Monday, February 20, 2012

Then it ended in flames

Yesterday was Monkey's two year birthday party. I woke up, ran my usual mental checklist, then realized it was exactly one year ago that I had done all this before.
Except then I was nine months pregnant with Corbin, who would be born the next morning.

It was like a slap in the face. Pow. You don't have a baby to show for that pregnancy. You won't be celebrating his one year birthday while watching him eat cake and smother himself in icing. You won't be proudly watching him open his presents for the first time or taking pictures of all the cute clothes and loud toys.
Because he's not here.

Like I said, a slap in the face.

But I had to focus on Monkey. It was his birthday party (celebrated two days early so it would fall on a weekend) and I was going to try my hardest to make it wonderful.

I chose a Spongebob theme since it is Monkey's favorite. I started decorating early with the usual balloons, streamers, and other Spongebob colored items. 

I was planning on about 8 children showing up and I had set up a cupcake decorating station on the dining room table. There were gummy bears, crushed Oreos, and sprinkles along with different colored icings for the kids to choose from.

Monkey had gone to church with Papaw so I had plenty of time to bake.

I went with mini cupcakes to make it easier on the kids to eat, and sheet cake to make my own Spongebob cake, and two little personal cakes to use up the rest of the cake batter.

While those were baking, I mixed white frosting with food coloring to get the colors I would need to decorate the cake. Once the cakes were cooled off, I started. 
It was fun! 
I went with a simple design I had found offline that didn't look too hard.

The end product was awesome! I was so proud of myself.

Only one kid was able to make it because everyone else was sick, but Monkey had a blast none the less. He and Rory were pumped on sugar and chocolate and covered in sprinkled and green icing. It was fun!

And that's not even the whole story!
Around 3, when the party started, it also starting POURING snow. I'm talking thick, fat, clumpy snowflakes. The kind that look amazing and beautiful but also that down down power lines and break tree limbs.

So after the guests had left, around 5:30, the power goes off. 

When it started to get dark, we drug two big comfy chairs into the kitchen to have a little camp-out. I read books with Monkey, eating popcorn, and jamming to Kelly Clarkson. Monkey had a blast jumping on the chair, singing into his little flashlight. 

It was way too dark to get a good picture of him dancing, but if you look closely at the next picture, you can see Monkey sitting down in the chair.

Now comes the good part.

After Monkey went to bed, Hubby went to "The Walmart" to get some munchies since we couldn't cook anything. He came back with chips and some lanterns. 

All was good until he spilled some of the fluid then hit the lighter.
UP IN FLAMES went the lantern, Hubby drops it to the floor
-more fluid spills
-bigger flames
-linoleum floor catches on fire
-BIGGER flames
-I start freaking out

So Hubby yells at me to open the front door so he can kick the lantern out into the snow. I open the door, he takes a good kick, and BAM, the lantern gets stuck behind the door.
-door mat catches on fire
-I freak out some more, yelling at Hubby to get some snow
-I toss the mat outside into the snow
-Grab a handful of snow and start chucking it into the kitchen to put the flames out
-Flames are out, lantern is outside, crisis averted!

All you hear is heavy breathing and you can taste burnt plastic.

I am visibly shaken. All I could think of during that very short 2 minutes was that our house was going to burn down. Our house is doing to burn down, I'm going to have to make those split second decisions on what to grab from the house, I'm going to have to remember really fast where the important documents are, and I'm going to have to grab our sleeping son from his room and run out into the freezing cold snow to watch our house burn down.
Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.
I really thought that was it.

Thank God we were able to get the fire under control, it really could have been a lot worse and honestly could have taken over quite fast. Just for the record, COLEMAN lanterns are dangerous!! It was a stupid mistake on Hubby's part, he will admit, for lighting the lantern indoors, but really, who would have thought how fast the fire would spread and how high the flames would get. It was scary!!


After all the excitement and still no power, we head to bed. By now it's around 11pm. Next Monkey wakes up; he's fallen out of bed. So up I am to go put him back to bed, I lay back down, close my eyes, let out a heavy sigh, then FLASH!! The power is back on and the bedroom light flicks on and I'm blinded. GAH! I let out a sigh of relief that the power is back on, I go throughout the house to turn off all the lights, then I'm finally able to go to sleep.

What a day huh?!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A tribute

Sometime last night, my puppy passed away.

He was thirteen years old and was the best dog I had ever had.

When I first moved to Virginia, back in 1999, after moving from Scotland all I ever wanted was a golden retriever. My mom subscribed to LL Bean magazines and back then, all they used in their ads were golden retrievers. I remember looking at those cute, fluffy puppies and wanting one so bad. 
I begged and begged my parents for a golden retriever puppy, till one day, they told me to get in the car, we were going to look at puppies. I was so excited! I didn't know we were going to get a golden, but I was excited none the less. 
It was a breeder that we went to go see. I remember he had about 5 or 6 dogs in his back yard. One was a Saint Bernard that slobbered everywhere and all over everything. She was huge! 
Then there was Sandy. He was small, and fluffy, and fat, and wriggly, and perfect. He was mine.

The breeder told us no one wanted him because he had droopy eyelids. He was a purebred and because of his eyelids, the breeder couldn't sell him or show him. So I got him. 

He was perfect.

