So, yeah, everything is just fine. Oliver had his checkup, and he didn’t need a second surgery after all, thankfully. They took all the stitches out, put him on yet another antibiotic for a week, and told us to wipe the healing area with tucks medicated pads. He didn’t get acupuncture this time around because he was very pissed after he got the stitches removed and blood drawn. His anemia issues are still headed in the right direction, and now he’s taking 1/2 tablet of prednisolone every other day. Sam needs to get his gums cut back again, so we scheduled that. No matter what we do here daily with the duralactin and organic coconut oil, we just cannot get his gingivitis under control. The good thing is that it doesn’t seem to bother him any, so that makes me a little less worried. And Lulu is doing well. Her thyroid that was semi-sketchy is now in the normal zone, and her kidney values that were elevated are now a little less elevated. Everything is pretty positive with all of my babies!

As for me, I did a little too much the past two days (making beds, scrubbing junk off of floors, and other general house stuff), and now I’m even having pain in my upper back which only ever occurs after I overextend myself like this.

It’s been sort of easy to keep up with all the tv I watch because a lot of things have ended until the fall. I started to binge the second season of 13 Reasons Why but found it really hard to get through. On some days I only watched two episodes, and I never had that issue with season one. I set a goal in mind to get it done by today so I could then binge Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, only for me to find out that it actually starts next week. Hahaha. Oh well. Now I’m going to see if I can get into Evil Genius because so many people have said it’s really good.

Tomorrow is my birthday! My parents wanted to take us out to dinner to celebrate it, but what kind of celebration is that for me to have to spend time with them? I enjoy my solitude in general, and I don’t want to be surrounded by my mom’s negativity and bullshit on any day, let alone my goddamned birthday. Hearing my mom’s voice (hell, just seeing their number pop up on my phone) raises my stress level which raises my pain level. I don’t even like picking up the phone when they call me to wish me a happy birthday, so this year I am just not going to. Happy birthday to me!

I’m definitely feeling better – my mood is more positive, things seem less daunting, and it’s as if the clouds have parted. That all started last night. So what happened? I got my period this morning. I’d say a decent part of my negativity is definitely related to my hormones. I notice I get crankier right before my period, and I’ve been having a lot of those bastards lately. My last one was just two weeks ago, for example. And I have major pain in my stupid big boobs all the time right before too. For a couple of months it was so oppressive that I couldn’t move, sit up, breathe, and so on without the pain taking over my entire chest. And, of course, it seems like the cats tend to step on them a lot more during those times too. I explain that they aren’t pillows, but they just don’t get it.

updated: not to mention that I’ve been able to track over the years heightened back pain right before my periods, so to have them so often now isn’t my life’s greatest dream come true.

I guess it’s a good thing I’m not in it for the money:

ShopHer Media passed on my site

Yesterday Mark took the day off to do a couple of things at our old house for the tenant. Why is it that everyone claims to have a small dog when the animal is closer in size to that of a horse? Whatever. He also picked up my prescription (praise Jesus) and went for a bike ride while back in New Jersey. I showered, did my hair, attempted to do my makeup (god, I suck at makeup), and dressed semi-nicely (my attire usually consists of nightgowns) so we could run a few errands together. I had purchased this cute jumpsuit a few weeks ago. I plan on it being my summer go-to piece. It’s lightweight with cropped legs, and I even got two pairs of espadrilles to go with it. Anyway, when Mark first saw it when I tried it on, he said it looked like pajamas which annoyed me. Yesterday when I had myself all put together, he asked why I was “all dressed up” which cracked me up. Which is it – too casual or cute causal? Either way, yesterday I had to order a spanx bodysuit in black to go with it because it has a scoop back and my cream spanx was partially visible, so ew. Anyway, we went to the nail salon, and it took forever. I got gel on my toes which I don’t normally get, but I had planned on doing more right away in my closed-toe shoes and didn’t want the polish to be ruined. That being said, I guess that took a little longer than otherwise, and the heat from the drying lamps made me sweat up a storm. In addition to my makeup melting, I had stiffened up to the point of no return. Speaking of makeup, my nail tech said that I look better with it on, and I know a backhanded compliment when I hear one. No, I mean, she was being pleasant in her own way, so whatever. But when we left there, I couldn’t even do one more thing. So no shopping. No dinner out. Nada. I got the gel for nothing. After I took my makeup off and got into a nightgown, I was hunched over and obviously looking very sexy. Yay chronic pain!

Mark got a letter in the mail yesterday that stated our insurance declined to pay for his hospital stay because it wasn’t “medically necessary.” OMG HAHA WHAT. He made a few phone calls today, and things are really still in review. Their initial response is a lot like Mark’s initial response to me whenever I ask about something – NO!

