The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘Christine Cacciatore’ Category

For a while, I wasn’t sleeping at all at night.  Total insomnia.  To the point that I started worrying a little bit after oh, say 9:00 p.m.  I built it up in my head.  I know I won’t be able to sleep.  I know it.  I’ll get into bed and lay there for hours.  I was tired, exhausted even; but the minute my head hit the pillow I laid there, wide awake. 

here’s me.  not sleeping.

Things got better for a while, thanks to my good friend Southern Comfort.  I was able to break through whatever it was keeping me awake and actually get some real rest at night.  Whatever cycle I had been experiencing was over, apparently.  
 
At least, that’s what I thought. 
 
It was a Sunday like many other Sundays.  The cars started. It rained but we didn’t get water in our basement.  The dog didn’t run away.  Dinner was good.  Nothing earth shattering.   
 
However, Sunday night around 10:30 p.m., my husband and I kissed each other good night, as we always do, cuddled for approximately 10.7 seconds until it got wayyyy too hot, and then turned over to our respective spots.  I hadn’t even given my sleeplessness a thought.  I burrowed further into the covers.   

And laid there.  A half hour went by.  I knew my husband was awake.  He knew I was awake too because he says my eyes make a sound when I blink.   

We laid there some more.  And laid there.  Another half hour went by and…  

…we’re still awake.  And I’m thinking, what the hell?  

I get up and pee to break the monotony.  I am quiet and careful, reluctant to jostle my husband or bounce the bed.  I know where the squeaky floorboards are and avoid them, drawing on years of experience with fretful babies and a father who worked midnights.  I don’t use any lights, even in the bathroom.  I climb back into bed with the stealth of a ninja. 

Having taken care of that, I snuggle back down.  I think, any time now I’ll fall fast asleep.  I close my eyes and try to count sheep but end up mentally composing a story about them instead. 

I hear my son come in at midnight.  He doesn’t wake me up because I’m not asleep.  He knows after years of sneaking in how to hold the bells on the door so they don’t make a noise when he opens it.  He too is familiar with the floorboards and is able to avoid the squeaky ones.  He pees and goes to bed.   

Now my husbandgets up to pee.  He is not silent and careful like I am.  He was a bachelor for 45 years and never had to be quiet for a sleeping wife or child.  Everyone knows he’s up because he uses every light he can on the endless ten foot trip to the bathroom.  He has owned the home longer than my children have drawn breath and yet doesn’t know the path to take on the wooden boards to avoid making excess noise. 

He stomps back to our room and swings himself back into bed like an orangutan, then proceeds to thrash around on the bed trying to get comfortable.  Good God, I think.  He moves more than a kid in a bouncy house. 

Unbelievable.  I wait until he is settled and I blink several times in a row, loudly, in retaliation. 

Shortly after he gets back to bed, my daughter is up.  She has inherited her mother’s ability to walk catlike in a sleeping household.  She also has inherited her mother’s sneakiness and I know she’s going outside to have a cigarette.  She is fooling no one.    She too knows to hold the bells on the door as she comes back in and creeps back to her room, stopping in the bathroom, also to pee. 

Ok, I think.  Now that we’ve all ensured there would be no bedwetting, we’ll all get to sleep. 

Husband whispers to me.  “Are you awake?”
 
I whisper back. “Yes, what’s the deal with this?  I’m so tired and I just can’t fall asleep!  Is there some giant geometry test I didn’t study for?  A project I didn’t turn in?  Because the only time I can’t sleep is when I’m fretting.  And for the life of me, I don’t have anything to really fret about.”
Husband whispers again. “I can’t sleep either!  And I think Annie is smoking!”
No shit, Sherlock, I think.  Only for like six months now.  Out loud, I say, “Gosh, I hope not.”  And then I think, why are we whispering, anyway?  We’re all awake.
During the course of the sleepless night from hell, husband ends up sleeping in the living room on his chair.  I must be experiencing some sort of menopausal symptoms, as I am either freezing or too hot, and eventually make my own way out to the living room as well where I lay wide eyed on the couch for two hours, with a floor fan three inches from my face.
4:41 a.m.  I haven’t slept at all.  I briefly drift off and dream I’m in a wind tunnel.
4:42 a.m.  Husband turns on a new age music channel on cable.  It reminds me of the nightmare that was his deviated septum surgical recovery and I fight the urge to throw up.
5:00 a.m.  We should probably just stay up.  However, I don’t come from a family of quitters.  I get up and stumble down the hallway to the much more comfortable bed and that’s all I remember, because I sink into the most blissful sleep anyone has ever experienced. 
For about one hour.  It’s not enough.  I’m so tired and frustrated I want to punch someone.  However, it is at this time I smell fresh coffee. 
One thing my husband manages to do quite well is the coffee.  And I firmly believe that today, it’s probably saving his life.