I remember the ride home, my brother and I sat in the back seat with Sandy and he was so curious and friendly. I would have Sandy with me for the next 13 years.

He grew so fast but he was beautiful. He was creamy, golden, yellow color that sparkled in the sunshine. I remember, I saw him point once. We were walking through the woods one day and he just stopped, perked his ears, then pointed with his nose and bent his leg like a true hunter.
What a dog.

He was such a friendly dog, he made a horrible guard dog. Don't leave him at your house with the door unlocked because he would just jump on and lick all over any intruder that came by!

I'm glad he passed in his sleep. We expected him to pass soon, he became anti-social; avoiding people and going the other direction when you came him way. He just wanted to be by himself and didn't like to be around our other dogs. 

Thank you, Sandy, for being such a great dog. I'm sorry I wasn't there when you passed, I wish I would have been. I would have scratched your itchy spot and stroked your head, like you like. I hope you are in a peaceful place now with no pain and no more fleas. Love you Sandyman.

Rest in peace my sweet puppy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


So I'm blaming my therapist for the fact I cry so much easier now.

I know it's cliche to say I had a wall up, preventing me from dealing with my emotions, but I think that's what happened. I didn't do it on purpose, but after my first therapy session, I realized that it had indeed happened. And I just cried, and it felt great.
I was really scaring myself, thinking that I had lost all emotion because I didn't cry anymore. I felt like a terrible mother for not bawling as I would tell Corbin's Story. "What is wrong with me?" I asked myself, way too many times.
But not now.
Now I tear up every time I tell his story.

Like today in my interview (YAY by the way, first interview in two years!!). My best friend, of 15 years, referred me to her company and I actually got a call back and was able to sit down with a supervisor and discuss possible employment! 
As I was telling him a little about myself, I mentioned the hours were what really attracted me and would be so great because I have a two year old.
"Oh, is he your first?"
Then there's that tiny moment where I debate whether or not to tell him about Corbin...
"Well, yes but I also have another son, Corbin, who passed away this past May."

And I feel the tears.

Then my first thought is "Damn that therapist!"
Which then makes me smile, because it's not her fault, and it's not a bad thing. I'm not ashamed of the tears, in fact, I welcome the tears. They are healing for my soul.

So thank you Dr. Ryan. Thank you for helping me get past that wall and deal with my emotions.

Which I should add, my second appointment went really well. I walked into the office, high on happiness, because we had finally gotten our tax return which lifted a ginormous amount of stress from my shoulders. My therapist was happy to see me so happy and asked why I was in such a good mood. I started talking about our $3000 transmission incident, which led to my job search, which led to my schooling, which led to my first mistake engagement, which led to ex boyfriends.
So you can bet that conversation was interesting.

And that I'm thankful about the whole doctor-patient confidentiality thing. :P

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Today I went to see a psychologist for the first time.

I was nervous at first. As I signed in at the desk, I felt like everyone (everyone being the one woman waiting) was staring at me thinking "oh here's another crazy person".
The first thing I noticed was how personable and warm the receptionist was. She apologized for the copay being $20 instead of $15 and seemed really grateful when I turned in my paperwork. I really appreciated how sincerely nice she was.

To keep myself from nervously moving around in my seat, I worked on my speech for an event this Friday and waited.

It wasn't much longer when I was invited back. The room is small with comfortable furniture and inviting decorations.

She begins by asking why I am there, then about my anxiety, then about my memory loss. I start off by saying that my memory got worse with my first pregnancy, then even worse with my second, then it was pretty much gone after Corbin passed away.

"Your son passed away? Do you want to tell me about that?"

I give a little laugh, "Do we have time?"

And I begin.

I tell her Peanut's story. I tell her about my pregnancy, how my water broke the day before my first born would turn one, and about my delivery. I tell her about the heart murmur, the echos, and the terrifying fear of knowing something is wrong but not knowing exactly what.
I tell her everything.

It wasn't 5 minutes in and I am already crying. I surprise myself, because usually I can tell Corbin's story without blinking an eye. Usually I can talk and talk about heart defects and why I'm doing what I'm doing without crying, but not today.
Today I let it all out and I just cried.

She follows along, nodding, gasping, and shaking her head when I tell her about how the doctor's told me Corbin's heavy breathing was "just a newborn thing."

And it feels good. I don't know what it was about that room, or that doctor, but it felt good to tell my complete, detailed story to someone who had never heard it before and to someone who had time to listen.

I had never told my story, out loud, to someone in that much detail before. And crying through it made me feel good, it made me feel like I was truly a good mom. When I'm home, I don't cry that often. I'm not a sobbing mess all the time, and that makes me feel guilty. Like somehow I'm a bad person because I'm not an emotional wreck. So the fact that I couldn't go a couple minutes without breaking down reminded me that, no, I'm not okay, and it's okay to show that.

So and hour and twenty minutes later, I finish telling her about Corbin's entire stay in the hospital up to the day he died. We have gone way past the allotted one hour but I'm glad she didn't try to interrupt me to stop.

She tells me it sounds to her like I'm mourning in a good way and that I am processing it well, which makes me feel hopeful. She schedules me for a second appointment next week to finish her evaluation, since I have such a long story she couldn't finish it in one appointment.

And I feel good, almost cleansed. Like I had been bottling up all this energy and it was weighing me down. So it's good. It went very well and I was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed the session.

Till next week!