A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. ~Oscar Wilde

Friday, January 25, 2013

Stuff I Love

I've been struggling with format for this blog, well, since I started it. I like to blog about my kid but  I took that off the table. So, who am I? I'm not a fashion blogger but I love fashion. Well, as long as it's comfy. I use a lot of products, clothes and house hold and everything else. I'm not a television or movie critic, either, but I do love to sit in front of the television. I'm not a food critic either, but I love to eat. You get the idea, here, right?  I think it's time to make it clear WHO I am here, besides a mother. For 31 years I was not a mother, and while it now defines me, that is not the entirety of my existence. It's part of why I continued to work, so I could keep a portion of myself, separate from my beautiful child.  I will ALWAYS be a mother now, but she will not always need me the way she does right now. I have to maintain myself in order to be okay when that day comes. 

I'm going to start a new feature (wait, isn't everything new here?) about some of the stuff I love. I think not only will it help me develop my voice for this blog, but it will give my handful of readers some insight into who I am. Isn't that what this is about? I think so. And the stuff we wear and use and love is really one of the first tips into who we are. (And let me be completely honest here, I'm sort of totally stealing the idea from La Maman Heureuse.)

So here's my first "Stuff I Love" post. I love the cozy, deconstructed look of this sweat shirt. And the message of the company, the embodiment of love, living the life you were meant to live. It's really an important message to be true to yourself. About Wear Love
Wear Love

wear love

I had a hard time deciding between the first shirt and the second. I ended up with the second because it's lighter weight, which in Georgia needs to be considered. It has been an extremely mild winter. They say there may be freezing ice today but I'm pretty sure they are lying so they can close schools. Enough about the snow conspiracy.  I just cannot get enough of cozy sweats right now. I think that comes from the cold and the sick child I've had lately and my desire for it to be always the weekend. Don't get me wrong I love to look nice, but I can be cozy while doing it, right? Anyways, if you haven't checked this company out yet, you should. I cannot wait to receive my new hoodie!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Week In Review

This week has been far from the best of weeks. The kiddo turned two and then started puking in bed. She is only just better today from the fever and the best thing happened last night: she started coughing. I hope it isn't going to be one sickness on top of the other for us. 

So that sucked. Then, while the kiddo was still sick, Sassy had to have her mastectomy. That was lovely. The incision was larger than I anticipated but they did let us go ahead and bring her home that night instead of waiting until the next day. She had to stay confined, however, and it was so sad. She was high on pain meds and hissing and growling at the floor basically. Yesterday, she tried to get in our bed and missed the first time. We'll have the pathology back sometime next week when we get the stitches out, but for now, all seems good. She's sore, but she's an old lady who just had a mastectomy, so that's to be expected. 

Ol' Seven Tits
While I was on the way to pick up Sassy, I returned a phone call from my mom. Who informed me that the police had had to be called on my brother, again. He had taken too much of something, was acting a fool and hitting his wife. He was taken to jail, then taken to the hospital, where he refused the charcoal treatment. He was then knocked out, given the charcoal and put on a ventilator. He's awake again and says he knows he made a big mistake. Yeah, boy, that doesn't cover it. Big is not a big enough word for the mistake(s) you've made. I think there will be some jail time for this one. At least in jail, you don't get released for bad behavior like you evidently do in a rehab facility. 

Needless to say, Tuesday sucked a giant cock and Wednesday wasn't much better. But today, today is a new day and today is better. Way better. The kid is better (I think) and the cat is okay and the brother, well, he yet lives

a fire, as requested by the tiny human

There will be good t.v. tomorrow night: SPARTACUS! War of the Damned. I'm all frothy just thinking about it. Gross, right? But some of us live for the little things. 

squishy cat
Cheers to new days and brighter tomorrows!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Belly Rubs and Breast Exams

