On second thought, I might leave him red

As soon as I start to google “what color should my Buddha figure be,” I’m well aware that I’m probably missing the point.

But then I see that autocorrect, in its infinite jest, has turned my “my” into “joy.”

I might learn something in spite of myself yet.

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Serendipity – Disabled Mom Spotting

Serendipity today via Pinterest — someone brought Steph Dodson’s blog and pregnancy story to my attention. I was riveted, because we have so much in common. I started to comment on her story, but it got so long I decided it belonged here instead.

Dear Steph,

Congratulations! I’m new to your site, but I feel like I already know your story, because it’s so similar to my own.

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, a few weeks before my 27th birthday, and my disease has been characterized by unremitting pain and many flare-ups. I cut back my work hours and failed therapies and hurt and struggled, and my wife and I assumed kids were out of the question. Who’d take care of whom? The last thing I wanted to do was make life harder for anyone.

In 2011, though, I had a few better months, lost a bunch of weight, and got bit by the baby bug, big time. We tried for almost a year and finally conceived in February 2013. The surprise of our lives was being blessed with TWIN boys!

Though I worried about the potential complications from my MS and from the twin pregnancy, it turned out to be the best months I’ve had since being diagnosed. I had a quick and relatively painless labor; a natural, drug-free delivery; and best of all, two healthy babies.

The boys are now 10 months old. They’re a ton of work and a ton of fun. Even when I’m ready to drop at the end of the night (or let’s be honest, by lunch time), I think about how I almost missed out on All This, due as much to ignorance and fear as to my disease. It shouldn’t be so hard to find information about moms with disabilities!

MS has taken a lot of things from me, and it will continue to take more, but I am so glad we made the stand of making babies. We’re graced by their presence, just as you’ll be graced by your darling daughter, and our life is bigger and richer and ultimately better than I ever imagined possible. I wish all the same for you and your family, and for all women with disabilities everywhere.

With love and respect,
EJ

The boys that almost weren’t:

Thrift Happy Thursday

Exhibit A: Lucky charms, minus the arms

I’ve heard that horseshoes are lucky, but never have I ever heard anything about a headless/limbless woman’s torso adding any particular oomph to a horseshoe’s benefits.

Exhibit B: Head and limbs, but no torso

It’s kind of like the Care Bear Stare, but with about 1,000% more creepiness. I think this unfortunate little guy was supposed to be painted…and filled…to celebrate…a holiday? But it’s an even Easter/Halloween split, so I give up.

I will admit to being temporarily tempted to use him as a salt pig instead.

Exhibit C: Speaking of staring

Pink Squirrel knows what you’ve been up to. If he had a mouth, he’d scream.

Exhibit D: Just four aisles away

These guys were shocked — SHOCKED! — at the prices on promotional backpacks. Is this a thrift store or Needless Markup?

Exhibit E: Not from a thrift, but fits the creepy theme of today’s post

I arrived on the scene after whatever happened had already happened. I think it’s better that way.

Exhibit F: For “Freaky”

A few weeks ago, I discovered a new Salvation Army store that was previously unknown to me (but is only 0.3 miles from one of the best Goodwills in the metro area AND close to a Park Avenue thrift and maybe a Value Village).

It was a HUGE store, brightly lit, fully-stocked, and nearly empty ON A SATURDAY. It didn’t even smell like a thrift store. It didn’t smell like anything, really.

Until I went in the bathroom.

As soon as I pushed open the door to the (spacious, well-lit, empty) ladies’ room, I was bowled over by the smell of moth balls. Lots and lots of moth balls. Pew.

But duty calls. I chose a stall, and as I’m sitting down, I’m thinking, “Who has a problem with moths in the –” when this tiny little moth flew into my stall and perched on the wall.

Well. Question answered, before I could even finish asking.

 

Birthday, Part 1

My birthday didn’t start out well.

To begin with, it fell on a Monday this year, which is not a day known for its devil-may-care attitude or raucous parties.

It had been raining, and cloudy, and raining for days.

The Saturday just prior, I attended my last grandmother’s funeral…in the rain.

My lovely, shy Nana

Her life lesson from beyond the grave: let people take your goddamn picture every once in a while, or else your family will be forced to use your 20+ year old Glamour Shot, because no more recent photo could be located.

Then, back to birthday Monday, I waited with KK while she had her sprained wrist x-rayed, then drove us all over, in rush hour traffic, to get a part for the pool pump that had broken Sunday evening.

And they accidentally kept her credit card, and we had to go back and get it (hurry! in rush hour!) because they closed at 6pm.

And we found out this morning that it wasn’t even the right part. But I digress.

On the way back from the pool store, KK reminded me that the iPad mini she’d ordered for my birthday wouldn’t arrive for another week. (Joy.) This time, she let slip that she was having it engraved — something I’ve never had done before.

Before I could stop my morbid self, I said, “But that means I won’t be able to resell it.”

The Apple ladder is how I’ve managed to afford my last iPhone, and I’m planning to sell my iPad 1 (practically an antique!) to pay for most of the Mini. It’s how we not-richies get the goods, right?

So then KK got on the phone and tried to cancel the order.

She tried to return the only birthday present I knew I was getting, before I even got it.

I might have cried, there in the interminable rush hour gridlock.

Luckily, they wouldn’t let her cancel the order. I think they said she’d have to wait and return it? But by then, I can throw my body over it to stop her from doing so.

When we finally got home, I started making dinner, and KK went to run some “top-secret birthday errands.”

I really didn’t want her to go. I was so afraid she’d come back with some balloons or something so obviously last-minute, back-up birthdayish, and I’d have to pretend to be cheered by it, but really, it would just be that much more depressing. Right?

I needn’t have worried. (When will I learn?)

First, my bacon-hating sweetheart showed up with this card and present.

And an armful of these, so I got to play Miss America right in my own living room. Bra-less and tear-stained, but I got the wave down pat.

They even SMELL good!

While I put the finishing touches on dinner, she turned the bouquet into this.

My latest addiction is the rice krispie treats that Publix sells in their bakery (BOGO this week, yo!). I ate a box a few days ago, and right before KK went to run errands, I asked her to bring me two more boxes (while they’re still on sale, of course).

Even so, I was surprised when I asked where she’d put the krispies, and she handed me this instead.

And then she said, “I bought all the krispies the store had.”

It was only 3 boxes, but isn’t that the most romantic thing to hear?!

Birthday Part 2 will take place this weekend, with all the best Pals (on Saturday) and the parents (on Sunday). I know we’re going to have a blast, and I needn’t have worried, etc etc. Even so, it was really lovely to let KK save the day in a way that only she can.

How old will you be when you’ve spent half your life with your beloved?

(I’m so tempted to write “…with your LOVER,” because that grosses us both out so much, but I’ll refrain. This is a meaningful occasion, if not a somber one.)

Answers will vary, of course. We have no control over when our loves will pinball into our lives, and I’m still not sure how much control we have even over maintaining them once they arrive.

But for the sake of argument, my answer: 32 (33 in a week).

I am 32 years old, and last night I had the pleasure of celebrating 16 years with my wife.

This lady and I can lay waste to some charcuterie and cheese.

(Remember the Charcuterie Towers from our wedding dinner? I can’t find a picture, but they were awesome.)

I liked that when the waiter brought out my (surprise customized) GIANT peanut butter cup dessert, he asked, “Uh…is it 16 or 91?”

I laughed, because it feels like both, in the best way possible.

Here’s to the next 91.