. There is an indescribable bond there now, that I know will grow even stronger over time.

And so it’s spring… and with the rising pollen counts and increased allergies, my spirits have soared to new levels and I’m genuinely content with where my life is going.

Magic And Birthdays

Week 19

Baby’s Length: 6 in.

Baby’s Weight: 7.5 oz.

Baby’s Size: Magic 8-Ball

I had a fun birthday party Friday night at Margaritas. I was disgusted that the waitress sang Happy Birthday after I explicitly told her not to and she lied to me and told me, “Oh we don’t do that here.” When her and 6 other waiters were done embarrassing me with the horrid song, my brother tried to egg them on and get them to sing it again and I grabbed her and told her if she sang it again that I would make sure she didn’t get a tip. I was so pissed!! The only thing worse than people singing Happy Birthday to you in a restaurant is a surprise party. I HATE surprise parties.

Saturday, which was the actual day of my birthday, I went to the mall and bought myself a really nice pair of maternity jeans and few comfy pairs of pants. Then we came home, are leftover cake from the night before, and watched TV. Very relaxing and very nice.

Some days it’s so hard to keep track of how far along I am. I had such a busy week last week, that when people asked me how far along I was yesterday, I had trouble answering them. I’m like, “Eighteen weeks… 19 weeks… something like that! I guess about 5 months along now. Wow, has it really been that long? haha”

Seriously, people weren’t kidding when they said that the time would just fly by. I guess this is how it’s going to be until I’m around 65. Then maybe time will seem to slow down again…

I find out the sex of the baby in less than 2 weeks!! Yay!! I really can’t wait. We’ve been talking about names for a couple weeks now, so it will be nice to know which ones we’re going with – boy or girl.

I’ve started having a few annoying pregnancy things like leg cramps, back pain, stomach pain, trouble sleeping, headaches, etc but nothing too serious or worth complaining about. From what I’ve heard, I’m pretty lucky and am having a fairly easy pregnancy.

I never thought I would turn into one of those people that didn’t want to hear baby/pregnancy/parenting advice. When I found out I was pregnant I thought that I would have an open mind and try to listen to what other people have to say, just to give them a chance in case they really do have some good advice. But at this point, I have trouble even bringing myself to talk to friends and family about the baby or my pregnancy.

It seems like people automatically assume they have a ticket to be really annoying and intrusive when they find out your pregnant. Even complete strangers! Is this our culture over here in America, or is it like that everywhere?

And if your pregnant or a mom, and you’re reading this, did you have this same problem when you were pregnant?? How did you deal with it?

Daisy Dreams And Laundry

Week 18

Baby’s Length: 5.5 in.

Baby’s Weight: 5.5 oz.

Baby’s Size: Gerber Daisy

I find it hard to believe that it’s Week 18 all ready. Only God knows if I’m actually Week 18 or even further along than that. I still haven’t scheduled a dating ultra sound… I have an appointment on Thursday to see my midwife though. Just another routine visit. Hopefully then, I will make an appointment for the ultrasound to find out how far along I am and whether it’s a boy or a girl.

I have been really discouraged about blogging lately, so this will be short. I’m still getting my apartment in order, trying to get on some kind of sleeping schedule, and eating myself into oblivion. I will try to get another belly pic posted this week. I can’t promise anything though!

Speaking of pics, I still haven’t gotten the pics from the California trip off of my husband’s computer yet. I will try to get him to do that for me when he gets home from work today. I’m up to my ears in laundry! I’ve done about 3 loads, but still have 8 more to go. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t do laundry for 6 weeks.

I have lots more to do and don’t feel like writing, but wanted to post just in case anyone was expecting an update.