Monday, January 31, 2011


The weekend was long. Between each of the girls being sick and home last week, combined with snow days, and then the weekend, there has been a lot of "togetherness time" here, and all of it has not been positive. The icicles hanging off my roof are getting longer and longer, and are starting to resemble bars. Last night, as I was trying to get dinner out of the oven, and  cut into bite size pieces , and served, all the while listening to fighting, and screaming, ALL in the kitchen, with the volume so unbearably loud, I just wanted to scream. I had reached my proverbial "Uncle". I had enough.

But there were numerous bright spots. My parents visited us Friday night. The girls adore them. Mostly my Dad, whom they refer to as Papa. He is the best. They have the same love in their eyes that I know I had in mine at their age, and still do. Watching him play the same games with Molly that he played with me, and all of his grandchildren, and hearing her scream with delight, every time she discovered his hiding place, is bittersweet. She is the last baby. For all of us.

They left on Saturday, on to visit my sister, who lives outside of Philadelphia. My sister and I are "estranged". I always thought that was such an awful word. A terrible term for something that feels far worse. I miss her. I have yet to discuss her, here in this forum. It is too painful. That is a story for another day.

After my Mom and Dad left, we went to the supermarket, and got what we needed to get by until payday. We figured out how many dinners we needed, and breakfasts, and put gas in the cars, and now have a little under $30.00 for the week. This would have panicked me years ago. But it has become such a way of life now for us, it no longer bothers me, that much. As long as we have food in the refrigerator, and diapers..I am OK. I have enough gas to get where I need to go, and David can get to work. I just worry about emergencies. But I try to put that thought away. Except now they are saying that more snow is on the way, and with it, there will be ice. I hate that kind of weather the most. Thick coats of ice, on everything, weighing down branches and power lines. I am so nervous even thinking about it.

David and the girls discovered a live web cam of a bears den yesterday. It was so cute to see the Mama bear and the baby bear, curled up together, asleep. They then discovered a baby squirrel nest (so cute!) and a live camera at a watering hole in Africa. The best find though, was a hummingbird nest. The nest is in California, in a rosebush. You can see the pink roses, and thorns. The nest is no bigger than a golf ball. There are two babies in the nest. They were asleep every time I looked at the computer. They breath so quickly. It is astounding. You can see their feathers blowing in the breeze.  A few big gusts of wind made them flutter a bit, and David and the girls were screaming with fright, as the nest really started swaying. The mother was not with them, and they were all so worried for the babies safety. Molly was even scared. It was sweet to see.

This morning, as the girls ate breakfast, they wanted to see the hummingbirds. I went to the website, and it was dark. Too early in California still. I guess the remote camera shuts down at night. I would have loved to see a Mama hummingbird snuggled up with her babies. The girls were disappointed, and asked to look at it when they get home from school later. I plan on keeping the site up all day.

Last night, David and I started to dream out loud together. We are always stressed, and always, always, broke. We are one heating malfunction, or car repair bill, away from disaster. I hate that we make sure to stock the refrigerator, and must choose to do that, instead of paying a bill. Or bills. Sticky, necessary, choices.

We talked about one day being able to start a foundation. One that would help people like David and I. If you need a car repair, or new tires, so you could get to work, local businesses would do that for you, and our foundation would pay for the parts. They would donate the labor. In exchange for this help, you would have to "pay it forward". Do something for the community. Whether that was to help clean up the roads in the spring, or paint playground equipment , or work at a food pantry.

There are so many people like David and I who don't have the money to pay for repairs, and don't qualify for assistance. You sort of fall into a non-category. You just keep your fingers crossed constantly that nothing happens, and you can just maintain what you have. It is stressful. A constant worry. It would be so nice to help others. It was nice to dream about it.

So today, I have a stomach ache. Worried about the weather. Worried about the ice. Worried about it all. So I will watch the hummingbird nest. I will hope for a day of no wind for the Mama bird.

