The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘life’ Category

“Do You Want Fries with That?” by Christine Cacciatore.

Advertisements

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 
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.

My husband asked me the other day for a Christmas list.  I hemmed.  I hawed.  I wrote a total of:  two things.  One, a good pair of silver hoops for everyday wear (read:  days when I’m too lazy to look at my earring “shirt” and find something color coordinated) and also a soft, comfy black cardigan.  Oh, I may have mentioned “a ring” too.  In that silly, girly, breathy I-want-sparkly-jewelry sort of way. 

Are there other things I want?  Sure there are.  However, I’m the one who does the most Christmas shopping (I’m a control freak) and when I see something around Christmas time that I want, weeeeeellllll, pretty much I get it. 

Case in point…ordering from Kohl’s online today.  Got everything I needed for other people but WHAT’S THAT???  Pajama pants with penguins on them?  Yes, please.  Click!

I’m a procrastinator.  I don’t do my Christmas shopping like a lot of people, which is to say that I do it much later.  As of right now, I’m only about 50% done and instead of being out shopping right now…I’m writing.  And thinking seriously about a glass of wine.  But really, my kids are old enough now that they would rather have gift cards.  And how long does it take to go get a gift card?  They don’t run out, they’re always the right size, and the kids really, truly appreciate them. 

I buy gift cards as opposed to the jeans or shirts I would get them once upon a time that would sit in their closets, tagged, until they were outgrown and given to Amvets, mostly because those ba$tards at Plato’s Closet buy everyone else’s stained, torn clothing but not my new stuff that has tags on it.  People at Plato’s Closet, pay attention.  Stop buying crap from your friends. 

I buy gift cards for the kids because I don’t have a personal shopper.  Because I am not very good at picking out things that my children would actually wear.  The only things I’m pretty safe buying for them are camisoles (for the girls, and maybe one for me) and funny t shirts (for the boy, and maybe one for me).  I don’t really have any sort of sense of style or color matching ability.  What this means is I wear black pants a LOT.
 
Popular gifts for the youngsters:  McDonalds gift cards.  Victoria’s Secret gift cards.  Walmart, or Target, or Plato’s Closet gift cards (for those children who like Abercrombie jeans without the Abercrombie price).  Gas station gift cards.  A gift card at virtually any store that would actually prevent me from picking out actual clothes, thinking, “Oh, (fill in name of unfortunate child) would just love this.  It would look so great on them.  So smart.  She/he could even start a fad.”*

*Note to my mother:  nothing that you said would start a fad actually STARTED a fad. 

And of course, in their Christmas stockings, it’s pretty standard:  candy, scratchoff cards, body wash, a Christmas Pez thingie.  An orange.  A candy cane.  Hope they’re not looking at this because then they’d know what’s in their stocking.  Again.  For the fifth year in a row.

(Actually, thinking about this, why the orange?  Why, because my mother used to put one in my stocking.  Sometimes we’d poke the candy cane IN THE ORANGE and suck out orange juice.  We were hardcore like that.  I also remember my sister and I getting Leggs.  Remember?  pantyhose in the egg container?  Good times.)

No matter what you gift your children with, or how soon or late you shop, it’s a wonderful time of year for sharing with friends and family.  That’s my focus.  In the hustle and bustle of baking, shopping, holiday parties, etc, it’s really easy to lose sight of that.

And that leads me to remember one more thing that is on my Christmas list, every single year…that my family stay happy and healthy.  It is really the most important thing in the world to me.  Every year I hug my family a little tighter.  And next year, there will be a little granddaughter to celebrate with!  I am literally quivering with joy.

Merry Christmas!

Sometimes, I hear conversations and/or phrasing that make me laugh, or things I think are interesting, or far fetched, or ghastly, and I write them down immediately, because I’m always thinking of YOU, dear reader, and how to entertain YOU. 

I just reread this and realize I should be honest.  I’m not writing things down for you.  No, I write them down because I’m on the downside of 45 and forget EVERYTHING.

Case in point.  Last night, my daughter told me that she was going to be working 12-6 today, Friday.  Around 5:00 pm, I begin to freak out because I have called her twice with no answer, and there is no response to my texts.  I have completely forgotten that she is working until I get her text which says, and I quote, “I’m working LOL.”  I quickly called off the search parties.  In less than 24 hours, I managed to not only have a conversation with her about her hours for today, but turn around and panic when I don’t hear back from her, because I didn’t remember she was safely at work, ignoring her phone, because she’s working.  At her job.

Yes, I’m getting old.

However, here are some of the things that have happened lately that I have managed to write down and remember for yens:



so. beautiful.  so. hard. to. take. a. good. picture.