And my poor fluffy Oliver. He was supposed to get his stitches out today and not have to wear his cone anymore. I had been counting down the days with him. Even last night at bedtime, I told him in less than twelve hours it would all be over. Well, no. He had some obvious discharge on his fur this morning when the vet came. We check him out all the time and have never seen any discharge at all this whole time! They took out a few stitches but not all of them because he’s still inflamed a bit due to infection. They gave us a different antibiotic. He hasn’t been on one in like a week or so. They suggested that perhaps he wasn’t prescribed to be on his last one long enough or maybe he just needs a new one. So he gets rechecked next week when we have our big appointment (all pets being seen for various reasons), and there is a possibility he will need to have another little surgery to repair the issue if it doesn’t improve. I am so sad for him because there’s just no end in sight for the cone, especially if he needs any kind of repair. I feel awful for my little kitten. My mama guilt is strong, and my worry is all-consuming.

in wtf news

May 13, 2018 | View Comments

Last week we asked our landscaper to put red geraniums in our various flower pots after he got done mulching and doing winter cleanup stuff. So he read Mark’s text incorrectly and brought over red, white, and pink geraniums. In the pots in the back of the house, he put all three colors in each one, and it was a hideous combination. On the front porch, he filled one pot with all red and the one right near it with pink and white. Dude, WTF. Mark thought I was exaggerating (how unusual to think that of me) over text about how bad it all looked, but he totally was in “dude, wtf” mode too after he saw it all in person. It all got fixed two days later, but still.

Yesterday Mark went to get me some booze. I rarely ever drink, but I’m low on pain pills this month, so I needed the extra tlc. So he gets me this 4-pack of wine coolers. Yes, I still drink wine coolers just like I did in my early twenties because I am classy like that. The checkout guy behind a bulletproof window took them out of the 4-pack and put them individually into a bag. After paying and getting the bag, Mark notices that there are only three freaking bottles in it. The checkout guy pretends that he didn’t just try to hide the fourth in his office area, and he comes all the way out and grabs a single one from another 4-pack in the cooler. I guess he was counting on Mark not looking inside his bag. I wonder how often he tries that shit. Shady, shady.

I have such a huge hesitation when it comes to writing again. I feel a sense of obligation to talk about a few things in an attempt to play “catch up,” and I’m finding that this need is taking the fun out of writing again for me. It’s the whole “have to” versus “want to” thing. I hate feeling like I have to do something. Yeah, I’m so mature. Plus I haven’t written in a few years, so this site isn’t a real priority for me again as of yet. Another thing I still need to do is finish the “vocab words” section and add that back to the pet pages. As for writing in general, I worry I’ve gotten too rusty. What if I make grammar mistakes and end up looking just like the idiots I like to make fun of? Jesus, that would be awful. Not to mention that so much else has changed online too. There are even more dummies than the last time I was actively online. Each and every time I read comments on a post, whether it be Instagram or Facebook, I am horrified. Any idiot can comment on any little thing. It’s not that I am against people having opinions (well, maybe), but that they can’t express them without writing run-on after run-on with virtually zero punctuation. Articles I read have more errors in them than ever before. Posts by celebrities are even worse. I was just reading Mother’s Day tributes on instagram, and I had to laugh at how riddled with spelling mistakes they were. Speaking of instagram, I cannot stand how absurd it is with the filters and the poses (fake laughing, looking off into the distance, etc…). And these posts are always accompanied by hundreds of “your beautiful” comments. Your, not you’re. It makes my head spin round and round. Also, I’m not sure I’ll do product reviews this time around either. They were very time-consuming for me, especially due to my chronic pain. Now, though, there are new rules and different hashtags that are required. I just don’t know. I think maybe I’ll feel better about all this once I get the posts I feel obligated to write about over with. Maybe. In general, I need to shake this negativity that I seem to be surrounded by. If I could change my mental outlook on these posts from obligation to the opposite, it’d totally help. Speaking of negativity, I read online where it asked people to “name something you like about yourself” – and, goddamn, it took me forever to say something positive about myself. Even then, it wasn’t entirely all good. I said that I like my curly hair, but i countered that by saying it’s gotten a lot thinner over the years which really upsets me. How do I change that outlook? It’s hard when you’re in constant pain. It wears on you. Over time it makes you more negative and nastier. It doesn’t help that I have my husband constantly screaming at me that I can do more. How the fuck does he know that to be true? He doesn’t feel what I feel. How about two weeks ago when he was on the floor in tears before we went to the emergency room if I dismissed the way he was feeling and told him to get up and suck it up? How about a couple of years ago when he was able to have successful fusion surgery for his back pain if I screamed at him when he had to lay down in the evenings because he just couldn’t do one more thing? I think overall i know that it’d help if I saw more things in a positive way, but I’m struggling with actually getting there.