That nest is in such a pretty place. And those babies are so tiny.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tech support

Last night, David and I tried to make a few changes to my blog. Well, it went haywire, and my older posts were gone. I mean gone. I was sick. Shaking. Nauseous. David went into panic mode, and sat staring at the screen, helpless. I became desperate, and hysterical as I do in any and all crisis. David shuts down, and gets...hmmm...let's use the word, unfriendly. This is how we always handle things in a crisis. Me in the fetal position, David in a silent rage. Not the healthiest way to handle what life throws at you, but that's the magic of him and I.

He was up trying all that he could to restore all my posts, and I laid in bed, heart racing, clenching the covers around my neck, and cursing silently in my mind. We called it a night, and went to bed way too late for us. I awoke around  2 a.m. calmer, but sad. I kept thinking about all of the very personal things I have written here. I thought about the stressful, painful experiences we have had over the last, I don't know how many years now. I thought of the sweet memories I have recorded, forever etched in my brain, and the daily things that I have mentally discarded because I know they are written down somewhere. Stored for me to read at a later date. I felt a loss in my gut. I felt a hollowness. I worried that my memories, and part of my life, was missing. Gone somewhere "out there", floating above me like a speech bubble, with nothing written in it.

Then I got sensible. I thought to myself....Isn't everything you put out there into "cyberspace" (is that term even used anymore?) always "out there"? Didn't they retrieve  e-mails between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky that both parties thought were deleted? I knew that there would be some way to get my posts back. It had to have a happy ending. David always says I have a picture in my head of the way things are supposed to go. When there is any deviation from this image, I sink.

David got up at the crack of dawn. He fixed it. He crawled back in bed with me, and curled his body around mine, and told me it was back. My memories were intact. Still "somewhere". Not floating. I felt his warmth, and could really sense his sleepiness. He did it for me. He is my support in every way. He fixed that awful pit in my gut.

On the occasion that we rent a movie, David will inevitably choose independent, "artsy" type movies. I always joke with him when we see an advertisement for a movie that shows olive branch awards all over it. If it won something, and says anything about a jury or a festival, he is all over it.

I am always left very confused when I see these movies. I like the happy ending. I like to see it all wrapped up into a pretty package. No loose ends. No wondering what happened to so and so. I even like an occasional part II. If I can see what happened after the pretty wedding, count me in. When we watch David's picks, I am always speechless as the credits roll. There is the image of the car, driving on the desert road. Or the dreamy image of the girl, walking down the suburban street. Where is she going? Is she going to be with him? I get frustrated, and will fester about these films for the night, and sometimes, into the next day.

Not David. He loves them. Sometimes I think he knows how it ended. He has no questions. He will smile, and say something like, "we'll never know"...or, "you know how it ended"...or my favorite...."why do you need to know?"

Because I do. I need to make sure it all comes out OK. I need to know that through all of this stress, and muck that we are currently up to our eyeballs in, there is a happy ending. I want a date to circle on my calender, so I know, if I can just make it to then, and it is guarantee that we will be OK, then I can take all of this. All of it. 

I watched David last night, as we were in the middle of the blog crisis, and he was silent. He was working, and not speaking a word to me, except for the occasional "will you just get out of here and let me do this", and I thought, we don't work very well as a couple. He just shuts me off, and I just shut down, and we get mad at one another. How could we be together? Why are we together?

But, it works. As he held me this morning, in the stillness, I realized that it works. I need the whole picture. I will strive for the image in my head. I will work at creating the life that I know we can live, and David will be there at my side. I will be disappointed sometimes, and there David will still be. Talking me off, yet another ledge. And he will show me, as he does every day, that there is no date on the calender. The road is open before us, and it is all a wonder. What will happen, where we will can't be seen right now. Why do we need to know?

I need to enjoy everything leading up to the credits. I need to see that it isn't always a catastrophe. It isn't always going to be awful.

Thank you David, for saving our memories.

I love you more than you will ever know.

You can pick the next movie.

Technical difficulty.

I am up stressed, out of my mind. I made some changes to my blog, and things have gotten lost in the transition. Old posts are now missing. All of my work is somewhere, floating. Please bear with me, and hopefully, I can figure this all out.

