Archive for April, 2010

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project 365 – day 51: rest in peace

26 April 2010

My mother-in-law passed away last Saturday.

Today is her viewing, and tomorrow is the funeral.

Even though we knew it was coming, it seems very surreal.  Up until two days ago, my greatest worry was work.  Losing a loved one really puts things in perspective.

My mother-in-law had been sick and under hospice care pretty much since March.  But even then, she was still strong, determined, and faithful.  I am in awe of her and respect her so much.

In the summer of 2002, she was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.  I remember because I was in the middle of studying for the bar exam at this time.  I visited her in the hospital and she told me nevermind her, and just concentrate on studying.  She was diagnosed with Glioblastoma and the doctors pretty much gave her only 6 months to live.  But she proved them all wrong.

She recovered and went on her merry way –traveling to the Philippines, France, Portugal, Spain, Israel, and going on several cruises.  She was fit, healthy, vibrant, and back to her normal self.

Then in 2008, her cancer came back in the form of breast cancer –which she again beat.  This time, you can tell she was affected.  She slowed down her pace, but still managed to travel.  She spent part of the year in their home in the Philippines.  Her health deteriorated, however, but she didn’t let that stop her from living her life.

Then in February of this year, she had a seizure.  Her brain tumor came back, and she decided it was time.  She lived the rest of her life at home surrounded by her loved ones.  She would have been 65 years old on May 1st.

Words can’t express how sad I am.  For my husband, for my brother-in-laws, for my father-in-law.  Imagine losing your life partner.  This is the woman he’s shared his life with for almost 40 years.  This is their mother.  The woman who held the family together and raised them with love, faith, and strong morals.

When I joined my husband’s family, I was very lucky to gain a wonderful mother-in-law.  There were no horror stories here.  In fact, my greatest dilemma was figuring out what to call her –mom?  Mrs. D?!  She was sweet, kind, very generous and very loving.  In fact, she and my mother got along so well that we all took family vacations together.  I appreciate her love for me, and her love for my family.

I wish I told her all of this before she passed, but I hope she knows that I love her.

Rest in peace.  I miss you.

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project 365 – day 50: 16 & pregnant

14 April 2010

Ever see this MTV show?  It’s crazy how freaking stoopid some of these kids area.  I don’t watch it on a regular basis, but if I pass by the channel, I wind up watching for a bit.

I was so mature at 16.  I know, I know, you are rolling your eyes.  But let me just say that when I was 16 and I knew I was ready to have sex, I did my research.  I read about pregnancy, I read about the pill, I read about the emergency contraceptive pill, condoms, and other forms of phrophylactics.  I don’t think a lot of teenagers know that in the event of any emergency (like say, the condom breaks), you can use the emergency contraceptive pill to prevent possible pregnancy.  I knew about it because I read about it, and how to get it in the event of an accident.  And I pride myself on being responsible.  I was also lucky in that I was in a great relationship with a great guy who did not dump me after he got some.  It wasn’t like in “16 & pregnant” where they’ve only been dating for a like a week and then they do it!

I am not against pre-marital sex.  I will probably eat my words once the kids are actually teenagers and I’ll have to deal with it.  But still.  I do not think it’s morally wrong to have pre-marital sex like some people do.  That’s not how life works, unfortunately.  So I do advocate for safe sex.  And I think that sex should be with someone you know, trust and care about deeply, and hopefully, be in love with!  But that’s just me.  I also think that once you are an adult with more experience, you certainly have the right to choose with whom to have sex with, whether casual or serious, as long as everything is consensual and you know the consequences of your actions.

Alas, it’s harder to make consensual choices when you are a minor under 18.  It’s harder to use your judgment when you are young and full of hormones, I know.  But again, it’s all about consequences and thinking about the worst case scenario.   Gawd…I have no idea what to tell the kids when they need “the talk.”

And I have no idea why this is today’s post.

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project 365 – day 49: by design

13 April 2010

So here’s an update on our home renovation project.  Basically, we are adding a 2-story rectangle to the back of the house.  This would expand our existing kitchen, create a family room, add a half-bath to the first floor, add a master suite (with master bath) upstairs, and a new bathroom upstairs for the kids.

1.  We hired a contractor — it’s actually a design & build company all in one, so the architect/contractor/builder are all in one company.

2.  We saw an initial design last night — very cool to see the would-be rooms.  Visuals are always key.  The only snag is that it’s actually very hard to move our existing staircase back because there is a support beam in the way.  We are trying to find a solution around it.

3. We are looking at kitchen designs/cabinetry and bathroom designs  — I must say, this is the fun part. 

4.  We are getting ready to pack our shit up.

Assuming things go to plan, I’m hoping we have an actual design and blueprint to work on by the end of the month.  Then it’s time for permits, paperwork, fine print, etc.  I hope that by June, actual construction will start so that we will be on our way to a more spacious home.  The project will supposedly take 90 business days –which to me means anywhere from 6-8 months because you never know! 

