My worst enemy is me

Sometimes things suck so massively that there just isn’t any way to put a positive spin on them. Believe me, I try. I’m usually a life-is-beautiful, everything-works-out-in-the-end, YAY FOR ALL THE THINGS! kind of girl. But, not so much right now. Schmoopy and I had this conversation several times this weekend. He’s the realist. I’m the hopefull one. He likes it that way & usually I do, too.

Right now, I’m a hope-is-for-suckers kind of chick. I’m one of those everything-sucks kind of people today. And I’m perfectly okay with that. Because stuff sucks sometimes. People say stupid things. Nothing goes the way you want it to. I’m not pregnant AGAIN, I have strep, and my back is about to go out.

On Saturday, it became obvious that our last IUI didn’t work. That was confirmed on Sunday. I’m done for a while. Done with being happy. Done with hope. Done with the stupid roller coaster that is infertility.

I don’t trust my body to do the right thing. I don’t trust my body enough to invest the time, emotional toll, or huge dollar amount needed for IVF. It might not work. It might work and I could have another miscarriage. It might work and we could have a healthy baby or two. I’m no math genius, but the odds don’t look so hot. I just don’t believe that this is going to work for us. So I’m waiting to confirm a few things with our doctor and I’m ready to call it. Throw in the towel. Be a quitter (which seems to be a theme with me lately and I still don’t regret any of my recent quits!).

Friends who were in the same infertility boat as us have now had a successful pregnancy (or two or three) or have successfully adopted. We are happy for them. Truly. But, the bottom line is, that doesn’t get us our baby. That doesn’t make me stop hating the parts of my body that don’t work. It doesn’t fix anything. I know, I promise, really I know, that I need to be a good friend and support all of the people we love who are new parents or expectant parents, but I might need to do it with a bit of distance. I might not be able to go to baby showers yet (I haven’t been to one since my 2010 miscarriage at 14 weeks and I don’t know if I’m ready yet). I’m trying not to be a selfish brat, but at the same time I’m trying to protect myself from seriously considering staying in bed all day every day.

Who knows, I might feel better in a week, feel infinitely hopeful again, make peace with the broken parts of me, and be ready to go for it again.

But, until that happens, here’s what you can do to help:

Here is a list of things I don’t want to hear from ANYONE EVER:

It’s okay (because not even one little bit of this is okay)

Stop trying and you’ll get pregnant (that is both total b.s. & so freaking hurtful)

I know, read, heard that …. (you, just like me, don’t know much about this–geez, even the doctors don’t know a whole lot, really)

Everything happens for a reason (might be true, but totally not helpful, & the reason pretty much sucks to me right now)

Cheer up (or anything that sounds like that. I’m really effing sad & there’s nothing wrong with being sad)

My friend (sister, cousin, lady at church, whoever) did xyz and it worked (please don’t throw other people’s good fortune in my face. It feels like you are, which you probably aren’t, so just don’t)

Here are some things that you can do:

Pray for us (it helps infinitely)

Let me know if you know anything about adoption (we are seriously thinking that adoption might be the right path for us)

Respect my right to be sad for a while.

Love your pregnancy and your kids a million times more than you even think is possible. Even when you are puking and feeling horrible (I’d love to be that sick right now-you are making a person, deal with it), even when they drive you totally insane (because they are such a beautiful gift), even you are exhausted and worn out and just don’t know anymore (be thankful for every second of parenthood, no matter how difficult it may be)

Yep, this was a rant. It’s over now.

It didn’t make me feel much better and I probably offended several people, but what’s done is done.

You’re Killing Me, Smalls! & 2 Thank Yous: AS King & my parents rock!

More Mandee Monday-You’re Killing Me,  Smalls!

So, a normal person would be excited when their favorite author announces a new book. A normal person would just pre-order it and wait excitedly. A normal person would check their blog from time to time and read updates and such.

There hasn’t been any normal in my life since,

well, never. 

