Not the best start to a day

Thursday, April 28, 2011
This morning, I had a pretty bad start to the day. I woke up in pain. I have a illness called Ankylosing Spondylitis which is chronic. I try my hardest not to let it get in my way, but mornings are a challenge (especially with a toddler in the house that doesn't wait for me to loosen up a bit before dragging me out of bed). My meds haven't been too effective lately so last week, my doctor changed to something different. A few days later, I got up from sitting in a wicker chair and my husband said, 'What the hell happened to your back?' I had a bruise in the shape of the chair's edge across my back. With the Doctor's office closed, I called the pharmacy & the pharmacist told me to stop taking it until I can see the doctor.
Monday was a holiday and I haven't been able to get an appt to see my doctor since. I've been taking the old meds in the meantime, but I'm going to run out tomorrow. I called the doctor's office this morning, explained the situation and was told there are no appts and they are closed until Tuesday due to the damned Royal Wedding! The woman on the phone cheerfully said 'Thank you, Bye' dismissing me and leaving me helpless. I cursed her after hanging up knowing full well that with no meds until Tuesday, I'll be pretty bad off by then.
I then went and checked my email where I found a response to an email I sent to someone who matters with a reply that I can only describe as giving me the cold shoulder (he gave me an alternative to contacting him in the future). I'm usually able to shrug this sort of thing off, but this morning, it made a dent. Feeling wounded, I deleted the email without replying. What's the point - the bridge is burnt and I wish I knew why it mattered. It just does.
Moments later, I heard the worst noise in the next room. It was a bird in apparent distress (to say the least). I ran in and found a room covered with feathers and both my cats standing over the bird. I screamed for my husband who came barreling down the stairs (probably thinking me or my son was hurt). All I could do was tearfully point to the room. My son was crying too. I picked him up and hugged him and we sat that way the whole time my husband cleaned up the mess and disposed of the bird. I'm not sure if the cats killed it or my husband had to do it to put it out of it's misery, but he told me not to ask so I didn't.
Just as I was starting to recover from the trauma and secretly vowed not to not speak to either one of my bully cats for a while, one of them came in bleeding from a gash on the base of his tail. I gathered him up and took him to the bathroom, shut the door, held him down and cleaned his wound. It's large and looks petty bad. When my husband get's home tonight, I will have to wrestle the poor cat into a cat carrier and to get him to the vet before the country shuts down for the Royal f@cking Wedding!
Needless to say, I had no choice but to forgive my cat earlier than I wanted to in order to comfort the poor thing. I suspect his injury is self inflicted. He pulls his hair out when he's stressed and this morning's incident may have caused him to get a bit over zealous with his hair pulling. We'll see.
Lets hope my day get's better.

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Women suck!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Over the weekend while visiting my in-laws, I over heard my sister-in-law talking about me (in a not so nice kind of way). I guess she thought I was a bit too glamorous looking for her taste. I heard her say, 'Look at her being all Glam, how about that lipstick?' to her boyfriend. In my defense, I was wearing a denim skirt that came below the knee, wedge sandals and a t-shirt (it's not like I was wearing some sexy mini skirt & tube top (the witch)! I don't know what was wrong with my lipstick. I didn't ask. I'm close with my mother-in-law and didn't want to rock the boat so I didn't say anything about what I over heard. I didn't even mention it to my husband until a few days later when I changed my cloths before leaving for a birthday party we were going to. I was wearing a summer dress with spaghetti straps that came just above the knee with the same sandals. I all of a sudden felt self conscious and changed into a longer linen skirt, plain t-shirt and flats. My husband said, I could take off all my make-up and put on a potato sack and I'd still be glamorous (which was sweet). He told me not to try to change who I was, but I felt like I'd be judged by the other woman at the party that I didn't know and chose to tone it down.
I'm really pissed off. I've always been nice to my sister-in-law. I've had her kids come and stay here for a week at a time (without her) and she has the nerve to be so catty (with me in ear shout no less)?? Woman suck. This is why I've always had more male friends than female. I've worked so hard to lose all that weight. I should be able to wear what ever I choose. I miss NJ and the comfort of my other 'glam' friends.

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Choosing my books

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
It must look like I love every book I read. I can assure you, I don't but it's rare I read a bad book because I research every book I buy before I buy it. I don't want to waste my time on bad books so every time I see one I want to read, I look it up on Shelfari.com and never buy a book that gets less than an average of 4 stars. Which is why it may seem to some that I enjoy almost every book I read.