I am just worried about timing.  We are scheduled to leave for the Philippines in December, and I hope that we can actually move back in by November and be settled way before it’s time to pack for our trip!

Wish us luck.  I don’t want to be on Holmes on Homes!!  (Cuz that would mean that something went wrong along the way!)

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project 365 -day 48: i am the worst mom ever

11 April 2010

I think all I did was scream at the kids this entire weekend.  Serious screaming at the top of my lungs.  My throat actually hurts as I type this.

My four-year old is testing our patience.  He doesn’t listen.  He whines constantly.  Then he whines about wanting to listen (but actually doesn’t listen).  To me, there is nothing more aggravating that hearing him whine.  I actually wanted to go to work at some point to get some peace and quiet (and get some work done!)

I don’t know what I am doing wrong.  I’ve read articles on Babycenter, but I think that now I may have to read a parenting book to get tips.  My two-year old is also pulling tantrums here and there.  I really don’t want to yell at them.  I don’t want to be that crazy mom who people look at.

I know that this is all partly a combination of stress, lack of sleep (because they freaking wake up too early on the weekends), certain expectations (I expect them to understand like an adult even though I realize they are just children), fatigue, frustration, and yes, lack of parenting.  Let’s face it, we really only see them on the weekends.  After work doesn’t really count because it’s just a mad scramble of them getting fed, bath time, and bed time.  Weekends we do have time to spend with them, but we also have to do errands (laundry, home-cleaning, etc….etc…)

It is tough.

All I know is that I have to find a better way to get through to the kids.  I can’t keep yelling at them.  It’s totally not healthy, plus I don’t want them to be yellers when they grow up.

*sigh*

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project 365 – day 47: the secret of my success

5 April 2010

This post was inspired by my friend Girlie who was bemoaning her mom pooch the other day.  This chick is one of the skinniest friends I have.  She has pretty much been the same size since the day I met her.  This girl hardly gained weight when she was pregnant.  She is a size 0.  Possibly even negative 0.  But she was saying how she’s going on a shopping spree to Milan and/or Paris once she get rid of her mom pooch.

I totally understand.  I’m pretty sure we are our own worst critics.  We have our own personal standards of what we want our own body to be.  So even if we are a size that other women would covet, we are still unhappy.  Us women have some major issues when it comes to body image, etc.  I know I have mine.  I used to be super insecure not too long ago, but have thankfully gotten over it.  Well, most of it.  I actually like my curves (as I have written before), and gasp! I don’t think I’m fat.  And I liked being pregnant despite the weight gain.

I know I am not fat, but I’m flabby and unhealthy.  My cholesterol level is creeping up again.  I’d like to minimize by BMI, but it’s more important for me to start exercising for the sake of my heart & health, than it is to look good anymore.  My body has adjusted itself to a weight and size I’m pretty happy with.  I will never be a willowy chick, and that’s perfectly fine.  I can pretty much eat what I want and still have a stable weight.

However, I do have a major concern –and that is my mom pooch.

I’m a big chick in a little girl’s body.  After a meal, my stomach/belly expands.  A. LOT.  And when that happens, I look like I’m 4/5 months pregnant.  I’ve actually seen a couple of doctors about it because someday, I hope to get a tummy tuck.  Yes I know.  I see you rolling your eyes just like I did when I heard Girlie talk about her non-existent mom pooch. 

Well, I’ve been sucking my stomach in since about the time I was in high  school.  I’ve been doing it so much that when I was preggo, I had to literally re-train my body NOT to do it.  I couldn’t help it.  Back in law school, I exercised a lot.  I was able to trim it down because I actually had some ab muscles in there to help me.  But after 2 kids, I have no abs to speak of.

Now, there is just way too much air in my belly after I eat.  It swells.  It swells to an abnormal size.  I have pictures.  I am embarrassed, but what the heck, all 3 of you readers know a lot of shit about me anyway!  So here goes:

No, that is not a preggo pic of me.  The hubs took it last night, actually.  And that’s not even the biggest I’ve seen it.  My gastroenterologist has even said “yes, it’s fat, but a lot of air in there.  I don’t think a tummy tuck will help you, but you can always get a consult if it bothers you.”  He then tests me for celiac disease, etc.  No other explanation for it other than maybe it’s a by-product of my IBS (another story altogether).   I am like those starving kids in third-world countries with the distended belly.  I hate it.  And no, it’s not all in my head.  And no, I really don’t think it’s your average mom pooch.  I wish it were! 

So, that is my big secret.  One day, I hope to just walk around after a meal, and not have to suck it in.  Until then, I hope I can serve as a cautionary tale:  don’t complain about your pooch!  Cuz mine is bigger!!