I wanted to be a garbage man (yes, MAN) when I was 3. My mom let me get up early and watch the garbage men when they picked up our trash and I still remember peeking out the window and waving to them with a huge smile on my cute little face (I was pretty darn cute, I must say!) I was a puppy for several weeks (again, yes, WEEKS) when I was four. I barked, ate from a bowl, but thankfully used the potty like a person. (WHEW!). There was also a waitress phase. We turned the kitchen into The Hobit Hotel (my Mama started reading me Tolkien when I was 2). I took orders on my little notepad and brought out the food. It was hysterical. My dad, Popi, and I would then sit down and figure out the one thing that wasn’t on the table. We’d then wait until Mama sat down (finally) to eat to ask for it. She’d yell something about our legs being broken or how we’d be sorry when she was gone. Then she’d go get whatever we wanted and kiss us on the head.  I have at least a million more of these stories about my parents and how they totally rocked my little kid world and shaped me into someone who laughs and smiles and cares and really gives a darn about people.

Now back to my point: A normal person would be ecstatic at the news that their ultimate favorite author (YES, YOU, AS KING! YOU!!). And, don’t get me wrong, I totally am. But, I’m also a total brat-face and I can’t wait.

I. CANNOT. WAIT! 

There are so many awesome books out there that I am dying to read. There are new books, series finales (Lauren DeStefano’s SEVER immediately jumps to mind), and a my towering TBR piles.  I should really just hush and read and be happy. But, I can’t do that! I’m an only child. Waiting makes me go all Crazy Town Banana Pants! (Do you watch Community? If not, OMG-Go Freaking Watch It For Real Life!)

So, what’s my point here? Well, I have two. (possibly more, but I’m not a math person).

1. Thank you, AS King,  who I totally freaking love as an awesome author & totally fun person (BTW: not at all in a creepy stalker!) kind of way! You say what needs to be said. You are a survivor and I respect the hell out of you for your awesome stand against bullying. You shove it in the faces of people who need it shoved there (and other places I shall not name here). You find joy in things that matter. You just TOTALLY FREAKING ROCK! Mostly, though, You write these EPIC books that sink into my soul! They sit there and become part of me in a way that makes me stronger & better. You hit home with kids who don’t think anyone gets it. Then they read your books and feel like someone really does know what nobody else understands. Sometimes that is one of my students or a kid who I know really needs you. Sometimes it is someone in a book store or a library that I don’t know. Sometimes it is me. Really, your writing makes me hurl your books into people’s hands and scream, “READ THIS RIGHT NOW!!”  The Dust of 100 Dogs had me shoving the text in people’s hands! Please Ignore Vera Dietz shook my world. Everybody Sees the Ants, wow! Just wow!

I really super totally want to read Ask the Passengers immediately! I cannot wait for Reality Boy!

Simply put:

You’re Killing Me Smalls! 

2. Thank you, Mama & Popi! My parents are awesome. I’m lucky to have been raised by people who loved me & wanted me. I used to think Popi and I were kids together. I used to say, “Popi, remember when we were little and we . . .” My Mama says that we were loved more in one day than most people are loved in their whole lives. It’s true, too.  Maybe the dishes sat in the sink some nights, maybe we didn’t have a whole bunch of money. Who cares! I sure didn’t. They made me KNOW that I could do anything I wanted to do. They showed me what the real deal was, but made it fun, too! They read to me, let me be what & who I needed to be, picked up the shredded bits of my heart a zillion times when things totally sucked,&  they made me proud to be their kid! My Mama showed me what real love means when we cared for Popi as we slowly watched cancer take over his life. We were able to laugh then, too, in between times of nightmares and oceans of loss. They made me realize what I’m worth and taught me what marriage really means. Schmoopy and I can proudly base our marriage on those of our parents. My model for love is the truest example. There aren’t really words in English or any other language to explain these two amazing people.

 These two amazing people raised me with so much love & laughter & hope & peace.
I’m the luckiest kid ever!  

