Monthly Archives: October 2018

Golden Birthday

10/15/18 Otis turned 15!  15!  I know right?!

We got Otis when he was 6 weeks old and he is now 15!

We celebrated his golden birthday (because he is 15 and the day of his birthday is the 15th) by going to work and letting him sleep at home.

That night he went for a ride and got a pup cup from Dairy Queen.  He got to wear a party hat (a real one and not a muzzle – vet calls them party hats).  He snuggled with me and we just loved on him even more.  He slept in the middle of the bed on a fuzzy blanket.  He also got a new food and water dish.  He seemed super excited about it.  We also built a fence around our backyard and I am calling that part of his gift too (even though it has been more of a gift to me and Andy).

He is showing his age.  His eye sight is going and his hearing is selective, but going too.  His little face is gray and he is a tad skinnier now than he was.  He has moments of being a puppy when he tries to chase a ball in his new fence, but sometimes he just can’t see or hear the ball.

Happy birthday to my sweet little puppy.  Ok my old man dog.  He drives me crazy sometimes, but he has been such a support through the difficult parts of life and comfort when I have been home alone.  I don’t know how many more years we get with him, but we will cherish each and every one.

Family Photos

With Andy’s immediate family we draw names for Christmas.  Each couple gets another couple to buy gifts for.  The older I get the harder it is to buy Christmas gifts and to put a “wish list” out there for people to buy us stuff.  I am to the point if I need something, we get it.  If I want something, eventually, we get it.  So telling people what I want or need has become more difficult (and the times that I gave the brand of shampoo, toothpaste, conditioner etc it was laughed at as a joke).  Last year we had Andy’s parents as the couple we were buying for.  I think they feel similar because they couldn’t think of anything they wanted or needed for their Christmas wish list.

Part of the problem was that they were in the process of packing boxes and moving and with most things they packed his mom would say something along the lines of why did she had so much “stuff.”  I didn’t want to add to the stuff she needed to pack so we thought extremely hard on what to get them.  We decided to get her a gift card so that she could have family photos done by a professional.  Not just my camera and tri-pod.  They seemed happy with their gift card.  Fast forward to 10 months later and they lined up using the gift.

I don’t like pictures anyways.  We will start there.  But we went into town (I had a dentist appointment too) and got dressed up.  I straightened my hair (which is always an ordeal) and put on mascara and lipstick and we did this picture thing.  The photographer did great and worked fast.  The nieces and nephew seemed to smile for all the pictures.  It worked out nicely as a good gift.

kids

See the kids looked great.

I smiled and hoped it would reach my eyes.  The entire time I was watching our nieces run around with our nephew I couldn’t help but think that Addy should be here with her cousins.  Each time one of Andy’s siblings asked if they should be holding the kids, I couldn’t help but think I want to hold Addy in our pictures.  I couldn’t help but think that she would have fit right in with them.  I couldn’t help but think of how unfair it was that she wasn’t with us.  I couldn’t think too hard because then I would shed the tears that were hiding behind my hopefully real looking, fake, smile.  The photographer would say “family with girls” or “family with the boy” and then “you two.”  To her credit she didn’t say “childless couple” because had she, I would have lost it right there in the park with my mascara running down my face.  She didn’t know where we have been.  It isn’t her fault at all.  But standing there with my in-laws in front of the picture.  To the right of the picture was their oldest child, his wife, and 2 daughters in a tight little clump.  To the left but still middle of the picture was their youngest child, her husband, and their son in a tight little clump.  To the far left was their middle child, and me.  And a heart so full of holes and sorrow.  But that was our clump.  I love Andy with everything I have but there is still that emptiness.  Addy should have been there.  I miss the dreams and answers to prayers that she represented.  I miss the what could have beens.  But mostly I just miss her.

Infertility sucks.  In my story, nothing emphasizes that more than “family” stuff.  Be it holidays, vacations, going out to eat together, or family photos…family stuff is hard – yes still (and sometimes worse than before).  We have been travelling this road far too long.  We are no stranger to sadness and disappointment and loss.  One would think we could “get over it already and be happy.”  But family is hard.  Family reminds me of that family I don’t have.