 
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It’s 6:30 on Thursday night.  I worked a regular full time day then came home to our cheerful little house, where cleaned the kitchen, swept the floor, made some coffee, and now I’m sitting in the living room with my trusty laptop.

What do I do at work, you ask?  Well, it’s secretarial/accounts payable/accounts receivable/coffee buyer/supply orderer/filer/you name it. 

And I answer the phones.

And due to the fact that this is a very homicidal time of month for me, I am very crabby, tired, headachy, and crampy.  I’m struggling with being in a good mood and being polite.  Struggling, but winning.

sort of like this guy, but not as whacked out.

I had a very hard time yesterday with a caller who was checking status on a payment, which is code for her saying “I hate my job, I’m helping someone else, I’m condescending, I’m rude, I’m smarter than you are, I’m impatient, I’m discourteous, and in short, I’m a huge, gigantic beeyotch.”

As always, I was patient.  I was kind.  I tried to be helpful, but kept being interrupted by the snot on the other end of the phone.  I’m not sure what bug crawled up her rear and took up residence, but let me assure you that it was one of those BIG bugs.

I kept my cool.  My reward was hearing her hang up on me. 

I never get an answer to this, but why do people act this way?  Just because you’re on the phone doesn’t mean you can be nasty.  You wouldn’t burst into my office, shaking papers in my face, interrupting me and being a complete ass, would you?  Then what makes you think it’s ok to do this on the phone? 

If I could remember her name, I would look her up on Facebook just to tell her that. 

Better yet, I would look up her mother.

My husband is one of the most wonderful people you’ll ever meet, truly.  Everyone loves him.  He’s friendly.  He’s handsome.  He’s loyal.  He’s thoughtful.  He’s a great husband, a great son, a great (read:  patient) father and now, a grandfather.  

He also is a name-maker-upper for us at home.  For instance, if I’m ironing a shirt, he’ll find me down in the basement.  “Hi, Iron-y!”  If I’m cleaning the bathroom, he stands behind me, “Hi, cleany!”  (All the time.  He does this all the time.)  If I get home from shopping, “Hey, shoppy!”  Cooking:  “Hey, cooky!”  I think you see the pattern. 

While silly and goofy, those names aren’t harmful in any way.  They don’t hurt my feelings.  Silly and goofy were two of my “husband” requirements, as a matter of fact.  He has those two qualities in spades, people.  In spades.    He just comes up with something on the fly.   

He’s really creative like that. 

The birth of “the list” list was created several years ago out of necessity.  We were newlyweds, and ever mindful of developing FWS (fat wife syndrome) I was standing in the kitchen having a low carb snack after work while I waited for the coffee to get done.  He came in the door from work, big, happy smile on his face, and the first words out of his mouth were, “Hi, porky!”  

No.  I am not kidding.

credit:  akarakingdoms
This isn’t me but it sure is cute.
I was eating low carbpork rinds, not twinkies.  And he saw me eating pork rinds, and in typical creative fashion, said that unfortunate word.  In quiet protest, I did not make dinner that night, and in addition (just in case he didn’t get the hint) maintained a stone cold, icy silence for the rest of the evening, which is my preferred method of communication when I am upset.  (Who’s with me?)   

The list” was born.  There have been remarkably few additions here and there, because ol’ what’s his name has learned his lesson.
 

Or has he? 