I do realize that to many this post seems to be about two totally different things. But it isn’t. The way I was raised and they way that AS King writes really do belong together. And I don’t really need for anyone but me to get that.

More Mandee Monday-Soft Kitty Edition

More Mandee Monday-Soft Kitty Edition!

It’s that time of year when I’m just plain exhausted! The school year is winding down (I’m an 8th grade teacher) and Spring is starting to spring! We just finished a round of icky standardized testing, which never fails to make me tired!

Yankee Jane my Soft Kitty

And, my dear, sweet, adorable kitty, Yankee Jane, is very sick. Her lungs are shutting down and we’re not sure why. She’s on antibiotics and steroids. If you know cats, you know they HATE taking medicine. She really hates it. I have the scratches and bruises to prove it! Yankee is my baby.  When I moved to Atlanta in 2000, I was terribly lonely. I found Yankee in a McDonald’s parking lot scarfing down a burger. She was tiny, filthy, covered with fleas, and totally wild. It was love at first sight. She attacked everyone who came near her for months. She beat me up while I slept. She terrorized me at every turn. But, when she would go to sleep, she would curl into a tiny ball, grab her little fuzzy tail between her paws and start sucking on it like a pacifier. Heart=Melt. She still does this, even now that she’s 12. She finally started to calm down, after I brought another wild kitty home, Shakespeare, who is huge and lazy and a super snuggler, but mainly when she decided that she was my Mommy and I needed taking care of, too.

Sunshine Kitties-They have such tough lives!

So, last week and this week I’m feeling exhausted. I need someone to come sing Soft Kitty to me and my Yankee Jane! I think I’ll go home, curl up with a good book, and snuggle with my kitty cats!

More Mandee Monday #1…because everyone must be as nosy as I am, right?!

So, as I was reading a few of my favorite blogs and websites the other day, I realized that I was nosy. Really, I’ve always known that I was super nosy, I was just reminded of that fact. I wanted to know all about these people. I follow them, I cyber-care about them,  I’m curious. On the flip side, I don’t feel like I’m all that interesting (well, I am an only child, so that is kind of a lie…). I didn’t intend this blog to be about me. I want it to be about awesome books! I want you to love reading as much as I do. But, I realized, some of you may be curious, too.  That leads me to More Mandee Monday. Just a quick little getting to know me posting to feed your curiosity/nosy side. Enjoy!

I don’t like being in pictures. I like taking them! Here is a rare Mandee Approved picture! My Schmoopy and I were heading to the wedding of dear friends and we snapped this super cute pic on the way. I love it, which isn’t the norm when I’m in pictures! While I do have a healthy level of self-confidence, I just don’t like pictures of me! I’m way more of a behind the camera person! 

Schmoopy!

Schmoopy and I have been together since 2005 and married since 2008. He’s my true love, my one and only special someone, my best friend, my partner in crime, and a total blessing! He gets me and I’m thankful for that every minute of the day. For example, on Sunday, I wanted to get The Hunger Games movie People Magazine. We were grocery shopping and I looked everywhere. I never found it. Schmoopy told me to wait with the cart. He came back (like 2 seconds later!) with both HG People & US! And he didn’t even complain about how expensive they were! He rocks!

The Hunger Games Magazine Bling! or Why Schmoopy Rocks!

Hope you enjoyed More Mandee Monday! See you soon! 

Fun Friday Find & My #fridayreads

Today while I was reading James Dashner’s The Scorch Trials I found a playing card. It was the 8 of clubs. I love finding things (that aren’t gross) in books. I find so many things in library books: bookmarks, shopping lists, receipts, and now a playing card. It makes me think about the person who read the book before me and what could have been going on in their life at the time. Today, the playing card made me think of the poor deck of cards that is missing an 8 of clubs. It also reminded me of beach houses that we used to rent in the summer. There were always games with random pieces all thrown together. We played them with the Frankenstein parts and usually ended up making up a few games of our own.

