Things That Keep Getting Better

Ok you guys, I have a LOT of things to complain about. For example, the pellet stove quit working again today and I had to disassemble it and clean it out. It's four days post-hysterectomy for me, and my first full day back at work. My mom/maid/entertainment committee just left me, Dagny won't quit making me throw her giant squeaky tennis ball, and I need a shower. My four little incisions hurt, and my whole body aches because I decided to try to do my SPED kid's physical therapy routine with him and it was a little too soon after surgery. I had a headache all weekend trying to hack into my ever-so-absent husband's bank accounts to pay bills because the blessed bank we use changed their entire online banking system THIS WEEKEND and rendered all of his passwords null and void. My kids are crabby as hell. I am gliding dangerously close to the glowing embers of mild pre-holiday feuds in my family and friend circles that threaten to find me even with my head deep in the sand, singing Christmas carols to myself in rebellion to cultural stigmas of time appropriateness. The very mention of feuds and carols will bring a cascading avalanche of worry down around my psyche, causing me to jump at every text tone and email ding. And I didn't lose 37 pounds in surgery. Rude. 

Since it's November, I am forcing my kids to update their Facebook statuses with thankful thoughts every day. Just to be mean, since their lives are clearly quite difficult. 

And as for me, in spite of all of the things I have to complain about, I am so stinking grateful. So grateful for my good, smart, funny friends and dear, weird, quirky, opinionated family. I am so thankful for surgery and, after four days, being THAT much better. I am so thankful for disgusting vegetable juice that makes me feel like a million bucks, and sometimes exhausting work with special ed kids, and macaroni and cheese made from a box by a ten year old for dinner, and apples in the dehydrator and piles of clean laundry on my bedroom floor for the dogs to sleep in, and a space heater by the bathroom to keep the toilet seat warm, and an iPad since my computer broke, and four badly behaved and utterly bizarre dogs. I am so grateful for a devoted husband who is getting yelled at in boot camp like a reprobate and folding shirts with tweezers and scrubbing stairs with toothbrushes. I am so grateful for insurance that feels just like magic, and a doctor who looks just like Santa Clause and enough money to pay the bills, and enough pellets to stay warm, and enough chocolate cake to stay fat (for a minute). I'm thankful that running The Mile with the kids in PE actually sounded tempting today, and that nobody had terrible gas during class. I'm thankful that sweatpants are cute and sexy in my head, so that my self esteem is regenerated every night on the couch. I'm grateful that Aspen slept with me for two nights and never once kicked me in my stitched up abdomen throughout the duration of her nightly run-in-place-sideways marathons. I am so very thankful for my house. Slightly cleaner now, after Mom's visit, and slightly warmer with the cleaned out pellet stove, the apple dryer running and my absolute inability to get my body's thermostat to function properly. I love my quirky, unfinished, violated by dogs, and kids, and lack of organizational skills, house. I am thankful for grumpy, ungrateful kids, who try hard like me, and fail, like me, and get up and go again. Kids who are smart and gorgeous, and teachers who give hugs instead of yellow slips when someone accidentally throws a fit, or a 1x4, in wood shop. I'm grateful for friends around us who are far from ideal and far from awful. They are just like us, right in the middle of humanness. I am thankful. 

To add the icing to the cake, I am attaching the poem my good buddy wrote for me, or more appropriately, for my dearly departed uterus. It is priceless, like she is ( my friend, not my uterus).

by Tam Smith

This uterus was good to us,
She really was, you see, 
She did her job, a job well done, 
And now Liv has set her free. 

She stretched and shrunk, she shed and bled,
Pro lapsing and relapsing, 
She carried on instead.

The liver and kidneys hated her so,
The bladder thought worse of her too,
How could they know, her time had come, 
Her job in this body was through. 

4 babies she carried so well, with such care, 
No troubles, no worries, no fear.
Liv's uterus was good to us, 
And now she's no longer here. 

Let's raise our wine to this organs' past time, 
To say adios, hip hooray and cheers.
For if she weren't so, then how would we know, 
Life with those four little dears.

Couldn't have said it better myself, George. Lum!!!

Most of all, I am thankful for a cryptic, terrible letter from Josh. And I am thankful that I miss him to the moon and back. 

Things That Keep Going

Today, I handed the receptionist at my Doctor's office an insurance card so new that it still had the sticky gum from the mailing card on the back with NO hair in it. I paid my glorious little copay and I listened to the man who looks, sounds and delivers like Santa Claus, tell me how he was going to remove my uterus, the Bain of My Existence, so simply and easily that I could go back to work the next day if I wanted to be a show-off. I fell in love with my gynecologist. Not romantically, of course, that would be terrible considering that Josh was barely removed from his cell phone at boot camp and here I was, crushing on some white bearded man old enough to be my grandfather. Actually, the very minute I left Dr. Brisbois' office, Josh was being herded into a bus with thirty 18 year-old airman recruits, and handing over his beloved iPhone for ever. Or at least two months, which might as well be forever. His parting words had something to do with what I spent $180 on at Target and that he wished he could watch my surgery. I texted him frantically goodbye as I left the hospital and went to celebrate my impending surgery with my sister over soup, salad and breadsticks. And I have hope. That maybe this two year, literal thorn in my side will go away forever within the month. And all I have is a glorious little copay.  

