moving on (in so many ways)

I cannot even begin to thank y’all for all of the kind and supportive words on that last post. So many people also reached out on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and I’m just overwhelmed. This whole situation is so awful, but I also feel so blessed to have such an amazing support system around me, both online and in real-life.

Yesterday, I met with our realtor. We’re going to be listing our house on the market soon. I can’t afford the mortgage by myself, and it’s too big for just me and the girls. I feel the need to downsize and simplify our lives as much as possible. I think I want to rent a house for a while. I like the idea that if something breaks, someone else has to pay for it and fix it.

It’s sad because this place was my dream house, but now I’ll forever think of it as the house where my marriage fell apart.

The weird part? We bought this house from a couple that was divorcing. You know that horror movie cliche where the haunted house turns out to be built on top of an ancient Indian burial ground? I think this house was built on top of the graves of a really bitter and angry married couple. I even burned sage when we moved in, to get rid of any bad juju lingering around. Fat lot of good that did me.

Overall, I think I’m coping ok. Like I said, I have a pretty fantastic support system around me, and I’m so, so grateful for that.

But if you don’t hear from me much over the next few weeks, it’s probably because I’m going to be frantically de-cluttering and reorganizing this entire house to get it in “showable” condition. That should be… fun?

I’ll also be spending as much time as I possibly can hugging these faces.

Hard to get mad at these faces when they wake me up on Saturday morning.

Mostly successful, only slightly uneven bang trim. Yay, I'm improving!

You sure can't tell that she's sick.

Can’t really blame me for that one. They’re pretty darn huggable.

Best! Friday the 13th! Ever!

(One of Catie’s favorite lines from the movie “Tangled” is Rapunzel swinging around a tree, yelling, “Best! Day! EVER!” She repeats that a lot. Hence the post title.)

Why I love this particular Friday the 13th, superstitions be damned:

1. Catie got dressed and left for daycare without any fights this morning. Hey, it’s the little things.

2. Beaumont is currently at the vet getting shaved. (Insert your own shaved p***y jokes here.) We have to do this every summer because his fur is so long and it gets all matted and nasty. And yes, he looks ridiculous afterward:

Beaumont post-haircut
(Exhibit A: his first haircut, 2 years ago.)

But he’s also a lot happier. And since he is currently in “Guard the Pregnant Lady” Mode and is all over me constantly, I’ll also be a lot happier when there’s less fur on him. Hopefully it means I’ll stop having the recurring nightmare about being attacked by a bear, when I wake up and realize that it’s because I’ve got a ridiculously furry cat sleeping up against my face, suffocating me.

3. The housekeepers are coming today! I always feel a little weird mentioning that we have housekeepers, because it feels so… I don’t know. Snobby? Elitist? I get oddly defensive about it. But you know what? Whatever. For the mental health benefit alone, I consider it to be a totally worthwhile expense.

Oh, also? Knowing that the house will be all sparkly and clean should I happen to go into labor in the immediate future? HUGE load off my mind. You can’t even imagine.

4. I’m getting a massage this afternoon. All of y’all who’ve had babies know how late pregnancy can make you ache all over. My back and shoulders are currently a disaster zone of knots and pains. Then Catie’s daycare teacher Mandy informed me that a new massage therapist opened up shop in the building next to the daycare, and she had left a stack of coupons for them to pass out to the parents. When I checked it out, saw that this lady is certified to do prenatal massage, and that the coupon was for 50% off her normal hourly rate? Hell yes, I booked that sucker. I cannot wait.

5. It’s Clean Sheet Day. Between the massage and the fresh sheets on the bed, I’m already looking forward to bedtime tonight. It’s gonna be so good, y’all.

6. Our sixth wedding anniversary is on Sunday, the 15th. Awww.

Still laughing.

And we’re still laughing. (Most of the time.)

partially solving a mystery

Today at work, my cell phone rang and it was Dave. Not normally a big thing, right? Spouses call each other at the office. It happens. But the ensuing conversation was not at all what I expected.

Dave: So, a policeman is here at the house. They found your purse and your mom’s purse.

Me: WHAT?!?!!

Dave: Yeah. Uh, here, I’ll let him tell you.

So, the police officer gets on the phone, and explains that the best he can figure, whoever stole the purses tossed them down a storm drain, because a maintenance worker found them in a retention pond in the next subdivision over from ours. Which is where they’ve been for a month. He warned me that there wasn’t really anything salvageable there, but they did find my passport, which is how they knew the purses were ours. (My passport, btw, has already been canceled, so recovering it was not exactly a big “yay!” moment.) (And yes, it’s very stupid to have one’s passport in their purse. I had just had to do an I-9 form at work a couple of weeks before and I had forgotten to put it back in the drawer with all of our other important ID information.)

