Christmas Whine

How was your Christmas? Mine was a mix of good and bad. Besides my chronic challenges I had a miserable cold and had somehow managed to strain my back. I was in a lot of pain, and walking, even sitting, was absolute agony.

If it wasn’t for Jacques, I think Christmas would have been quite bleak. He did absolutely everything; cooked, shopped, wrapped gifts, all while I just laid in bed or managed to make it over to the couch.

We got the tree up on the 23rd, the latest I have ever put up a tree and that day Jacques was still buying lights of which were slim to none. He first came home with lights with white wiring that would not do for a green Christmas tree. He was able to return them and got white lights the color that makes me think I am living in an office they are so bright white.

I need sunglasses for this tree!

I did add five new ornaments this year to my all cat-themed Christmas tree, one of which was this Caribbean pink kitty:

 

 

 

And there’s always my all cat Nativity scene:

 

 

I don’t know what was wrong with the mail this year but three of Tyler’s gifts didn’t come and he told us it was a great Christmas anyway. I’m so proud of him!

I’ll end with a picture of him putting the cat angel on the tree. No pictures of myself to put up here as I wasn’t wearing a bra on Christmas morning and it showed.

Hope your Christmas was a Merry one!

It’s never too early to start thinking about the kids for next Christmas! Check out this gift guide by My Kid Needs That.

Monday Morning Mother’s Day Quarterback

A lot of mothers with chronic illness have enormous feelings of guilt that they cannot be “Super Mommy”. That instead of doing things with their children they have to nap. That they often end up just watching their children instead of participating with them.

In the days before Mother’s Day I wondered, “Is the way I parent my child worth celebrating?”

It doesn’t help that I am going through another depressive episode. It’s not the worse one I’ve ever been in but it is taking it’s toll on my daily activities and thought processes.

In my state I often wonder what to do with Tyler. It is difficult doing things with him so I have been taking him to the park. It gives me a chance to rest and watch Tyler play. Sometimes I talk to the other parents and grandparents there and it makes me feel even more inadequate than I already feel.

Yesterday Tyler was excited to give me his Mother’s Day gifts he made at school.

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The inside of the card read:

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In case you are not fluent in a kindergartener’s writing it says, “Dear Mom, Thank you for taking me to the park. You are a peacemaker. Love, Tyler”

I looked at what he had written in disbelief. One of the things that I had felt guilty about doing was one of the things he loved the most about me!

I think this can be a wake-up call for us all. Maybe our worst is not so bad. Maybe we are doing better than we think.

Maybe our children love us just the way we are.

Maybe we really do deserve Mother’s Day.

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Thankful

Inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

2.) We’re going around the table and it’s your turn to share what you are thankful for…go!

 

To say that I am thankful for my husband, child and I being able to be together after being apart for six months is obvious.

And so something happened to me on Tuesday for which I am highly thankful for:

On Tuesday I got my Ohio handicapped placard.

I had one in New Jersey and was literally too sick to be able to get one in Massachusetts, but now after nearly two months of living here I have gotten one in Ohio.

I moved here with some of my diseases such as Lupus, Interstitial Cystitis, and Fibromyalgia starting to flare, and now due to the swinging temperatures of fall, Myofascial Pain and Costochondritis have followed.  I am blessed as to having a Primary Care Physician willing to write a prescription for one.  I received his Rx last week but have been too busy to fill out the application.

On Monday I had an appointment to see a Rheumatologist at The Cleveland Clinic.  I had to park far away and I had a long walk once I got into the hospital.  I arrived at the doctor’s office barely able to walk, shaking with pain.  I nearly fell getting on the scale and I had extreme difficulty getting on the exam table.  I tried not to scream.

After the doctor’s appointment I had to take the elevator and go to the laboratory for blood work.  When I was finished I asked the phlebotomist if I could get an escort and a wheelchair as I was now unable to walk back to my car. The phlebotomist took me herself, dressed only in her uniform.  When I thanked her for her kindness she said, “My daughter has Myofascial Pain and I understand what you are going through.”