Being able to write, and have this outlet, has helped me so much. Positive words from both strangers and friends has changed me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Cabin fever is in full swing. Between snow days, and 2 hour delays, we have been inside of this house for weeks. I took Olivia to the doctor on Tuesday, and she had a bad ear infection. She was really out of it, and refused a lollipop from our doctor. It shocked all of us. Molly happily took it for her. She has been on antibiotics since then, and is fine. Yesterday, Charlotte came down with a fever. She is tired, sluggish, cranky. She is staying home today. Too much time together. Makes me a dull girl.

So, I have been taking pictures, inside of our house. Nothing else to really do. I could put away all the clothes on Charlotte's bottom bunk, or rearrange the pile of clothes in my room, or tackle mountains of artwork made by the girls. And there is always that massive cabinet in the kitchen that is overflowing with every and any kitchen appliance and serving bowl, or I could spend hours researching foreclosure proceedings, or look into how we are going to file for bankruptcy without using an attorney, seeing as we have no money to pay one. I did write down on our calender yesterday all upcoming events, and classes, and Girl Scout related trips, as I was keeping all of that information stored in my head, and suddenly realized that I was forgetting things, and switching dates. So something was accomplished. Something small. But something.

So, I don't feel so bad for snapping some shots, and reviewing some old ones that I hadn't really taken the time to notice. Funny enough, they are all of Molly. She is my subject, as of late. Maybe because she LOVES to pose. She can't really talk. She doesn't tell me to go away when she sees me coming at her with a camera. Or maybe because she is just at that beautiful stage of not quite baby, not quite little girl. She loves me so much. She thinks I am the greatest. I walk into a room, and her face lights up. I leave it, and I hear the panic in her voice. She is my number #1 fan. Who doesn't love to be loved like that?

Lately, I feel a little taken for granted by everyone around here. Lately I feel a little shoved around. Lately, I have impulses to run from these walls, screaming from the pressure, the responsibility, and some days, the monotony.

But Molly. Sweet Molly.

She thinks I am great.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Thank you for the pep talk last night Mr. President. Rah rah rah. I tuned out when he said something about people sacrificing, and that it wouldn't be placed on to those shoulders who couldn't bear it, or something to that effect. I couldn't listen to dreams about alternate fuel sources, and a more efficient car. I am too worried about today. This very moment. Not the fuel efficiency, or source of the fuel in my car. But can I repair that rust colored stain that I keep seeing in the snow. Something is leaking. Something needs to be fixed.  

I am also a bit concerned about the front page of my local paper from yesterday. The headline says "Recession leaves us hungry, broke, jobless." Here are some of the sobering numbers, from my Northeastern corner of Pennsylvania. (Pocono Record January 25, 2011)

Public Assistance:

Households using food stamps: up 86% since 2007
Low Income Home Energy Assistance applications approved: up 85% since 2007
Individuals receiving cash assistance: up 36% since 2007


Salvation Army Food pantry: up 59%


up 46% since 2007. These are families homeless. Families. Not individuals.


up 5.5% since 2007.


up 64% since 2007.

Real Estate:

Building permits issued: down 73% since 2007.
Foreclosures: up 61% since 2007.
Home sales: down 14% since 2007.

The figures astounded me. I guess we have a lot of company, living like this. The amount of homeless families is what I find so shocking, and the huge amount of foreclosures. I took an application to the courthouse last week, and filed it, to participate in a program, that our county just began, to have homeowners, and mortgage companies, sit down, and speak with a mediator. A judge just halted our foreclosure for the next 60 days, and we faxed the information to Citimortgage. The program is completely voluntary, and the mortgage company could choose to ignore us completely, and go full steam ahead with taking our home, or they could give my family a break, and not have us join that scary number of homeless families.

I keep thinking, that if they just saw the numbers, and saw the empty houses up and down my street, and saw how hard we work...why would they want to put us out on the street? Why can't they see that we can make a mortgage payment? Why can't we just agree on a modified number, since everything and everyone is living in such a modified time? Why can't they see that taking a payment would be better than having my house sit empty...for years.

I don't get it. I don't get the President. I don't get that we have become numbers, and values. We are more than that. I am sick and tired of being effected so deeply by banks and the mortgage industry.

My shoulders can't bear the load, quite simply.