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close By Jonathan Safran Foer

Monday, April 25, 2011
Synopsis: Nine-year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York.
His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11.
This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey...
This is a new favorite (maybe even my very favorite). What an incredible, thought-provoking book! It not only made me cry, but it also made me laugh out loud as well. It was a bittersweet story of a child with a brilliant mind, a broken heart, and an injured soul that desperately seeks for a way to deal with his tremendous loss.
I have to say that in the beginning of the book, I found it hard to follow. The narrative was confusing as it changes from one character to another without warning or explanation. The first time I tried to read this book, I actually gave up and read something else. I wouldn't want this to cause anyone to give up all together, so let me explain - This book is not just about Oskar, but also about his grandparents as well. The narrative jumps between Oskar, his Grandfather & his Grandmother. I wasn't aware of that and it confused me. That being said, once I got used to the narrative, I thought the author told the story with wisdom and insights that were profound & beautiful. It was truly a superb & unforgettable book!
Check it out on Amazon.com by clicking the title above or on Amazon.co.uk by clicking here

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Something Extraordinary

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
We're thinking of adopting an older child. There it is in black and white. I said it. It's crazy right? 'The Times' (an English newspaper) is running a campaign to try to increase the number of adoptions to older children. Right now in the UK, there are approximately only 3000 children who are taken out of the system through adoption each year. 1 in 100 are over 5. I can cry writing that. I've seen documentaries on the subject which have never left me. One such documentary that featured a little red-headed boy that broke my heart. He had too many foster parents in his young life and they said his chances of ever finding a family were minimal. I was pregnant at the time. I wanted to save him, but what could I do? I'm sure there are a lot of people that thought the same thing. The thing is that we CAN do something and maybe we should be the sort of people who actually do.
My husband (the amazing man he is) has always said he'd like to do something like that. It was me who dismissed it, but the other night when the campaign was being discussed on the TV news and they spoke of the awful statistics, I turned to my husband, looking for a reaction. We just looked at each other and said how awful it was.
The next day, it was in the paper again. That night I cried after putting Ethan to bed. Every night he gets a story curled up next to mommy in bed (after a playful giggle filled bath time with Daddy). He is the happiest, most well adjusted child who has the most wonderful bond with his parents. That night, I just thought how many children don't have that? Who will never have that?
I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. Maybe it's time I do something extraordinary. Maybe this is the sort of thing I was meant to do with my life. I'm always beating myself up over my big heart. I can't say how many people there have been in my life that have loved me and hated me for my over-sized heart (it's always gotten me in hurt). It's frustrated every man I have ever been with. And then there's my mother who always called me 'the bleeding heart' (and not in a good way). Maybe this is the sort of thing bleeding hearts do - save a child.
I think I'm more in love with my husband today than I was yesterday just because he wants to do it to. We put an application of interest in last night. It's a long and drawn out process. Until we know for sure, I'm not telling my family. I'm sure they'll call me crazy and tell me all the reasons it's an awful idea. Although, that will probably make me want to do it more.

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The wisdom of my 2 year old...

Sunday, April 10, 2011
The other night while having our bedtime cuddle, Ethan told me 'Lily is my best friend'. Lily is my friend, Angela's little girl. They are the same age and they've been playing together since they were 9 months old. They were both early walkers and would plow through baby groups like baby-zilla stepping on all the other babies. They were too young for toddler classes so Angela and I started getting together once a week to have them play together. Angela was the first English woman to befriend me. For the longest time, I kept her at arms length and refused to let myself use the word 'friend' when talking about her (afraid that one false move would destroy the balance of my very limited social life).
I digress - so, after announcing that Lily was his best friend, he said and Angela is your best friend. I said, No baby, Aunt Nicole is Mommy's best friend. He then said (with all the wisdom in the world), but Angela is your best friend in England.
That's when it hit me - I do have a best friend in England. In the last couple of years, slowly without even noticing it - Angela and I have become very close. She does so much for me and every week, I make a vegetarian (lactose free) lunch for her and keep lactose free milk and butter in the house as if someone that lives here is lactose intolerant just so I can cook for her and make her lattes when ever she is here.
We lean on each other and talk to each other about everything. I'm always complaining about my lack of a social life, but My little boy made me realize something the other night - one close friend is better than a group of friends any day. I will try to keep that in mind next time I'm feeling sorry for myself because I don't have enough friends for a dinner party.

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My version of a mid-life crisis...