Holidays are fast approaching and I feel like there will be some moments I sneak out of rooms, or step out onto the porch for fresh air.  There will be times I lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes just to breathe and give myself permission to be sad and happy.  To give myself the grace and space I need to grieve the could have beens.  To quietly brush a tear off my check.  Yes, I live infertility each and every day, but holidays are a different battle.  All of that to say – forgive me if you turn to ask for a refill on your wine, or to pass the salt and pepper and you are telling my back as I am walking away.

awake

There are nights I lay awake.  I listen to Andy and Otis breathing beside me and I just can’t sleep.  I close my eyes and try different types of relaxation tactics to lure myself to sleep only to find I am still awake.  I change my breathing patterns to adjust my heart rate and 20 minutes later readjust my pillow thinking that will help.

Sometimes I just have a hard time getting my brain to just stop thinking.  Sometimes I carry the weight of the world as I am trying to ease into a deep sleep, but sometimes the things that keep me awake are so absolutely ridiculous that it infuriates me.  If I have to think of those things, why can’t I do it at lunch?  Or while I am driving to and from work?  Why does it have to be at 3 am?

So last night was one of those nights.  I was just about to sleep when in my head I heard Andy say “I didn’t lock the door.”  It was a comment he stated hours earlier when he let Otis into the back yard, well when he tried to let Otis out but Otis refused to go outside.  When Andy closed the door he said, “I didn’t lock the door.”  Knowing we would let Otis back out before bed it didn’t matter because we would lock it then.  But as I lay there I started to wonder.  Did we take Otis back out before bed?  Did we lock the door?  What happens if tonight is the night someone decides to break in?  Two weeks ago I got up with Otis around 2:30 and was waiting with his leash at the front door when I looked across the room out the back door and saw a flash light.  I thought I was seeing things, so I closed my eyes and looked again and sure enough the unmistakable glow of a flashlight was in our newly fenced in back yard.  I got Andy up and he investigated and the person was gone.  We have our theories on what/who it was.  But while I was laying in bed last night I couldn’t help but think, maybe we were wrong?  What if they really were casing our house at 2:30 AM and now they are going to come back and break in because our back door is unlocked.  So I got up and checked the door.  By that point in time my mind was going crazy with “What if” situations.  The back door was locked.

By now there was no stopping the barrage of thoughts running through my brain.

For example: most of us can agree that the sky is blue (on a normal non cloudy day).  This is excluding people that have any visual impairments (color blind or other).  So people with normal vision can say the sky is blue.  But how do we know that we are seeing the same thing, the same shade of blue?  I know blue is blue because I have been taught that blue is blue, but what if the blue I am seeing is completely different than what other people see blue to be?  What if other people see blue as what I see as green?!  We all see a red apple, but what if we aren’t really seeing the same color?  We are all seeing what we have been taught is a red apple, but who is to say what I know is red is the same that someone else knows as red.  Does this matter?  No it doesn’t.  Especially not at 3 AM.

Or.  Do people hear me as I hear me?  My recorded voice on an answering machine isn’t the same voice I hear when I am talking.  Which voice is what other people hear?  And if it is my answering machine voice – I am sorry because that is annoying.  Which voice does Otis hear?

Or.  When we smell a rose, are we processing that smell the same?  Some people smell coffee and hate it while others love it.  Is that because we are processing it the same and that is preference, or because we aren’t smelling it in the same way?

Or.  Why are my toes, short, fat, baby gherkin toes?  They have always been this way.  My toes have always been stumpy.

Or.  What is Otis thinking?  He was dreaming at 4 AM.  He was running and whimpering.  It wasn’t his whine like he was on a trail, but whimpering.  Then his tail wagged.  What is going on in his head?

Nights like last night annoy me so much.  It wasn’t the night that I thought about the past and the future, just random things that make it to where I can’t shut my brain off.  All the while Andy and Otis had no trouble sleeping.

I see a nap in my near future!