Snow is falling. All the girls are here with me. Sauce and meatballs for dinner tonight. Maybe a movie today, or an art lesson with the girls.

Somewhere in this mess, we will find peace.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


More snow coming tomorrow. Olivia is home with an apparent ear infection today. We will head to the doctor later today.

I am feeling calmer today, although, I am beginning to really focus in on things around the house, and how cozy it is in here. I am scared that this is my last winter here, and what will we be living in next year. The girls love it here, and each night, when they take turns saying Grace before dinner, they always give thanks for this home.

So today, I will give thanks for my time here. This time, raising my beautiful girls here, has been beyond my wildest dreams.

Monday, January 24, 2011


10 below zero is what my thermometer read outside of my kitchen window. I hate this cold. It is unbearable. I will just stay home, and go no where. Too cold to drag Molly around. She hates cold wind blowing in her face.

But here, in the house, I feel stressed. The heat just goes. The compressor outside of the house won't stop running. It makes me so nervous. Sick to my stomach actually. I keep thinking about it, running and running. Nothing lasts forever. If it goes, we can't fix it. I am scared day and night about it. I just wish Spring was closer. I can't take the sound of the heat.

I feel uneasy today. Like something is wrong. I have that underlying feeling constantly, but today, it seems more pronounced. I feel scattered, and unsure of where to begin my day. Part of me wants to crawl back in bed. I don't want to paint. I don't want to take pictures today. I don't want to clean. I don't want to read. I am not doing a very good job even writing today, so I suppose, I will clean up from breakfast, and try not to hear the heat.

Running and running.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cold snap.

Freezing cold today. School is cancelled. The wind is starting to pick up. The temperature this weekend is supposed to be in the teens. This makes me nervous. I am longing for Spring. I want the heat off, and the windows open.

I love my Fuji instant camera. I was out side this morning, in my giant sweater, boots, and pajama pants, snapping some shots of the cold air. I only had a few moments, as the girls were all inside, waiting for breakfast. I wish I could just bundle up, and walk alone for a while, and take pictures.

Maybe another day.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Snow on the ground. More on the way. The sun is shining, but it still seems gloomy out there. I was thinking about bulbs in the ground yesterday. I wonder what they are up to. Are they still sleeping, or are they beginning to stir. I hope February and March go quickly. All those trees out side of my window look so cold without their leaves.

I was also thinking about struggle. I was thinking about my friend. She is trying so hard to have a baby. She has had a few miscarriages. Time is ticking. Loudly. Her life is in such an optimal place right now. She would be such a beautiful mother. She married a man who just looks like he should be holding an infant. They are trying so hard to bring a child into their lives. It is heartbreaking to watch. I cannot imagine enduring it.

It makes me feel silly for getting so upset about money, and foreclosure. It makes me feel bad not wanting to listen to the constant chatter of my daughters. Fertility came to me, with such abundance. I thought about having a baby, and I would be pregnant within weeks. I lost one pregnancy. It was sad. The wondering. What could have been. But I never feared not being able to have another baby. Never crossed my mind.

I think about my friend, surrounded by women in her life, all with children. Babies everywhere. Some friends having babies that were unplanned, and not so thrilled about. It must sting. Some days, it must be too much to bear. She said to me yesterday, "To ache for a baby is like having an empty hole inside of you that is just left open".

I like to think that baby is out there for them. Like a sleepy, dormant bulb, buried under the frozen ground. The time is not quite right yet. But when it is ready, it will emerge, and transform it's surroundings. And transform my friend into the beautiful mother she is ready to become.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Snow day. The kids are home. They had their first fight at 7:30. I said my first curse word around that time. All my musings on the wonderful mother I want to be, and how hard I would like to try and have more patience, and enjoy them more, out the window. All good intentions. Just not gonna happen today.

Thankfully, David remembered I had an appointment at the Cardiologist on Monday. I thought it was later in the week. I went. I took a stress test. They told me that I am out of shape. I knew this. I had to go back yesterday, and have an ultrasound taken of my heart. Watching it on the screen was fascinating. There it was, all four chambers, pumping and moving. You could see the arteries working. Little flaps tirelessly opening and closing. It was almost as interesting to see as it was looking at my babies in my uterus. It all seems so fragile. Anything can go wrong, at any time. One small nut or bolt works it's way out, and the whole system fails. Like a tire, flying off a car in motion.