sick boys

May 12, 2018 | View Comments

So Mark didn’t really start feeling better after getting his prostate infection diagnosis. Actually, that’s a lie. He felt better that night for a short time. He was on the phone with his dad talking baseball, and he sounded better than he had in over a week. But the next day he was literally on the floor with tears in his eyes because of those fucking migraines. So off we went to the er. I’m not sure why emergency rooms move so goddamned slowly, but they definitely do. It took hours to get the results of his urinalysis and even more hours for the results of his cat scan. He was in the er for 5.5 hours before they admitted him to the hospital. He was given a team of specialists to look after him, but he wasn’t getting any better. He still had migraines, nausea, dry mouth, chills, fever, and so on. At one point one of his doctors said they’d try a Percocet, and it took over 45 minutes for him to get it – and that was even with me asking the nurse twice about it and asking another specialist who stopped by to look into it. And even with all that trouble, it only took the edge off for a little bit. They drew so much blood and did so many tests, but they couldn’t come up with a diagnosis. Then it was suggested that he get a spinal tap, and that’s when he got the news that he had viral meningitis. At this point on day four, he was mostly on the mend on his own. He went home the same day they did the spinal tap, and he wasn’t even sent home with any medications or anything. He still has a bit of a brain fog, and he still gets headaches right when he wakes up in the mornings. He actually umpired today, and he didn’t have any side effects afterwards. Now let me tell you how this affected me because I am a selfish monster. Thankfully my friend/cleaner was able to carve some time out in her schedule to help me get the house back in order and to bring me a few groceries. Between visiting him and taking care of the cats and raccoons (more on that some other day), I was dying. I basically ate popcorn the whole time he was in the hospital because I was in so much pain. And I guess my driving is indeed awful after all because I almost gave up going to see him when I couldn’t back out of the driveway. In my own defense, we are on a hill, and the driveway is curved. So, yeah. I am able to do so very little, and it’s rather pathetic.

Here are two photos. One is obviously Mark in the er. The second is of the giant dent my giant ass left in the emergency room chair after sitting in it for a few hours.

Mark in the emergency room

My giant ass dent after sitting in this emergency room chair for a few hours

So he was in the hospital from Monday through Thursday. Oliver, our newest cat I still need to formally introduce here, needed emergency surgery on Friday. And here comes yet another story about why I am a terrible pet mama. I was in the shower Thursday before I went to pick up Mark. Oliver likes to jump up door frames. This time I heard a loud noise, but that’s not entirely brand new because he’s a big boy making a big jump. When I brought Mark home, Oliver was acting like he was scared of Mark. He was running past him low to the ground and looking in his general direction like he didn’t know who he was. He often reminds us of a beagle because he’s constantly sniffing things intensely. And this made all the sense in the world to us because even Sam jumped up right next to Mark and sniffed every single place he had been poked and prodded. We just assumed Oliver didn’t recognize Mark’s scent. Right before bed I saw a little bit of fur on the door latch. I briefly thought that I should make sure Oliver was okay, but we just ended up thinking it was Oliver just being Oliver with his door jumps. The next morning he was under Mark’s desk. I brought him out and put him in my lap. After Mark pet him, he tucked his face and eyes into the crook of my arm. We still thought he was rejecting Mark after his hospital stay. Later on Oliver was on the guest room bed, and that’s unusual for him. I went in, pet him, and tried to reassure him that it was “just daddy” and that he’d be okay and so on. He laid his head on a pillow and looked so sad. That’s when I saw how wet the underside of his armpit looked. I rolled him over and OMG. He had cut himself wide open, and now everything made a different kind of sense. And, oh yeah, I felt and still feel like an asshole. We were out of the house in just ten minutes after I yelled out that he was hurt (“Oliver is injured!”), and we took him to the emergency vet. The area was so red that Mark initially thought he was seeing an organ. Everyone asked if we saw blood, but there wasn’t any blood to be found anywhere. Oliver was home three hours later with a cone on his head. It took 10 stitches. Ten! Fuck. I feel intense mama guilt. He was hurting for almost 24 hours. I could just die. It’s under his armpit and can’t be seen unless he rolls onto his back. I’m afraid to touch him, and I’m afraid to pick him up. We obviously took that door latch down. It definitely was sharp. The others in the house seem fine. I probably won’t feel better until his fur grows back in, and even that is debatable. I tend to focus on the regrets I have and to wallow in my own blame. I have done that with all the babies in regards to various issues. I kick myself over this and that instead of focusing on the positive. That being said, he is fine now. He’s tolerating the cone well. His stitches come out in three days. But still.