Sunday afternoon, my Sassy-Cat was in my lap for her usual post nap belly rub. As I mindlessly gushed her belly in the usual way, a largish hard spot stopped me in my tracks. My fingers explored her furry belly. Was it just a nipple? No, the others weren't that big. So I flipped her over. I thought it was a tick at first, but upon closer examination I realized it was a swollen nipple. With a lump. I made my husband check it out. We agreed it wasn't normal, but was perhaps a clogged milk duct or some other mammary infection. I made her an appointment for today. 

comfy, lady?
I drove home to get her, dreading putting her in the crate. I took the crate from the shelf in the garage, brought it inside and dusted it off. I lined it with a chenille blanket filled with sentimental kitty value and went and scooped my sleeping girl from her (my) spot where she was napping in the bed. Getting her in the crate has never been easier. She cried on the way, as per usual.

my girls
We arrived and while we were in the waiting area, my husband and I could barely contain our excitement over a dog with a pair of balls growing at her chin. I'm sure it wasn't funny, as it was likely a tumor, which is not funny, but the appearance was hilarious. 

Then it was our turn. And we received the sobering news that our first baby will need to have a mastectomy. My hopes of a clogged duct were shattered and the fear that I had been holding back came rushing to the surface. I barely got out of there before the hot tears started to stream down my face. (Our first cat, Merlin, succumbed on October 19, 2008 at 7 years old to a brain tumor. It was really hard and this brought it all back to the surface.) My first little girl will be having a mastectomy on Tuesday. We didn't want to do it before the big second birthday Friday, as we know our human daughter will want to have her grape (gray) kitty there to celebrate with her. 
Merlin. <3

We cancelled our weekend trip. There is no way on earth I will leave my girl for the weekend and then take her for surgery the day we get back. Hopefully, the tumor will be a benign little bitch that can be easily removed and recovered from. Kitty cancer can suck it. 
Christmas day cuddles

The moral of this story is to remind you to give your pets their daily belly rubs. It serves a dual purpose: love and affection & early detection. 

On Saturday, February 2nd we took sassy to have her stitches out and found out that the tumor was indeed a malignant breast cancer. The vet feels confident he got all the cancer...so for now, she is in the clear. We just have to watch her for any further lumps and bumps or any strange activity. As of right now, I think she feels pretty great. She has been on TREAT PATROL lately. Looking for treats and destroying any bag that is left unsecured. She doesn't have front claws...this is a feat. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Bit of Honesty

I'm writing this post because I have to get it out. It's deeply personal, and at the same time it doesn't directly effect me. I say that it doesn't directly effect me for this reason: while it is happening to me, in my life, ultimately I am not the one who directly suffers. And that is precisely the reason it is so important for me to post this. The impact that this indirect event has on my life, on my emotional state of being, on my heart, soul and every fiber of my being is so intense, and for that reason the magnitude of the effect it has on this person directly must be considered. I have debated even writing this post for months. Then, I had to reach a decision about which blog to post it to. I have decided, ultimately, that while this post is very intimate, that it is imperative that I make this post public. Perhaps it will help someone else, and the writing of it will surely help me. Letting it out at all will be therapeutic, as I have not discussed this most recent event with anyone other than my husband and parents.  

Let's talk about mental illness and addiction. I am not an expert on this subject. All that follows is personal experience mixed with my own knowledge, all obtained during my own experiences. 

People don't want to talk about mental illness or addiction, and certainly not together. That's part of the problem. It needs to be changed. Mothers experiencing  postpartum issues feel ashamed, and only very slowly is that stigma lifting and allowing them to open up about it. That's only the tip of the iceberg. Things that aren't seen as the norm are pushed down, swept under rugs, or whispered in hushed voices in a back rooms. They aren't talked about openly but they effect everyone surrounding the person who is suffering. I personally suffer from depression and anxiety and I know how debilitating this can be. 