This morning I was getting ready for work, hurrying as usual, running around our bedroom slapping on deodorant and finding my shoes.  I grabbed my body spray (what I call smellgood) from Victoria’s Secret and was spritzing it on.  I always try to arch my back and shake my hair as I do this, like the VS models do, but even the dog doesn’t take me seriously.  My husband wandered in the bedroom to grab his gym bag, saw me spraying, and says cheerfully, “Hi, smelly!”   

He realized right away what he had said and looked like a rabbit with his back foot caught in a trap, trying to get away.  Fortunately, my steely gaze pinned him to the spot. 

LIST.” 

It must be time for a refresher course.

 

 

 

 
Local authors Christine Collins Cacciatore and Jennifer Collins Starkman have recently completed and self published their first novel:  Baylyn, Bewitched.  It’s the first in the Whitfield Witch Series.
Baylyn, Bewitched is the whimsical tale of an unlucky-in-love, quirky librarian named Baylyn.  She falls hard for the sexy Declan Hughes, but is hiding a pretty big secret:  she’s a witch!
Their ebook is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, and they’re currently working on the second novel in the series:  Cat, Charmed.  They can also be found on the web with their author page on Facebook or their blog, Cacciatore and Starkman Authors.

I woke up this morning with a terrible guilty conscience.  I actually smoked a cigarette while laying in bed right next to my husband, and when I was done with it, I put it out in a plastic cup with half an old beer in it.  Sooooo sexy.

because I’m pretty sure I was wearing this in my dream. 

Other people dream about winning the lottery, or playing baseball, or having sex with Brad Pitt.  (for the record, Brad Pitt is not anywhere on my to-do list.)

But what do I dream about?  Smoking and putting it out in a nasty, warm cup of beer?  What is THAT all about? 

I looked it up in my dream journal and there were several blatherings on about what it could mean to smoke in your dream.  The biggest one was that “to use it warns you against enemies and extravagance.”   Well, that really made me laugh because those who know me know that I am not close to extravagant.  That is unless you count bringing two cheese sticks to work instead of one extravagant.  Then hell yes, I am.  I like cheese, all right?

And enemies?   I don’t have any.  Well, there was that lady at the grocery store who eyed my typed grocery list enviously.

What did catch my attention was the part where they discuss what it means to dream about liquor

“For a woman to dream about drinking or handling liquor foretells for her a happy Bohemian kind of existence.  (yes, that’s true.) She will be good natured but shallow minded.  (shallow minded, yes, yes, also true.)  To treat others, she will be generous to rivals, and the indifference of lovers or husbands will not seriously offset her pleasures or contentment.”  (How do they KNOW ME like this?)

I was surprised that the book says nothing about laying next to your husband smoking a cigarette on the sly and then putting out a cigarette in a plastic cup of beer.  Hm.  It would seem to me that this type of dream would be had by a great many people and an entire chapter should be devoted to it.  Surely I can’t be the ONLY ONE.

However, I think sometimes the interpretive dream books sometimes miss the point altogether.  Sometimes your dreams are as simple as you saw something on TV, or a certain conversation you had, or what you saw on line or heard at work.  For instance, I dream about writing a lot.  Makes sense, since I write a lot.  I dream about babies because I have a new granddaughter.  I dreamed about smoking because sometimes I miss it, even though I quit back in 1999.

As for the beer, I think they nailed it. 

I’m a good natured Bohemian-like, laid back kind of gal, and I like to drink.

Welcome to my world!

This is OUR new baby.  I guess we’re not too old to give birth.

My sister and I recently finished, proofread, edited, revised, polished, (and every other word you can think of) our manuscript Baylyn, Bewitched, a whimsical story about a quirky witch with a big secret.  We had a lot of fun writing it. 

Well, that’s not exactly true.  It’s hard work.  It’s blood, sweat, and tears.  It’s late nights after your husband has gone to bed.  It’s saying, “I can’t go, I’m working” and not feeling bad that others might say, “writing?  that’s not working.”   It’s early mornings and lunch hours in coffee shops.  It’s taking a notebook and pen every single place you go, just in case you have a wonderful idea for your masterpiece…it’s there, so you can jot it down.  It’s Saturdays and Sunday’s chores being done early so that you can sit down and write in the evening.  It’s staying accountable.  It’s hard.