I realized that I MUST get my placard as soon as possible.  That I was only getting worse and how would I shop for the holidays?  My heart sank when I saw on the application that it could take up to ten business days.  Hoping to speed things up a bit and to save on the cost of a stamp, I took it to my local Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  The woman at the desk took my check for $3.50 and my application and typed a lot.  “Okay”, she said, handing me back some paperwork.  I took it from her and inside was a handicapped placard.  “But…I thought it would take up to ten business days.”  “Oh, no.  Not if you bring your application in person.” I had tears in my eyes and relief flooding through my body.

I am one of those people who appear not to need a handicapped placard.  You may wonder how a woman who can walk on two feet and doesn’t look sick can have the nerve to park in a handicapped space.  What you do not know is that due to my joint and hypermobility issues I am unable to use a cane.  What you do not see is that when I get into a mall, department store or a museum I must use a scooter or be pushed in a wheelchair, and I don’t even look like I deserve one of those mobility devices either.

I used to wonder, “How could this woman use another person’s handicapped placard just so she could get a good space at the mall during the holiday season?”  I used to think, “Maybe if that woman would lose some weight she wouldn’t need that scooter.”  I used to get angry when I saw people at Disney World in a wheelchair get to be pushed to the front of the line when they were fully able to get up to walk to the ride.

And now…

I don’t.

 

 

My Favorite Christmas Ornaments

Inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

Prompt 1)  Have you decorated your Christmas tree?  Share a favorite Christmas ornament.

I always feel a week behind during Christmastime!  My mother is coming in next week and we plan to get our Christmas tree next weekend, so no, no tree up yet.  As for the ornaments, they are all ready to go.  Some of you may know from last year that we decorate our tree with all cat related ornaments.  I’m not sure when I started doing that or why, it just happened that way.  And since our cats are the way we met, it just seemed the right thing to do!

I have so many “favorite” ornaments, I couldn’t share just one!

We got this very fashionable kitty in Las Vegas on our honeymoon in November of 2002, along with another similar themed kitty ornament.  I remember the two were over $30 each, buy hey, we were on our honeymoon, and I was gambling and winning!

For my 35th birthday, Grant surprised me with a Christmas trip to the beautiful seaside town of Cape May, NJ. We stayed in a cozy bed and breakfast and of course couldn’t help but buy a couple of cat-related goodies for our tree!  We bought these two kitties on their sled at a shop that specialized in dog and cat gifts.

This ornament is new this year.  Who doesn’t love Hello Kitty?  The reason I chose it as one of my favorites is because this year Grant got his disability.  We overcame a big hurdle in our lives and have a little bit of money so that I could finally afford to buy something new for our tree.  Literally I had not bought any ornaments in a few years so this represents a hopeful start for us.

Whatever you are doing this holiday season, I hope you are filling it with old memories and memories to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Women With Curves: Win Some Fashion For the Holidays!

This is the third time I am pleased to be working with the fine women from Fashion to Figure, a site that carries very trendy and fashionable clothes for the plus size woman at great prices!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have something new to wear to jazz up your holidays?  Fashion to Figure will give one lucky winner the chance to choose anything she wants for up to $30.00.

And here are some of the things the winner could choose:

 

 

This dress and these tops are all either $30 and under!  Fashion to Figure has great clothes at great prices, with sizes from 12-26!

There are three ways to enter:

1. leave a comment

2. tweet this contest out

3. link it on your Face Book page

Each entry counts as ONE so if you do all three, please comment THREE times.

The contest will run until 11:59 p.m. EST, Wednesday, December 14th!  Good luck!

Congratulations going out to Stacey Gamberg, winner of my contest for up to $30 worth of holiday fashion!  Stacey’s entry, #4 was selected by random.org.

Even if you didn’t win, make sure you take a look at Fashion to Figure’s  amazing website and take advantage of their holiday sales.  Treat yourself, you deserve it! Thank you to all who entered!