But let's talk about the real issue at hand. At my hand. It's really hard for me, to even type this but I'm going to do it....my brother has a long standing mental illness and addiction history. He is twenty-seven years old and I am afraid that in the next few years (or months, or days) I'm going to be attending my little brother's funeral. Every time the phone rings a little too late at night, my heart skips a beat. Every time I don't hear from my mother by a certain point in the day I wonder if something has happened to him that she isn't telling me. (She won't tell me a lot of times because she is ashamed, because she is scared, because she doesn't want to ruin my day, because she doesn't want to talk about it, because because because....it's valid, really, I get it. I don't want to talk about it either.  All the time I live in the shadow of this fear, and some days it sinks me in a depression so deep it is hard for me to move. My limbs feel like lead and the air feels like peanut butter. And all I have to do is fear. I don't really have any contact with him anymore. I don't think he wants to have contact with me, particularly. Contact with people who care about him holds him accountable, and he doesn't want to be accountable. The thing about getting help for someone in this situation is that they have to desire to be helped. And he doesn't. 

Some days, I want to call him and ask him if he wants to die. I think he must. I try to tell my heart that he is already gone, that his soul as I knew it, the boy I grew up with, is gone. Try to tell yourself that someone you love and is physically breathing right now, is dead though. It doesn't jive with your heart and your mind. 

Drug addiction alters the make-up and functionality of your brain fundamentally. Honestly, I don't even know what drugs my brother is hooked on anymore. It used to be methamphetamine but think the addiction has moved past that. Methamphetamine alters the way you feel emotions. You lose the ability to love. I don't have a source link on this, it is something I learned in a class but I'm sure you can google it. So you put that in a pot. No more love. Then you mix in some serotonin inhibitors and releasors (think ecstasy) , fuck with the mental balance a little bit more in someone with a family propensity towards mental illness. Throw in some barbiturates and some depressants.  Throw every class of drug you can think of into the bucket, basically, and stir it up. You know how crazy drunk people act? Imagine the person who has been drinking from this concoction for ten years. It's insane. You can't imagine what they'll do next because they don't know themselves. They'll steal your last five dollars. They'll become irrationally angry and belligerent. They'll hurt themselves, they'll hurt you, they'll hurt anyone that stands between them and what they want: getting high. 

If you've ever experienced a panic attack, you know how your mind can trick you sans drugs, just your mind, all by itself. Imagine having a panic attack while highly intoxicated. Can you? You're out of control, you're not in control of yourself and yet you are there. I imagine that is how my brother feels almost all of the time. Sometimes, I think he wants help. Sometimes, I think he is trying to help himself feel better emotionally because really, depression hurts. (There was a long running commercial  about depression and it said something like "where does depression hurt? everywhere. who does depression hurt? everyone.) I'm pretty sure that's where the drugs began and that his initial addiction was due to him trying to self-medicate with street drugs. Now, I don't know what he wants. Which is why I want to ask him if he wants to die. I think he surely does seek escape, although hopefully not death. 

Right now, at this moment, he is in a facility being held against his will for the third time in as many months. He won't stay. He's mad right now because they are holding him longer than the 72 hour time frame. He needs long term treatment and refuses to be admitted. If he goes for "day therapy" he is able to do what he wants the rest of the time, and he doesn't need to be allowed to do what he wants. He is currently detoxing and having withdrawals, which is why he's mad. It hurts. Withdrawals hurt. But I think if you added up my pain, my other brother's pain ( i have two brothers), the pain of my parents, the pain of his wife, I think if you added all that pain up, and put it against his pain and anguish, I think we'd stand on the heavier end of the pain scale. I truly do. I wish he cared what it does to my mother. She is watching her child kill  himself slowly. The fear I feel for him cannot compare to what she feels. My father has to watch her suffer every day, see the pain in her eyes magnifying the pain in his own heart. My brother and I, we're minor. And let me tell you, it hurts. It hurts so goddamn bad. There is no way to help someone who doesn't want to help themselves. And so we continue in this cycle: we wait for an incident, we put him away for as long as we can and breath a sigh of relief for those 72 hours, and then when he's out, we wait. The cycle exhausts us all. We're drained and our nerves are raw. Our own depression magnified painfully as we move our arms and legs of lead through a world filled with peanut butter air and try to keep our chins up, the face we show the world a brave one concealing our hearts as they beat in our chests ready to break when that phone call comes all the while hoping endlessly that it never does. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Spartacus: I Miss Andy Whitfield

This is a post from my personal blog, written while it was still public.  Spartacus, War of the Damned, returns Friday, January 25, 2013. This will be the final season of the show. I decided to share this post here, in honor of the new and final season. And also due to a bit of a lack of motivation going on today...without further ado. 