Like I said, we had a lot of fun writing it.  And despite all that “fun”, we’re already knee deep in the writing of the next book in the series: Cat, Charmed.  That one should be out by the end of the summer.

For now, you can find our book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Happy reading!

In the early part of August, 2012, I got an interesting phone call while at work.
Daughter:  Mom, if you had to hear some big news, would you want to hear it on the phone or in person?
Me:  (at work, busy, surprised and happy to hear from the child.  Yet somehow I know exactly what it is she’s about to tell me.  I’m cold all over and am able to astrally project to her location and smack her on the back of the head, hard.)
Daughter:  Are you there?
Me:  What.  WhatWhat is it?  Just tell me.  (Even I can hear the desperation in my voice)
Daughter:  Well, (tears start) I took three pregnancy tests and they all were positive. 
Me:  (I’m unable to speak.  I fumble for my insurance card and touch it several times for comfort.)
Daughter:  Mom??
Me:  I’m here.  And if three tests say you’re pregnant, then you’re pregnant
Although I’m still in shock, I make the appropriate it’ll be ok noises through frozen lips and hang up to call the insurance company.  Oh, God.  Although marriage has been talked about, they haven’t made it official, and now there will be a baby. 
Babies are a blessing.
The next few months fly by and I see her figure blossom from a lithe, lanky camisole & tight jean-wearing 20 year old to looking like she was shoplifting a big pumpkin. 
Feeling the baby kick was new and magical.  The baby squirmed and pummeled her bladder mercilessly.  Privately, I alternated between crying, being excited, and giving thanks that the baby was healthy. 
It is a girl.
I want to tell my daughter all the things that would change when the baby came.  Number one on the list that will change: 
1)  EVERY SINGLE THING YOU DO, EVERY DAY, ALL DAY LONG, FROM NOW ON, FOREVER. 
As you can see, it’s a short list.  As a new mother, running to the store, running anywhere, takes on a whole new dimension.  You can’t just hop in the car and go.  You have to orchestrate it just right, which means to say you leave once the other parent tags in.  You’re done sleeping.  You’re done thinking of things to do for the weekend because you already know it’s going to consist of diapers and formula. 
I also want to tell her that despite the lack of sleep, the endless feedings and diaper changes, the 200 pounds of equipment you need everywhere you go, there are also moments of absolute bliss and they far outweigh the bad stuff.  The sweaty, solid weight of your child against your collarbone.  Their unbelievably good baby smell.  The tiny, trusting hand resting on your chest as you rock.  The first smiles.  The first words.
I try to tell her giving birth is going to hurt but those of us who have given birth know it’s a pain unlike any other and therefore hard to describe.  I also don’t want to scare the living daylights out of her.  I needn’t worry.  She listens respectfully but tells me that the tattoo she has going down her side from boob to butt was really painful and if she can get through that, she can get through this.
I listen and laugh.  And later, privately, I cry.  She doesn’t know.
I’m so glad for her when she comes home after work on her birthday and there’s an engagement ring hanging off the Christmas tree.  They’re happy.  That’s a wonderful thing.  I help her paint the baby’s room, roam through Babies R Us, plan her baby shower, and fall a little more in love with this granddaughter I haven’t met yet with each ultrasound picture I see.
This latest picture looks exactly like my daughter.  Exactly.  Same cheekbones.  Same forehead.  Same nose, lips, chin, and hands.
Her due date comes and goes.  She’s so big that MY back and feet hurt to look at her.
at 2 weeks pregnant.  (Just kidding.  More like 29.)
I have been eating for two her entire pregnancy out of nervousness.  I don’t tell her all the bad things that can go wrong.  During pregnancy.  During delivery.   I find myself in tears now and then and pray for an easy pregnancy and safe birth. 
I’m scared in a way I haven’t been in a while.
Finally, her doctor has her admitted on a Sunday night to have her cervix dilated.  Twelve hours later, the dreaded pitocin drip is administered.
The word pitocin sends chills up my spine.  It’s not pretty.  I remember doing backbends in labor with the force of a pitocin contraction.