My poor fluffy butt:

Oliver with his cone after emergency surgery

more like viral meningitis

May 6, 2018 | Comments Off

Here’s a brief update because I’m in some seriously excruciating pain. It turns out Mark didn’t have a prostate infection either. He was in the hospital for four days where they discovered he had viral meningitis. Then Oliver had a freak accident and needed emergency surgery the day after Mark came home. It’s been a nightmare around here. More details will eventually come. I can’t write anything longer than this right now because I am exhausted both mentally and physically. Mark is still not 100% (brain fog and passing headaches) while Oliver is doing well (and is super cute because he has a cone on his head that makes him look like a handmaiden). It’s all been very nerve-wracking. I’m just so happy we are all back under the same roof. As for me, I did way too much all those days, and I’m paying a serious price now. My chronic pain is at an all-time high. When it’s this bad, it affects my mood; I’m not very pleasant to be around right now. And my head is just somewhere else. I am deliriously tired and sleeping more than usual, and I didn’t even think that was possible. I am way behind on my tv watching, so I am just focusing on catching up on that and trying not to move.

prostrate over his prostate

April 29, 2018 | Comments Off

Mark went to the doctor on Friday as I mentioned. He came home with migraine medication, and some note was made in his chart about respiratory issues which made zero sense. They did say they saw a microscopic amount of blood in his urine. Well, he started getting worse. He still had the migraines. His urine was very, very dark. He still had the chills and sweats. But now he didn’t want to eat. He couldn’t sleep well. He was nauseated. Then he started getting joint pain in his arms, hands, legs, and feet. His mother used to get migraines, so I called her this morning to see what she could tell me. It was not much. She does pronounce washcloths like warshcloths, though. I learned that when she was giving him advice – dark room, super cold washcloth on forehead. I wasn’t surprised. Anyway, he asked me to go with him today back to the doctor, so that was just great for my chronic pain. I drove, and he complained the entire time. I haven’t driven in fourteen months, and that time I only drove half a mile. I thought I did pretty well, but he said I was all over the place. We got there, didn’t we? After this visit, we both think the doctor he saw on Friday failed him. His results then showed that both blood and bacteria were in his urine, and today those numbers were even higher. This doctor said that all of his symptoms could be explained by a prostate infection. That’s a good thing because webmd symptom checker said it could be either chronic renal failure (what?!), migraines (thanks for that, captain obvious), or alcoholism (that’d be a neat trick). He was given some medication and should feel better in a few days. He goes back Wednesday to see if all those values have decreased, and he has to stay on this stuff for four full weeks. After that, we went to the dollar store to stock up on goodies for the raccoons (a bigger post on that later). I think Mark was annoyed that I went in with him because we ended up buying twice what he normally comes home with. Anyway, I can’t wait for him to start feeling better; he’s not the best patient. I mean, I get it. I get super nasty when my pain is super high as opposed to normal nasty which is just part of my charm these days. Yeah, I know I need to work on that.

moving update

April 28, 2018 | Comments Off

We moved to Pennsylvania in February 2017, so we’ve been here just over a year. It was late October/early November 2016 when Mark said that we could finally start looking for a one-story the following summer. Well, I, of course, got excited and started looking for houses right away so I could see what was out there in our budget. We weren’t even sure at first if we wanted to stay in NJ or cross the bridge into PA, but we definitely wanted to be closer to Mark’s job. We decided to go to Pennsylvania pretty quickly, but I forget exactly why; I think maybe it was a tax issue. Anyway, we almost bought the first house we looked at. It was right near a train station, and it had a pool. There wasn’t a lot of closet space or a garage, so storage was a concern. Adding crown molding and redoing the fireplace were things that would have eventually needed done. The deciding factor to pass on it entirely came when we found out that we couldn’t add a screened-in porch off of the kitchen, and that was the only possible place to do so. The permit wouldn’t have been granted, so we asked the realtor for more houses to look at. There were only two on that extensive list that looked as nice as we wanted. We narrowed it down to one and had a look two days after we got the listing. After that, we got the house pretty quickly because they wanted someone who didn’t have any contingencies, and that was us!