I also thought about a really sad time in my life. While I was reading a miscarriage book, I found a note tucked inside that said, “I am so sorry you are reading this.” Wow! That was so powerful at the time and I still remember how it made me feel connected to the other women who had the awful misfortune of losing a child. I was sure to gently place that note back into the book before I returned it. I prayed that it would find some else and help them heal, even if just a little bit.

I love the way reading helps me make connections to really important and powerful things in my life! That totally ROCKS!

But, I didn’t think about these things for long, because I am so into The Scorch Trials! I can’t wait to see what will happen next. On the back cover it says (in all caps) THE MAZE WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING. I’ve been sneaking up on Schmoopy for a few days now and saying that in a creepy voice. He doesn’t think it is as hysterical as I do, even though he started it. I totally crack myself up every time I do it.

I’m so funny to me!

What are your Friday Reads?

Ooops, I did it again…

I have a small book problem. Ok, I lied. It is a HUGE book problem.  It has many facets, too.  So many, in fact, that they need a list:

  • I want to read just about everything!
  • I have serious vampire and zombie issues. I have to read them all!
  • I check out WAY too many books at the library. It is like how people must feel when they walk past a pet store. I just can’t leave them there, they need a good home!
  • I keep buying more books. I can’t help it. Sometimes the wait lists at the library are so long and I want it now (Veruca Salt, anyone!?).
  • I say I’m going to read this or than next, but then something just jumps out at me and I pick it up. Then that’s it…I’m reading it.
  • Being ADHD (really, like clinically, not like in the kidding kind of way) does not help this issue. I am currently listening to something in the car, have a book on my desk at work, have a book upstairs, and a book downstairs. I’m getting an iPad this weekend (YAY!) and I just know I’ll put a few books on that!

So, what’s the bottom line here? Why the rant?

I need to fess up:

I went to order one book today and got three (Oops, sorry Schmoopy! Didn’t mean to!). It is just so easy to click, add to cart, and check out! Darn internet!

I am trying to return some library books, but they look at me all cute and book-like, with their shiny covers and cute spines…I just can’t decide which ones to return without reading first. I know that I can check them out again, put them on a special list, whatever, but (go ahead and laugh) I don’t want them to feel bad. UGH!

Whew, I feel better now. I probably won’t change, but isn’t the first step in solving a problem admitting you have one?!

Did I mention that I love books? Well, I do!

Today I am Tired!

This week has been awesome, for real life, but today I am tired.

I found myself wishing I was snuggled in my bed with my meows READING. I found myself wishing that, like, all the time!
Doesn’t that sound amazing?! Alas, it was not to be.

I really wanted to finish my awesome Monday book. That hasn’t happened, either! I stayed up reading way too late several nights this week. Another reason I’m tired, but always so worth it.

I got to see one of my BF’s from middle school & high school last night. Her awesome parents and amazing kids joined us, too. That was super fun! Totally worth it, but did add to my sleepiness!

My other *wishful* thought this week that just may be keeping me up at night…I just cannot wait until my iPad arrives so that I can bring tons of books with me wherever I go. Schmoopy really outdid himself with that anniversary gift (even though it wasn’t Bling and it didn’t follow the traditional anniversary gift rule!).

Today I am tired, but I’m happy. And I’m surrounded by the people and books (and the Bling & meows) that I love.

So, that totally rocks!

Today I am thankful

Today I am thankful that my parents let me read banned books, old books, over my age limit books, books that I should have outgrown, books that nobody else let their kids read, silly books, awful and trashy and horrible books, really just any books.

I am so thankful for their reading! My mom reads anything she can her hands on (and I was proud to be able to put a Kindle in her hands this year). My dad read magazines and trade publications and loved audio books on long car trips (he usually got the gist of it, but he never really paid much attention to the details).

They were readers. Now I am a reader. I get to inspire others to read.

THAT TOTALLY ROCKS!

Today I am thankful for my awesome parents and their love of reading. That is a feeling that is better than all the Bling in the World!