It’s not long before it kicks in, and I hear her low moans start up.  The daddy, me and my other daughter have all been in the hospital with her for almost a whole day.  I’m grimy and tired from spending the night in a chair.  She’s in more and more pain and I hunt down the anesthesiologist in the hallway, because he should have been in there half hour ago. 
My daughter’s in pain, I tell him.  I watch him like a hawk as he administers the epidural block.  He doesn’t want me to watch because he says I could faint.  I tell him I’ve had two spinals myself but he says it’s different when it’s your child.  He’s right but I watch anyway.  He cautions me that if I faint he’s going to administer New York CPR.  I’m not amused.  He says, do you know what that is?  I just kick you til you wake up.  It’s not funny but I appreciate the effort.  I only laugh at his feeble joke because she’s not in pain anymore.
We’re told it could be a few hours now, so my oldest daughter and I run home so I can shower and change clothes.  I take a hurried 2 minute shower and while dressing, I get the phone call that a certain someone is about to meet her grandmother and if I wanted to be there, I’d best get down there quick.  What happened to “it’s going to be a few hours now?”
We’re there in no time, stopping on the way to quickly buy three stamps and jam three state tax returns into the post office box so they’re not late.  It’s tax day.  Way to procrastinate.
They’re ushering visitors out of her room and into the hallway once we get there.  She is about to begin pushing and my other daughter and I each are in charge of a leg, as she won’t be able to move them very well because of the epidural.  We are given instructions to push her legs backward to help with each contraction.  Dad stands, wisely, at the head of the bed.
Everything happens quickly.  She is told to take a deep breath and hold it and puuuuuuuuuuussssshhhhh!!!!! 
Unfortunately we too hold our breath and push with her.  As embarrassing as it is, I believe I pee a little.  My oldest daughter, holding her breath and the other leg, almost faints. 
I’m amazed at how hard the obstetrician grasps the baby’s head and pulls with each contraction but before you know it; the little shoulders are slipping out.  The proud daddy cuts the cord with shaking hands.  I’m a snotty mess.  I have not only just witnessed the unbelievable miracle of birth but also the birth of my first grandchild.
The Alyssa bun, fresh out of the oven.
At 8 pounds 2 ounces of beautiful, little Alyssa Rose makes her way into the world.  I’m amazed at how roughly efficiently the doctor and nurses handle the baby.  They competently towel her little slippery body off, throw drops in her eyes, diaper her tiny butt, weigh her, wrap her in a blanket and give her a hat with a bow before handing her to her tired, happy mama.  I begin to take pictures with my phone and those waiting in the hall see pictures of her on Facebook before the child is even 10 minutes old. 
It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  My tears are streaming, uncontrolled.  I feel honored that I got to watch the birth.
The new mother tells me later that I kissed her big toe repeatedly during Alyssa’s delivery.  She seems to think that is hysterical.  I seem to remember that it was the only safe place to kiss during delivery. I felt I needed to help her relieve her pain in some way and kissing a safe area, i.e. the big toe with the freckle on it, seemed to be the only way I could do it.  It made me feel better, in any case.
Time passes quickly.  The baby is now 6 weeks old.  Each time I see her, I fall a little more in love with her.  It’s funny, because I told my husband that after I met him; I was done falling in love and I meant it. 



How could you NOT love this little face?



But you can fall in love again.  I was wrong.  I didn’t know how a grandchild could make you feel.  How hard it hits you in the stomach when you lean in close and croon, “How’s Grandma’s girl?” and you’re rewarded with adorable crinkly eyes and a big gummy smile.  Ermehgerd.
Between then and now, I bet I’ve taken 1000 pictures or more.  My friends and family and coworkers can back me up on that.  I say I’m taking them for my family who lives south of Rockford, but it’s not true.  I just can’t believe how amazing and perfect she is and want everyone to see her.
 



say Cheese!!

I believe she is easily the most beautiful child ever birthed, and although I am certain I am not the first grandmother to think that, I am the only grandmother who’s actually right.


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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!

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