 1)  The moon last Friday night.  It was awesome.  This was taken right after we got home from seeing the Bodeans at the “On the Waterfront”, around midnight. 

**

2)  An argument between my two oldest children.  Those arguments used to be over toys, or tattling, or the TV station they were watching. 

Argument 12 years ago:

    “Mom, he took my Barbie.” 
    “Mom, she’s watched this already, can’t I watch my channel?”

Argument now:

Oldest child (son, 23) tiredly makes his way up the basement stairs.  My husband and I and my daughter (21), are sitting on the couch.

    Boy:  My knees are so sore.

    Girl:  Maybe if you weren’t on them so much they wouldn’t hurt.

    Boy:  (long pause) I can’t think of a comeback right now, but when I do, it’s going to be f*****g epic. (bedroom door slams)



Still trying to think of something f*****g epic.  It’s going to take a while.

**

3)  This unbelievably thoughtful gift my husband got me.  He recently discovered ‘the Ebay’.  We set him up a Paypal account and I slid a pamphlet on computer addictions under his pillow. 

But look!  Look!  A poster of one of my most favorite movies about witches!  In a beautiful frame we bought on a shopping trip together!



“Fall in love whenever you can.” – Sally Owens
Oh, I will, Sally.  I will.

 To go along with that, I also have a shrine area where I have that paperback and also an adorable beanie baby, a black cat, wearing a witch hat. 

I know!


Possibly the finest literature ever.  And a cat.  On my nightstand.  Before I took this picture, I removed all of the used Kleenexes, cough drop wrappers, and dog hair-y earplugs.  You’re welcome.

 **

4) Sunday I made a lovely bean and pasta soup, recipe courtesy of my sister.  I took a picture of the soup but it looked too much like barf so I left that off.  Better luck next time.

** 

5)  I am pretty sure I have a story that’s going to be in a book coming out the end of next month.  Stay tuned for more details, like when I actually know for SURE.  However, I made it through the first round and now they’re going to send it to me for editing, so…keep your fingers crossed for me.  I’ll know more in a few weeks.

**

I think there were a few more things that I wrote down so I would remember. 

However, I forgot my notebook out in the car and the garage door is already shut, so that’s that.

I’ll have to start a new list of things to remember.  Number One will be to get my notebook out of the car.



jennifer ellison/freedigitalphotos.net
I’m sure the storm looked exactly like this.  However, I was snoozing.



Our power went out at 5:30 this morning, in the midst of an enormous, rainy, loud, crashing thunderstorm.  Unconcerned, my husband and I snuggled a little tighter, listening to the soothing sounds of the rain, which we could hear ever so much better because the central air conditioner and our ceiling fan were not moving.  Le sigh.
Soon, thanks to the stagnant air, “snuggling” became “sticking”.   We untangled ourselves and hurried to get ready for work.  (We take showers at night).  I couldn’t see to put on makeup and had no power to blow dry my hair.  No problem, I thought.  I’d doll up in the car and straighten my hair at work in the bathroom.
First, though, my husband and I had to deal with something we didn’t think would be an issue, to wit: 
a)      The side door to our garage is always locked. 
b)      The big garage door won’t go up when the electricity is out. 
c)      You can’t open it by hand unless you’re inside the garage.
d)     You can’t get IN the garage unless you have a key for the side garage door.
e)      We can’t find the key for the side door, and….
f)       My car is in the garage.
He tried all the keys we had.  None worked.  We sipped furiously on our tepid, weak coffee, plotting our next move.
I tried unsuccessfully to McGuyver the lock with a Swiss army knife and a bobby pin but decided I’d better quit screwing with it before I snapped the bobby pin off inside the lock, making a bad morning even worse.
Long story short, we found the garage key.  Sometimes, luck is on your side.  Or hanging up on the key rack.
This marks the second time in a week that we’ve lost power…last Wednesday night; ten minutes after I had applied hair color to my head and eyebrows, a furious thunderstorm came ripping through the neighborhood, knocking our power out.  I ran shrieking into the bathroom to wipe the color off my eyebrows, ensuring I didn’t turn out like Burt & Ernie. 
Hair, I could fix, recolor, cut, or hide under a hat.  Eyebrows?  Not so much.
Dominos made dinner tonight, as the power was still out at dinnertime.  However, the power came back on (let me say that again, because the words are so delicious, the power came back on) around 8. 
Thanks, Dominos.  The pizza was delicious.  Thanks to Com Ed for getting the electricity up and running again.
I’ve got the Power!!!

Advertisements

  • None
  • 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!

Categories