Original post March 13, 2012.

My husband and I are infatuated with Spartacus, the show on Starz. It entertains, it thrills. It is full of blood and gore and sex and foul language. Lots of mostly naked and naked sweaty men. Built to KILL. Oh yes. More please.

Needless to say, we were heartbroken when Andy Whitfield succumbed to lymphoma, placing the show on a hiatus we were unsure it would return from.

We were pleased when we discovered the show would return for a new season. We wanted to see Spartacus "kill them all."

However, we quickly discovered we didn't want to see just any Spartacus "kill them all." No. We wanted to see Andy Whitfield KILL THEM ALL. Yes. Andy. Not the new dude. He simply did not have the same look, the same desire burning in his eyes. He seemed young and innocent, not the jaded killer we knew, but a youthful replacement, lacking skill and physical strength.

Season Three has been a crushing blow to our love of the show but we kept watching because at some point we just knew it would turn around. We were mourning Andy and this new dude just left us feeling hollow. Other cast replacements weren't helpful, either, but I won't get into that right now. We have found ourselves more interested in the Romans than the plight of our recently freed slaves and gladiators. The Romans, by the way, are headed by Lucy Lawless and they are divinely consumed with self, sex and power. Entrancing to say the least. And with the marked absence of my love, Andy Whitfield, I have clung to them and their plights to make it through to the next episode in hopes of something, anything, making a turnaround.

Finally, in the most recent episode, the turn occurred. Oh, yes. I have found a spot in my heart to discover the name of NEW SPARTACUS. Liam McIntyre. I may like him afterall.


This episode created a new desire to watch, made me feel that Liam was up to the task of filling Andy's shoes. He may not be Andy, and I think no one can fully replace Mr. Whitfield as Spartacus, but maybe Mr. McIntyre will do. After a band of rebels join forces with the group, a fight erupts among the seperate factions. Spartacus steps in and with a quick upper cut with his sword, removes the face of one of the rebels. His brain slides from skull. And the fight stops and the rebels recognize Spartacus as a great warrior and leader. My heart recognizes Liam as Spartacus for the first time. Spartacus returns in episode SEVEN.

And I yearn to see what happens with Ilythia (Roman. Wife of Prator Glabor) and Gannicus (Former Gladiator. Refusing to join sides with Prator Glabor. Kidnaps his wife and kills a bunch of his men!) tonight.

Written by Heather Sullivan. All images and writtings copy right 2012.

Friday, January 11, 2013

MIA and Why I am Done with Pinterest

I've been gone from this blog all week. I just can't bring myself to post anything if I can't bring myself to post the post that I can't bring myself to post. I want to post it. The issue is very serious and very much a part of my life, but as for actually hitting the publish button and sharing, which I know will help ME, I can't do it. Maybe next week.

But we'll talk now about why I am finished using Pinterest. 

I like looking at pictures mindlessly and finding good ideas and blogs and other such things. But the thing is, whenever I find something I want to purchase, it isn't available, it's just a photo without a link or some other bullshit. I found a wonderful bath toy for the little girl's birthday next week. Wonderful toy. It was a little bath fountain that recirculated the water from the tub through a spout. She could have running water without filling the tub over the top. It was genius. I needed this thing, she needed this thing. Unavailable. I proceeded to spend one hour of my life obsessing over finding this little item. And I did find one for sale, somewhere, for $369. WTF. It is a $20 toy. No thanks. 

I did find a similar, less adorable but equally functional product eventually.(you can see it here ) But I'm sorry. Another dead end. Followed by another. I have too much actual stuff to do to spend an hour looking for something that I can't get. 