Want to know what purses look like after they spend a month in a stagnant retention pond?

purses

This photo doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Seriously, y’all, I just… I cannot even begin to describe the smell to you. It may never leave my nose. It might be worse than the time our septic tank exploded back when we lived in the boonies. This smell is burned into my brain.

Dave had already deemed the purses as ruined and trashed them before I got home, but I don’t know, I just needed to see it for myself. So I pulled them out and took a picture. (As Dave pointed out when he found out I retrieved them from the trash, it was probably not very smart for me to be breathing in God-knows-what when I’m pregnant, which, yeah I guess he has a point.)

When I told my mom, she wanted me to save her purse so she could try to root through it the next time she’s up here. I called her back and told her that no way is that foul-smelling thing staying in my house. OMG. Nevermind that the purses are basically empty anyway. We found some nail clippers, a tube of Carmex lip balm, and my mom’s epi-pen (which was filled with nasty drainage pond water). I think that anything else the thieves didn’t take is probably still floating in that pond somewhere. The only reason my passport didn’t float away is because it was in a zippered side pocket.

So, I guess that’s the end of the story. Not exactly the satisfying, “Lock up those thugs and throw away the key!” form of justice that I’d been hoping for. Instead, it’s just two empty black purses covered in mildew and pond muck. Lovely.

little ears

It seems like lately, I’ve gotten in the habit of recounting the house break-in so many times, I don’t even think about it anymore.

**Minor inconvenience happens, something that requires a driver’s license or whatever other item that I no longer possess.**
– Sorry, my purse was stolen.
– No, I didn’t leave it somewhere. Somebody broke into my house & took it.
– Yeah, we were home. We were asleep upstairs at the time.
– I know, it IS very scary.

I’m not looking for sympathy, it’s more of an explanation, and I hate recounting it because it makes me feel like such an idiot when I have to admit that actually, I accidentally left the door unlocked, so it was more of a house walk-in than a break-in.

Yesterday, after I picked Catie up from daycare, my eye doctor’s office called to say my glasses were ready. I’m so sick of squinting at the screen all day while I’m working, and they were open until 6:00, so we hopped back in the car and headed over there.

The guy, who brought out my glasses and adjusted them for me, remembered me from when I got my first pair of glasses there. He asked if I’d lost them. And I did the whole, “No, actually, my purse was stolen and my glasses were in them at the time, so… yeah,” thing. I didn’t even think about the fact that Catie was sitting in my lap at the time that we had this conversation.

In the car afterward, we had this conversation:
Catie: Mommy, was it monsters?
Me: Was what monsters, baby?
Catie: Was it monsters who came into the house and took your purse?
Me: [having sort of an “oh shit” moment in my head] No, sweetie, there’s no such thing as monsters, remember? It was just… bad guys.
[Trying to focus on driving and not banging my head into the steering wheel. Bad guys? Really? Like that’s any better?? Good GOD, self. Way to traumatize the poor kid.]
Catie: Why were they bad?
Me: Because they wanted Mommy’s money and Mimi’s money, and that’s why they took our purses. And it’s very bad to take things that don’t belong to you, right?
Catie: [worried voice] What if the bad guys come back and they take my toys?
Me: No, sweetie, nobody’s going to take your toys. We got all new locks on the doors, remember? So your toys are totally safe now. Nobody’s going to touch them, OK?

She seemed content with that answer, but I felt horrible. I mean, I’m relieved that her main fear is that the “bad guys” would take her stuff, not that they’d do anything to harm her. But, man, I seem to constantly forget that she’s not a baby anymore and that she picks up on everything. You’d think that I would have figured that out by now.

——————————————————————————

On the other hand, she erased last week’s sad face from her Magna Doodle and drew this in its place.

Today gets a smiley face. My cup runneth over.

So I’m guessing we’re gonna be just fine.

after-effects

It’s been a few days since the whole house break-in incident, and I have to say, I’m not doing so well. I’m not usually prone to anxiety attacks, but something about pregnancy hormones, plus Dave being gone, plus the whole “strangers were inside my house while my baby and I were asleep” thing has turned me into a giant mess.

Case in point: Catie drew this picture on her Magna-Doodle. When I asked her what it was, she said, “That’s Mommy’s sad face. See the tears?”

I asked Catie what this was. She said, "Mommy's sad face. See the tears?" Oh god.

