The Grateful Complainer

I am having a poopy, poopy day.  Not as poopy as lots of other people I’m sure, but poopy nonetheless.  I just got back from a weekend at my father-in-law’s house – where the company is wonderful (love his sisters and his dad is a sweetie) but the accommodations horrifying.  Picture this, Sicily, 1942….or rather New Jesey, in a house that is circa 1970-something – full of treasures and trinkets.  It used to be piled so high you couldn’t see the floor, or the furniture, or anything larger than a path through the wreckage from the front door to the kitchen.  Here a towering column of old photo’s, there a pile of baseballs, yonder a jar of something that looks like large pieces of ginger in a liquid, with roots coming out.  On top of that, a lovely stack of ladies purses, in different shades of sequins.

The siblings take turns cleaning but you can’t clean out the smell of old newspapers and musty carpet that hasn’t seen the light in twenty-odd years.  We are slowly making space (We can see the floor, progress!) so that when we move to Houston, his father can sell the house and move with us into a much smaller in-law suite.  He is 92 and totally amazes me – very smart, still active, doing most of the yard work himself.  But the house…we sleep on the floor on mattress that I could not tell you the age.  I can tell you I take the sheets from my house and my own pillow (although there are 10 stacked in a corner with varying shades of brownish-yellow stains).  What’s wrong with these pillows?  Bill asked me, completely oblivious.  I point out the stains.  He shrugs.  There’s a pillowcase on it, he says.
The only way I sleep at night is to know I washed those sheets myself before we left.  Ellie, thankfully, is young enough to sleep in her crib.  
Bill has no idea how hard it is on me to go there.  I literally feel my skin crawling just thinking of staying there overnight.  One time he dropped the mattress down and a spider crawled out the side and back in again.  BACK IN AGAIN.  I have just recently been able to not totally spaz out and instantly smush any spider I see with the largest shoe I can find.  JUST RECENTLY.  So you can imagine my horror at sleeping on a mattress where I know at least one spider is scurrying around.  I have not once woken up on at least one morning of the stay without some sort of bite or bump.  GAH.
It doesn’t help I am a total GERMAPHOBE.  I am easily icki-fied.  I’m not a great housekeeper but if I can see the dirt, it goes.  I sterilize.  A lot.  I also hate clutter.  The sight of it slips down under my rational brain and picks at my patience like a toddler to a scab.  NEED TO GET RID OF IT.  So the entire time I am there, I try to focus on finding ‘gems’ in the mess so I DON’T GO COMPLETELY INSANE.  I’m writing this so you would think I’d managed it but I’m not so sure.
Breastfeeding these weekends are a nightmare.  I don’t know if its the different food I’m eating, the uncomfortable nursing (we’re on the floor on the mattress) or my stress level but I have to use so much formula on these weekends I worry I’m going to lose my supply.  She is SO FUSSY.  Starts to nurse, then cries almost immediately.  I can usually coax her back for a minute or two but that’s it.  So far she has bounced back when we get back home but I am pumping tonight for sure and for the next few days to make sure it stays up.
We’re not even going to talk about how fun it is to travel with a cranky 8 month old from Virginia to New Jersey.  Used to take five hours, now we make it in 6 or more.  BR-UTAL.  
And then I get a call today from the dermatologist – another mole has ‘atypical cells’ and I need to get more taken off.  That’s two this year.  So, still recuperating from the weekend and I get this news today.  Not only that but they want me in TOMORROW.  That.Is.Never.Good.
I FaceTime with my parents every Monday and today we couldn’t talk, the screen kept freezing.  Being far away sucks.
I read somewhere when you are feeling down, you tend to remember all the bad things in your life, which makes you feel even worse, and then you remember more bad things that happened to you, etc, the cycle continues.  If you can break that cycle by focusing on the positive, your circumstances may remain the same but you’ll feel better about them, and yourself.
  1. Atypical cells don’t mean cancer, and I am getting it taken care of right away.
  2. There are only three more visits left to that house before we move.  After that, Ellie gets to have at least one grandparent close by to love her silly, and I get to enjoy the visits in my clean, new, clutter-less house.
  3. I am seeing my parents in one month and that really isn’t too long to wait.
  4. I just downloaded a new book on my Kindle I get to read tonight.
  5. There is still chocolate cake in the world.  And apple pie.  And Jon Stewart.
  6. I am loved and appreciated even though I complain.  A lot.
  7. Hubbie thinks I’m pretty even when I don’t have make-up on.
  8. Hubbie has really bad eye-sight that will only get worse as he ages.
  9. We have a Roomba that vacuums the bedrooms for me.
  10. Soon Ellie will be crawling, and I can strap mop pads to her knees and she can do the MOPPING for me.  Wheeee!
Life doesn’t get much better than this folks.  I’m a lucky girl.

3 thoughts on “The Grateful Complainer

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