And then, here's the real problem I find with Pinterest (i'm not even going to dignify it with a capital P anymore). It creates an unattainable ideal, taking the focus off the child. Mommies get so focused on making everything "pinterest perfect" that they forget to have fun. They stress themselves to the max because they know that their mommy friends have seen their pinterest boards and will expect their kid's birthday to party to be that awesome. Really? Who cares what those other moms think? I'm more concerned with my kid and what she thinks. I don't even invite anyone but family to my kid's parties, but if I spend all the time it would take to make it "pinterest perfect" I would feel compelled to have this huge blowout of a party, spend a whole pay check on decorations and for what? My kid to cry in a corner because there are too many damned people over. I'm over the pinterest pressure. Don't you think we have enough pressure without trying to create a picture perfect life all the time? I do. I have to work, and even if you don't, you probably have a ton of other much more important stuff to accomplish during the day. 

Life is messy. Sometimes there is garbage in my pictures, literally. Who cares? The most fun is had in the messiest of houses, and love takes the cake, not a pinterest board. Sure, perfect pictures rock. But take them of your kid and not stuff. 

And let's not even get me started on the motivational crap, the outfits that make me feel like I should never eat again, and all the other crap that's there. I'm done with the pinterest pressure. And it feels good. So good.  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Television Review: The Neighbors

My husband's been threatening to delete The Neighbors  from our DVR and I knew it had potential, so I refused to allow him to hit that delete button. We've been watching the episodes from the beginning of this season (which periodically confuses the shit of out me because they're from the fall, and I'm like, wait, that's not a new epi of Gray's, I saw that so and so. Duh.). Anyways, I really am in LOVE with this show. It's hilariously awkward. The premise is that a family, The Weavers,  moves to the suburbs, into the "only town house that's been available in ten years" in this neighborhood. There's a reason; the cul-de-sac's residents are all aliens and the opening is from one couple leaving to return to their home planet. 


Everyone has taken the names of professional athletes. The lead alien is Larry Bird and he's married to Jackie Joyner Kersee. Their kids are Dick  Butkus and Reggie Jackson. That alone cracks me up, then add the fact that they call each other by their whole names. Even funnier. 

Jamie Gertz. I love her, period. She's hilarious. 


Dick Butkus reeks of nerdiness. The kid is 8 or 9, so he's awkward by default at that age anyways. They're always saying  things like "Enough, DIck!" and although that sounds childish, such things really crack me up. 

The main thing I love about this show is the social commentary. The Weavers have to teach their alien neighbors about the holidays, death, the mall and other random things we take for granted. It forces you to look at your own behavior from an objective perspective and can be very introspective. For instance, the Christmas episode made me rethink our purchasing practices and consider the real focus. Larry and Jackie get overtaken by the zeal of opening packages when the Weavers ask them to hide them from their children. As the alien family tears haphazardly into gifts with no regard to what the gifts are (Dick opens an ipad and screams, "I got a bike!" and then throws it like a Frisbee.) it made me consider our own Christmas, what we needed, what was worth it, what wasn't. Really, the presents are nice but the point of the holiday, for me, should be family and happiness, not gifts. 

Anyways, I'm digressing. The point is the show makes you think, makes you laugh and gives you a break from the tedium of it all by making you see if from outside the box. 

The Neighbors comes on ABC in between The Middle and Modern Family. Side note, here, I love Modern Family. I only watch The Middle as a place holder for it, and because Sue Heck is pretty funny. Give the Neighbors a try, though. I will be really sad if it gets cancelled. There is a new epi this Wednesday at 8:30!! I'm so stoked!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Extended Rear-Facing (ERF)