I had to be hooked up to a system of wires, and it will slowly record my heart for 24 hours. I have had it on since yesterday. I had to sleep with it on. A little uncomfortable. Funny enough, my heart didn't really have any palpitations. I will go back to the doctor, and he will read the tape, and tell me it looks normal. I don't want him to find anything, believe you me, but I feel like I have made a fuss for nothing. The boy who cried wolf. Even David was laughing at me. He thinks I over-react. Maybe I do.

When I was a teenager, I did so many stupid things. I put my life in jeopardy more times than I can say. Sometimes, I cringe just thinking about it. When I was in my twenties, again, not a care in the world. I would stumble home drunk at 4 a.m. and short cut through the park, in the quiet of NYC, and not think anything of it. No one would have ever heard me scream. The fact that I am here, astounds me at times.

Something changed in me, almost overnight. I fear everything. It began when I had my first baby. Now, driving on Route 80 is an experience that I dread for days. All I can think about is one false move from any of these speeding cars, and we are going to be smeared across three lanes of traffic. As I drive on quiet country roads, all it would take was some kid, looking down at his phone, texting his fellow dirt bag friend, and his car is smashing into mine, and I will have an engine in my lap.

I watched Molly sleep last night, through the tangle of wires that was hooked up to me, and thought, one nut. One bolt coming loose. It is all together so beautiful, but the sum of it's parts are all dependant on the most minute piece. One little block removed, and it all crashes down.

It is all too frighteningly fragile.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Wide awake at 2 a.m.  So was David. We both never went back to sleep. Funny enough, neither one of us was up due to stress. I haven't felt overwhelming stress since before the holidays. That is around the time when we both decided to let our house go. Amazingly, I don't cringe when the phone rings. I don't dread the visits to the mailbox. Don't get me wrong...there is a constant dull ache of stress at all times... just not the kind where I lay  awake half the night trying to will my heart to beat slower.

Speaking of my heart...I am seeing a cardiologist on Wednesday. I have had palpitations for a year, on a daily basis. I realize a diet heavy in anxiety, and worry, will do this. I thought if I ignored it, it would just go away. It has not. I know my blood pressure is not good either. Very high, lets just leave it at that. I can sometimes hear my heart beating, and the blood swishing through my veins, when I am about to snap. I also have something in my throat. It comes and goes, but it feels like something is stuck in it. I was in a bit of a frenzy the other day, and diagnosed myself with throat cancer, and had actually begun, in my mind, to divide up my small amount of treasures equally among my girls. I welled up at several times thinking of my children growing up without a mother, and mentally cursed David for bringing home some woman, way too soon after my death, and she had horrible taste, and never bonded with my girls, and didn't teach them all of the things that I hold so dearly, because she didn't appreciate any of those things. It was awful. And then, I just made my self stop thinking about this woman, and my sickness, and fell into one of the nicest weekends we have had in a while.

Movies, and naps. A slow, and steady snow fall. Pizza delivered. David cooked breakfast Sunday morning...the house still smells like bacon....and we had an afternoon tea party with the girls. China and all. The girls even raised their pinkies as they sipped their tea. David put on Beethoven, and we all spoke in British accents.

We decided to have more tea parties. I hope we do. Life has a way of getting away from you. You forget to do the tiny little things, because some days, it is just too much of a pain in the ass. Most days, I am in a constant race just to get it all done, and get them all in bed.

I realize, I have missed so much. I have watched the girls, but I have not really seen everything. I have listened to them in the room with me, but I have not really heard them. I have held them, but I have not touched them in the way that I want to.  I have demanded respect, but have fallen short on giving it. I thought my love went unspoken. I see that some days, it is barely audible. I struggle everyday with being a mother, and a wife. Some days it blows. Some days, I am ashamed of myself, and my words. Most days actually.

I feel really pleased about our weekend. I want to be that person, more often.

She is really so nice.