There is absolutely nothing about that picture that doesn’t break my heart.

The night after the break-in, I woke up what felt like every 20 minutes, totally panicked at some teeny-tiny noise. Even though I knew that the locksmith had replaced all the locks on the doors, and I’d verified that they were all locked at least 3 times, I still couldn’t relax. At one point, I ran into my mom in the hall because I was sure I had heard a noise and I went flying out of bed. And yeah, I had heard something. My mom had gotten up to use the bathroom. That was it.

The irony, of course, is that I had to cancel my OB appointment on Thursday morning because I had no purse and no keys to get to the doctor’s office. And I had already been planning on discussing some of my anxiety problems with my doctor. Then this happened, and… well, let’s just say that I thought I was having anxiety before, but this cranked it up to 11.

So I called the doctor’s office on Friday morning, and I basically unloaded on this poor nurse about all the stuff that’s been going in my life lately and how stressed out I am, and oh GOD I certainly don’t want to sound like I’m drug-seeking, and I don’t want to take anything that could hurt my baby, and I don’t want to take anything that will turn me into a zombie, but I really need some help here, and I’m sure I’m not the first pregnant lady they’ve ever encountered who has had anxiety issues. The nurse was fantastic and so nice, and said she’d talk to my doctor and call me back immediately. She did, and they called in a prescription for some xanax for me. They also re-scheduled my appointment for Monday morning so I can get in to talk to a doctor immediately.

[Side note: Who knew that xanax was on the list of medications that are OK to take when you’re pregnant? I certainly didn’t.]

My brother was so worried about us that he drove over from Charlotte on Friday afternoon to spend the night. That was a nice distraction, especially for Catie.

Catie says, "Hey Chris, we're like rock stars!"

She really does adore her uncle Chris.

And I have to say, knowing that my brother was sleeping on the couch downstairs did help me relax. Just knowing that he was there and would hear it if anyone tried to break in was a very welcome relief, and I was able to sleep a lot better that night.

(Btw, you already know this if you follow me on Twitter, but the day after the break-in, we were on our way to the police department to get a copy of the police report, and I had a tire blow-out. Bent the wheel base and all. And nobody has my particular wheel model in stock. So I’m driving around on the spare since the ordered one won’t arrive until later this week. Fabulous. And don’t ask how much it’s going to cost because it makes me want to cry to just think about it.)

My mom leaves on Tuesday, and I am totally terrified of being alone in the house after that. (Well, not alone, but I’ll be the only adult on the premises.) Dave offered to fly home early, but I told him not to. I miss him terribly, and yes, selfishly I absolutely do want him to come home right now. But I also know that this is his last chance to get some one-on-one family time before the baby comes, and he’s been needing this vacation for a long time.

I might ask my brother to come back again next weekend. Or maybe Catie and I will take a road trip someplace on our own. I haven’t decided, but I’m pretty sure that we need to do Something Fun to snap ourselves out of this funk.

home invasion

So, my mom got in late last night, as I mentioned. Catie was totally psyched to see her Mimi, and instead of being tired (as she should have been at 10 p.m.), instead she was totally wired and hyper.

Rockin' some serious fashion at the airport.

So, we got home and didn’t get Catie in bed until sometime around 11:15. My mom and I sat at the kitchen table talking for a little while after that, and I collapsed in bed a little after midnight.

I had an OB appointment at 10 a.m. today, so I got up, got dressed, and got ready to leave while my mom and Catie settled in on the couch to watch a movie together. Only when I was ready to walk out the door… I couldn’t find my purse. Which was weird, because I always leave it in the kitchen – usually on the table or a chair.

My mom and Catie helped me look (Catie likes to use her “I’m a good finder!” street cred; she has found Dave’s lost glasses and keys more times than I can count), but we couldn’t find my purse anywhere. My mom said she remembered seeing it in the kitchen right next to hers, because we both have black purses.

I went outside to double-check that I hadn’t left it in the car, and that’s when I noticed that the garage door was open and the door from the garage to the house was unlocked. Apparently the previous night, I’d been so tired that I hadn’t thought to double-check all the locks like I usually do. (Dave usually checks them when he’s home, but since he’s been gone, I’ve been extra vigilant about it. Or at least I had been, until the exhaustion kicked in on Tuesday night.)

Then we realized that my mom’s purse was gone too.

