Our Holiday Season

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that we got and lost Ferb (the cat) in a very short amount of time.  We were not expecting to have to explain "death" to our child quite so soon.  It's like that last bit of innocence before she becomes a real human being, who has learned how to love someone and then to lose them...and to have it happen during the holiday season.  Oh, man.  Take a deep breath, do a gut check, and just be thankful that the month is nearly over.

For as quick as this year went, this holiday season dragged on.  Not in a bad way, but it seemed like the holiday season started as soon as the Halloween candy went stale.  No wait...the Halloween candy is still here and isn't stale yet.  I hope that our house sticks to the Nordstrom approach of not talking about Christmas until after Thanksgiving.  Thank God for Nordstrom.

In any case, Ferb...We are pretty sure that he had FIP.  He had all the symptoms, and thanks to friends...and a very supportive team at the Eagle Rock Emergency Pet Clinic, everyone was able to put Ferb's needs and feelings first. The EREPC staff was just so warm to Ferb, myself, and my need to text back and forth with my husband, my friend in AZ, and tweet my absolute anguish. 

Ferb was Iolani's cat. For the rare moments he felt well, he would sleep with Iolani.  When they would end up going "Number 2" at the same time, Iolani would howl about who made the larger stink.  I think we were all under the impression that Ferb just really liked being around us.  

Having to explain why the cat would not be coming home from the emergency room was daunting.  Answering the questions of why? Was it the Christmas Tree water? When will he come back? Then came the ultimate tearjerk "Who will be my best friend now?"

Oh my God.  If your eyes haven't welled up yet...then give me a call and you can hear my voice.  

It has been two days since Ferb's passing.  She asked again this morning for the exact location of Ferb.  My response has become steady and direct: Ferb got sick, the doctor couldn't fix him, we found out that he was sick even before he came to live with us, he's up in heaven.  

She asked if she could have a dog, noting "dogs don't get sick and die".  I quickly broke the news to her that dogs get sick and die too.  Then, she asked for a white cat.  (I'm thinking to myself...a white short-haired cat will be so hard to find!).  After I didn't respond to her, she said "And take him to the doctor to make sure he doesn't have Ferb Flu".

I replied: "Yes - I promise that if we get another cat, I will have it checked for Ferb Flu".  A $300+ test

We headed out to Pasadena for her to ride her bike.  Over at Central Park she had long stretches where she could be a good distance from me, and yet I could have full view of her.  She was just looking up at the sky, taking in the moment.  Going as fast as she could on her little bike.  Historically, she will ride for 10-15 minutes and call it a day.  We were gone for over 4 hours, with a quick stop for lunch.  She just wanted to ride her bike.  

see you

GH&T readers know that at the end of the year I tend to do these “lookbacks” to the highs and lows from the year.  I was thinking about needing to write this entry, and I’ve decided to not look back.  The year was what it was. It was a year of “It will get better”.  

I spent this year shoulder deep in work, relationships, and not a lot of baseball.  I spent a lot of this year unintentionally reconnecting with people who add a tremendous amount to my life, while at the same recognizing the love and value of the people around me.  

Without a doubt, I can say that I have a great life.  It isn’t perfect, and it shouldn’t be.  Perfect is something nice to strive for, but for some reason it seems to be just too much to reach for. Like you, I have days of rainbows, glitter, and puffy clouds.  And, like you...I have days of fuck, shit, argh, damnit, and something I would describe as  a “momentary emotional outburst that involve tears”.   At the conclusion of said “momentary emotional outbursts” I think to myself “It will get better”, dust myself off and get on with it.

(I swear on a stack of bibles, this is going somewhere)

You know, I walk through Union Station at least two times a day.  I have the opportunity to pass at least 50 people every time.  I often think to myself that I should put my phone away and look up, make eye contact with as many people as possible...because I want people to know that I see them.  I see you.  Not like a security, creepy kind of thing, but when you consider how many people you might pass in a day and not say hello...but just pass them in the hall...I can’t help but think about how many people go through their day and only get their recognition as a human being one or two times a day.  

And, that’s it...that is my point.  The project of “it gets better” was just a start.  The next step literally must be “You are not alone”

My friends...You Are Not Alone, and further - you are not invisible.  You might be stuck behind the big espresso machine, commuting, in the midst of crossing the street...you’ll see me...and I’ll look to make eye contact with you so that you know that I see you.

2012 Video Yearbook

2012 - it has been real.  :-)
This is the mobile version of the video.  If you want the real think, check out Facebook.

No more Nice Mommy

It has been quite the weekend.  I had high hopes on Friday, when Iolani made the Union Station Pilgrimage without the use of the stroller. She wanted to be seen wearing her backpack, she was full of conversation about what she was expecting of the day.  When I picked her up that evenings, we traveled home - sans stroller.  I'm thinking we are dee Ohhh Ennnn EEEE with the stroller.  Let's see how Monday morning goes.

Saturday afternoon, Alex and I found ourselves knee deep in the discussion about Discipline.  We are a no-spank house, we haven't really been successful in using timeouts.  We have been good about just saying "go to your room".  In fact, when she thinks she's done something wrong, often times she will just go to her room on her own.

So, when her attitude blatantly ignores Alex - and I'm supplied with "But but but but but...Mommy...." I think we were both at a loss of what to do.

And, then...this afternoon while we were at the theater watching Nutcracker...imagine our horror...ABSOLUTE HORROR...when our child no only is antsy at the theater, but then begins a meltdown/tantrum in the middle of the theater. At least 40 other people didn't have to imagine it - they lived it.  We had to leave.  We LEFT the theater.  We had a talk outside the theater about how Daddy was really looking forward to the movie, that it was something nice he wanted to do for us, and further - that Daddy was going to be very sad that Iolani had to cry during the Nutcracker.  Her reason: she claimed to miss the cat.

As we made our way out the door, I remembered the other reason for our trip to the area: Santa Claus. The dilemma became - Do we go straight home, or do we visit Santa and go home.  Once we decided that Santa was going to get a visit, I had to get cash from the ATM to pay for the Santa visit.  Another tantrum ensued...right in front of Santa Claus.  So, of course - once we did get up there, Santa so graciously mentioned that Iolani needed to start listening to her parents.

That lasted all of one Alley.

So, here we are.  Figuring out that if she doesn't get enough time to play outside she is going to be like this.  If she doesn't get enough mommy/daddy time, she's going to be like this.  I say this with a smile, I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world - but OMG...the girl needs constant nurturing.  LOL.

So - raise your sippy cup to constant nurturing.