After the Olive Garden, Em and I continued our celebration/distraction from Josh's loss of connectivity by spending all the money we had, which wasn't much. But we made the most of it. The trouble with shopping with Em is that we want the same things. You'd think, because we're radically different sizes, that this wouldn't be too much of an issue, but when there is only 1(one) hooked wool squirrel pillow in the clearance aisle at Target, things get ugly . That was our last trip to Spokane. This week she ousted me for a pair of Sorel sweater boots that just have "LIV" written all over them, but she found first at Value Village. Needless to say, I am developing a root of bitterness which could easily justify abandoning her as my shopping partner. You're on thin ice, Emily. 

I came home to a mostly cold house, and a brand new pellet stove that just didn't feel like generating any heat. I did what any self respecting, recently single, competent and capable woman would do. I turned up the germ blanket and my heating pad and a space heater in my bedroom. And i settled in for the night. I was thankful enough for the cold outside temperatures which removed the necessity of me unloading all of my groceries before morning, that I felt bad complaining about a slight chill in the air. But then, the guilt of letting poor Nattie, the lone offspring that braved the cold house with me, sleep in a cold room, especially with a snarly little cough and an adult sized dose of NyQuil. So I got online and started googling the symptoms of my renegade pellet stove. After several resetting and cleaning attempts, I turned to my angelic friend Matt, who had spent an entire day off of work to fight with his own chimney, a battle that I understand he lost (momentarily). I figured he was fresh in the middle of all of that HVAC troubleshooting stuff, and turns out, he has some experience with the very stove I was arguing with. He made a couple suggestions, and one broken fingernail, a now immobilized back and lots of pellet shoveling and vacuuming later, WE HAVE HEAT!!! Thanks Matt. May the force be with you as you reengage the evil chimney later. I will bake you cookies, if that helps. 

The house is warming up. I can tell because I can actually feel my nose running now, and before it was numb to the cold drops sneaking out wantonly. Dagny has also realized that she no longer has to dig frantically through a throw pillow on the floor (where throw pillows clearly live, hence the name) in order to avoid hypothermia, so she is chewing several of the escaped pellets into sawdust on the couch. Truck even quit telling me with his paw and his giant sad eyes how terribly cold it was in here. I feel like the savior of the world. A very small,hairy and neurotic world. But at least Nattie will be warm in her NyQuil coma. 

So here's to surviving the first real day of Joshlessness, and coming out mostly on top, minus some really rad sweater boots. Tomorrow we will schedule surgery, and the multi layered countdown to my Total Physical Overhaul, seeing Halle for The Holidays, and Josh Coming Home, becomes one day less. 

Things About Boot Camp

Josh left for boot camp today. And not a week long intensive workout routine designed to slim your hips and thighs. Actual boot camp. Basic training for the Air National Guard, which is like the Airforce, but slightly less serious, depending on who you ask. First of all, boot camp isn't for husbands. It's for 18 year olds who have no idea how to be grown ups or shoot a gun. At boot camp, unless you join the navy, you learn both of those, (if you join the navy you don't get to shoot cool guns at basic) partially. Full fledged husbands with kids and wives and jobs and a lot of dogs shouldn't be going off willy-nilly to boot camp to learn how to Properly Fold Shirts. He will be gone 8 weeks, which means 8 weeks of husbandlessness for me, which May or May Not correlate to two months of poor dietary choices and a lot of pouting. Day one of no Josh and the kids all opted to go to their dad's house for the night, which I am taking as a bad omen.

In salute to Josh's 8 week sufferage, I am dedicating myself to the complete antithesis of boot camp, to restore balance to the universe that is Liv & Josh. I got off to a roaring start tonight by turning every light in the house on and leaving them. Then I ate most of a box of Count Chocula for dinner, and only relented when the roof of my mouth was torn off. I put on my least matching sweatpants and dropped a couple Hundo on Target's website, which gives me free shipping for being So Awesome, and also one of their best patrons. I finally turned off the kitchen light so that I couldn't see the dishes that I refuse to do, and I will probably not brush my teeth before bed. Sometimes I can't remember if I am rebelling against boot camp or Josh himself, but I think maybe he will fit in there just fine, which worries me that he might bring home some new household-running ideas. All the more reason to be wantonly irresponsible before he gets back. Maybe I'll even take a shower until the hot water runs out.

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