I'm an anomaly here. My child, at two, is still rear-facing. Georgia law states that children may be turned forward-facing at one year or 20 pounds. Most people can't wait for that day and flip their tiny babies right around. Co-workers and family members (most of my friends do extended rear-facing, too, because they rock) look at me like I'm nuts when I'm loading my kid or they see my car seat. They say things like, "oh, why don't you turn her around?" or "you're so crazy to keep her rear-facing, she'd be so much happier if you turned her around." Really, would she be happier? She doesn't know the difference because she has never faced forward. She doesn't cry or pitch a fit now, anyways, so what would she do, fart unicorns and rainbows in my general direction as I drive? Oh, and would she be happier in the event that her mama rear-ends someone and her neck gets broken? I don't think so. I'm a terrible driver. Forward facing is dangerous for adults, and as my dad likes to point out, we'd all be safer if we rear-faced, especially in air planes. I mean, we can't drive facing backwards, but really, it's safer. So why do we want to push our children to forward face knowing that they are safer rear facing? I just don't get it. And the nay-sayers who like to question my parenting decision, the decision to listen to the AAP and not just the law can all suck rotten eggs. Just because something is the LAW doesn't mean it's the safest choice out there. Cigarettes and beer are legal and they both kill. Legality is a moot point as far as I'm concerned. 

I recently found Treading Raging Waters   and it just served to cement all of my feelings on this subject. It has so much useful car seat information that you don't necessarily know.  I think every new parent should read this , and really, I think the hospital should give a class on car seat safety and installation before you leave, just like they teach how to bath and diaper.  I'm not sure if it's just where I live but the little exit class the hospital gives is really lame and ridiculously basic. Like, don't drown your baby in the tub by leaving it unattended; your baby can't contract HIV from being hugged; don't wash the umbilical cord; don't forget to burp your baby after feeding; don't forget to USE a car seat; etc. 

Here are some helpful links:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hopes and Dreams for 2013

If I were a good blogger, I would have a list of resolutions to share here. Things that I have no intention of actually accomplishing, but that sounds really good on a list of things I wish I could do. I'm neither a good blogger nor am I into making lists of things I never intend to stick to. That isn't to say that I don't have dreams of what this year will bring. I do. I have big dreams and lots of hope. 

I'm dreaming of lots of dance parties in the middle of my den with my little person.

I'm dreaming of a Wonder Pets themed 2nd Birthday party.

I'm dreaming of less panic, less anxiety, less depression in this new year.

I'm dreaming of more health for me, less sickness, more exercise. 

I'm dreaming of my husband's family business turning a real profit again.

I'm dreaming of the beach.

I'm hopeful that I may find more patience through a devoted approach to yoga.

I'm hopeful that others will find more tolerance.

I'm hoping that people in general will be kinder, less quick to take action to harm others.

I'm dreaming of my house becoming neat and organized and hoping that I can make it happen.

I'm hoping and dreaming that I can make this little blog a successful venture, and that I can find a good direction for it. 

I'm dreaming of dates with my husband and hoping that we can find a little more time for each other this year.

I'm dreaming of tiny miniature gardens in my back yard, and creating more fantasy for my little goddess.

I'm hoping for more creativity to spring from my fingers, more love to pour forth from them and create wonders for little eyes

I'm dreaming of crafts with my little artist, and painting more with her.

I'm dreaming of re-doing our bed room; hanging stuff on the walls and new bedding and new bathroom rugs (can you believe my rugs are ten years old? what's up with that?)

As you can see, I resolve to do nothing. My resolve is poor and well, damn near non-existent. I have lots of hopes and dreams for this year, though. And I think I can make my dreams come true. I have a year to pull them off, after all!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Rainy days, Play dough & Panic

Our New Years Eve was low key and pleasant. We have spent the day playing with play dough, dreasing like mermaid princesses and relaxing.

So why do I have this looming feeling of dread hanging over me? The feeling that at any moment the sky will fall and my world will come crashing down? Where is this coming from? I don't understand why I get ao overwhelmed with such feelings at times where I feel otherwise happy. It is likes i cannot allow myself to feel such joy that my defense mechanisms kick in and take over. But for what?

I'm not sure. I just hope these feelings subside. All I want to do is play with my mermaid.