Saturday, April 9, 2011
Ya know how some men buy a sports car when they reach a certain age? Well, I think I've reached my version of that. Now that I'm thin again and feeling like my old self (or should I say young self), I've been buying shoes - shoes that I'm probably a bit too old to be wearing. These are some examples of my mid-life crisis purchases...



Now this last pair, I LOVED (hell, I LOVED them all, but felt silly and returned them). I wanted to keep them so badly, but put them away to return them. The thing is, they sat there forever (just couldn't bring myself to return them). So, I took the picture & posted it on Facebook and asked 'Am I too old for these shoes?' I was shocked at how many people (men & women) responded. With a unanimous - they are HOT - keep them! So, I did. I wore them for Mother's Day last weekend, but aside from that, being a stay at home mom, I have no idea where the hell I'm going to wear them - they're a bit dressy for play dates and picking Ethan up from nursery school :-)


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The Pact by Jodi Picoult

Friday, April 8, 2011
Synopsis - In this contemporary tale of love and friendship, Jodi Picoult brings to life a familiar world, and in a single terrifying moment awakens every parent's worse fear: We think we know our children… but do we ever really know them at all?
I really struggled with this one. I don't think it's ever taken me so long to finish a book (two weeks). It was a good book with a good ending, but the thing was that this was my 4th Jodi Picoult book this year and her style of writing seems to be too similar in all the books I've read. It just bored me and I was easily distracted. As I said, it wasn't a bad book, but it will probably be the last Jodi Picoult novel I read for a while.

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Burning Bridges

Ever hear a song that just wallops you back to another time & place? Living in a foreign country (with a lot of different types of music) that sort of thing doesn't happen to me much anymore, but the other day it did. I heard a song by Richard Marx (of all people) that stopped me in my tracks, sent me back to a past love and made me smile thinking about him for the first time in ages. I got the clearest picture of how his head would fly back laughing at his own jokes (that's when he laughed the hardest - which made me want to kiss him every time - I think it's ok to admit such things when you haven't kissed in 2 decades). He had a different laugh when he laughed at something he said. It was my favorite of all his laughs (he had many). I'm smiling just thinking about it now. But it also makes me a little sad that we don't even talk anymore. Every time we do, it ends badly. We haven't been together since we were kids, but in our long history since - we perfected hurting each other. I guess after that sort of thing happens enough times...
That being said, he's still one of my all time favorite people (even if I'm not one of his). I wonder if he still laughs at his own jokes. I wonder if he's still the same guy who could light up a room or if life changed him. I wish it were different. I wish we could meet for lunch every few years and catch up like I get to do with my high school sweetheart. I wish we hadn't stood on opposite sides of that bridge and simultaneously torched it.

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Maybe it's the sunshine...

Thursday, April 7, 2011
My mood has lifted significantly this week. Maybe it's the sunshine. The weather here has been in the 70s and sunny. I feel uplifted. So, I thought I'd write a little update (I've also back dated all my books I've read since I've last blogged) I'd promise to keep blogging on a regular basis, but every time I do, I seem to do the opposite...
I am 8 pounds away from hitting my goal weight! I've done so well that a couple of weeks ago, the slimming world website featured me as their featured slimmer! I was shocked when I logged on and saw myself - complete with before and after photos (cringing)! I'm down to a size 5/6 US (10 UK) and so happy with the results, I just can't get the momentum up to start dieting again for the last 8lbs. I'm sure when bathing suit weather comes along, I'll be back to it!
I have met yet another American (the 2nd one in 3 months). We've met up with our families already and had a really nice afternoon. We plan to get together for dinner sometime soon as well. She's really nice, but she's a working mom and lives 30 minutes away so we can't see each other very often, but I'm sure we will form a friendship (which is really nice).
Ethan turns 3 at the end of next month. I can't believe how fast it's gone. He gets smarter, cuter and sweeter every day. I am just nuts about him and think that being his mom (and Wayne's wife) has been the best thing I have ever done!
Our plans for the US move have come down to being a pipe dream once again. I sometimes think it will never happen, but at least if we hit the lottery, we have Wayne's green card in place.
I have been asked to be a book reviewer for The Sussex newspaper website. It's just a local site and I'm not getting paid, but I get my own bi-line which is pretty cool. I've done 3 reviews so far (2 are posted & the 3rd will be up next week). It's really nice to do and at least I'm doing something useful with my renewed passion for books! Wayne got me a book case (I've always wanted a book case) and I've spent the last few weeks buying my old favorites in hardcover and researching new ones that I plan to read. I have filled it with 150 books so far and it's nearly full (only because Ethan was so excited about it, I let him have a full length shelf for his book).

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