The only things this house needed were for it to be painted and the bathrooms to be updated. It has tons of storage (so much so that I thought we’d never fill it all, but somehow we did, even after purging), crown molding, a nice fireplace, and a sunroom with a brick wall and heated floors. Also, there are two train stations within walking distance. In hindsight, I wish I had been around for more of the bathroom design. I would have made the shower bench shorter and the entire shower itself shorter too; if I get any fatter, I will be unable to squeeze in towards the sink and toilet. And, in the second bathroom, I am not sure I should have put tile on the walls; I could have left them bare or maybe put up some wainscoting. I didn’t know about the limited space in the first bathroom until I saw it basically finished. I only came up here on the day we saw it, on the day we had inspectors and contractors over, on the day of the final walk-thru, and the day I thought we were moving in. It turned out the contractor needed another two days before we could really move in. That sucked because everything at the old house was packed, and we had the internet shut off on the day we thought we were leaving. Speaking of the contractor, he was pretty awesome in that he opened up allllll my packages that I had bought and shipped here. He’d take pictures and/or tell me if it was what I expected and so on. My pedestal sink came without the base, and a few other things came broken, so his doing that was a great help. We had an insane issue with the black vanity needed for the second bathroom. Every single one we would order would end up not being in stock after the fact. Over and over, someone would realize that they didn’t have any left on shipment day. It got down to the wire because of all the cancellations, and the contractor needed it by a certain date. The ones I really wanted weren’t even going to be in stock until two to three months after we were all moved in. So, yeah, that was super frustrating. What was cute was when he’d open certain packages, take a picture, and ask what it was. Hahah. For example, I had ordered a grey pouf and had to explain that it was a “nothing” and would simply just sit on a rug or someplace.

I’m pretty proud that I decorated this entire house from my bed due to my chronic pain, minus a maximum of three shopping trips. During those quick trips, we picked out the living room, dining room, and master bedroom furniture at one store, and we also shopped for odds and ends at bed, bath, and beyond, target, the christmas tree shop, and home goods. I definitely think that I did a fucking great job picking out most of this stuff online. Sure, there were a couple of things that didn’t quite fit size-wise, but it wasn’t a major catastrophe. The one thing I definitely do regret has to do with my bedding. See, I found the cutest comforter online. It was very bright and reminded me of my friend’s apartment that was so colorful and had lots of vibrant pieces she brought back with her from a trip to India. Then I decided to paint my bedroom walls the same pretty purple color that was found in the comforter. After its first wash, though, it faded. I stupidly ordered a second one. After a cat puked on it, I washed it – and it faded as well. I went on a hunt for other comforters that would match my walls. Honestly, I have spent a ridiculous amount of money on trying to make a color match. I found a storage bench that went perfectly, so it was super frustrating to not find the right bedding. Trust me, I’ve spent hours searching and holding possible contenders up to my walls. I finally found one comforter that matched pretty closely even after a wash, but my cleaner accidentally got bleach on it. And, of course, it’s out of stock everywhere. I found something else that’s sort of close, and I’m reluctantly dealing with it. Ha. I suppose down the road I could go all white or all grey and try to do something with that. I don’t know. It’s truly been the bane of my existence! Another thing I like about the house is the yard. The flowers and plants that come up are gorgeous, but paying for the maintenance (weeding/mulching) is super expensive. At some point the railings need painted, and I’d like to paint the fence white too. There have been just two previous owners, and the last couple were wealthy and put a lot into the house (two additions) and the yard. This year I’m taking pictures as things bloom, and I’ll post an album at the end of the year.

We are renting out our last house, and that’s a nice supplemental income to have. The tenants have been decent, thankfully; I’ve heard some scary stories! The first ones were a dentist and a blogger, and they stayed for a year. The newest ones, a grandmom and her granddaughters/foster kids, look like they may want to stay for a couple of years. So there’s that. We are about forty-five minutes away from that house, so Mark can go there easily when need be.

And there are a few new house fun facts. First, the house directly across the street has been vacant for over 25 years as its owner is in the CIA and just needs to have a residence listed. Second, Bill Cosby’s house is about a five minute walk from ours; I heard helicopters flying overhead the day his verdict came in. And, finally, we’ve been dealing with house construction – but not ours. The lot directly behind ours burned down a few years ago, and it’s currently being rebuilt. The weird thing is that this house is directly facing us. Most houses face out towards the road, but this one is looking right into our kitchen. I can’t wait until I don’t have to hear construction noises and builders screaming at each other,

Lastly, click here for house pictures! Since these were taken, my bedding has changed multiple times, we got a red outdoor umbrella for the patio table, and I replaced the table runner on the dining room table with one more my style (because lace? what was I thinking? ew. #notninety). This house was a looooong time coming!

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