I called the local police department. They sent an officer over. He said he was surprised that someone would come in the house, because in this area, typically most crime is just teenagers looking for cash, so they’ll check cars to see if they can find any unlocked doors and then grab what they can. Coming into somebody’s house definitely kicks it up a notch, because how do the thieves know if we have an alarm system, or a dog, or maybe just a pissed-off homeowner with a gun? He also said that usually with purses, they shake them out to grab what they want (the wallet or the cash inside it), then ditch the purse because they don’t want to get caught with it later. He walked around outside and checked our neighbors’ yards and and trash cans to look for any discarded purses. No luck there.

The big issue? My keys were in the purse. And Dave’s keys are with him in England. So I was essentially stranded. And there are thieves out there now, who have keys to my house and both of our cars.

OH! And! When the cop and I went out into the driveway together, I noticed that the driver’s door on Dave’s car was ajar, and I know for a fact that it was locked. So apparently they used my keys to open his car and check to see if there was anything worth stealing in there. (There wasn’t, thankfully.)

The Subaru dealership brought me a replacement key for my car for a whopping $10 (they took checks without photo ID, bless them), and my mom and I disconnected the battery leads on Dave’s car, so if the thieves come back and try to steal it, it won’t start. (Dave’s car is parked in the driveway, mine is inside the garage, and therefore a little safer.) I considered putting a note on the steering wheel, like, “Hahaha! Good luck, mother f*ckers!”, just in case they come back and try to steal the car. But my mom suggested that maybe it’s not a good idea to antagonize the bad guys. She’s probably right.

Anyway, with my new car key in hand, I got my birth certificate and social security card from the “Important Documents DO NOT LOSE!” envelope upstairs, and I set off for the DMV. I got a replacement driver’s license, and that plus my PIN number allowed me get some cash out of our bank account.

I had a locksmith come out and replace all the locks on all the doors of the house. He also took checks without a photo ID, so God bless him too.

My mom and I basically spent the rest of the day calling credit card companies, health insurance companies, AAA, and everything else imaginable to get all of our cards replaced. Between the two of us, we had about $500 in cash (I had just gotten $200 from the ATM that day, my mom had $300 for travel stuff). So that’s a total loss.

Oh, and since my mom’s wallet was taken? She has no photo ID to get on a plane to go home next week. We haven’t quite figured out what to do about that yet. I once had my wallet stolen and used a copy of the police report to board a plane, but that was pre-9/11, so I have no idea if that would work now. We’re going to call the TSA tomorrow to find out what she needs to do.

I had to call Dave in the UK to tell him what was going on, since I was going to have to cancel some credit cards and most of ours are on joint accounts (luckily we still have different card numbers, so the credit card companies were able to just cancel mine and leave his alone). I think I probably scared the crap out of him when he answered the phone and I was crying. He was so freaked out that something was wrong with me or the baby, I think he was relieved to find out that it was just money.

And in the end, it IS just money. A huge inconvenience, to be sure, but it’s not the end of the world. We’re all ok. The main thing is that I am totally freaked out that people were inside my house while we were asleep upstairs. It’s basically my worst fear come true. What if they hadn’t been only looking for a quick cash grab? What could have happened to us? Even with all new locks (and the fact that I’ve checked each of them at least 5 times tonight), I’m still totally wigged out. I took a whole Unisom tonight (instead of my usual half) in the hopes of knocking myself out.

And before anyone asks, my Next Major Purchase? Will most definitely be a home alarm system.

I’m also now considering getting a very large dog. Or maybe a pet puma. Something mean and scary.

on the plus side, at least I'm not crazy

Last night, I woke up sometime around 1 a.m., and our power was out. That struck me as weird, since we weren’t having any bad weather or anything like that.

Then I noticed strobe lights reflecting all over our bedroom. I wondered if I was still dreaming? Or maybe I was hallucinating? Is this a common pregnancy symptom that I somehow missed? Was I about to be abducted by aliens? WHAT was going on?

I got out of bed and stumbled over to the window. At first it looked like a police car’s blue lights were inside my neighbor’s house. That made no sense, so I rubbed my eyes and looked again, and realized that I was looking at a reflection in their windows. I looked to the right, to our nearest intersection (we live in the second house in our subdivision, so the intersection is close) and I saw police cars, fire trucks, and rescue vehicles all over the street.

Of course, because pregnant ladies are known for being completely sane and rational, my first thought was, “hey, what if it’s that urban myth about the axe murderer who knocks out the power to the whole street before he goes on a killing spree? And maybe the cops are here to catch him? Should I go downstairs and make sure that all of our doors are locked? Or wake up Dave and send him outside to investigate?”

Then I decided that was the Unisom talking and I needed to go back to bed.

I woke up again around 3-something, because that’s the hour Baby 2.0 has designated as her In Utero Dance Party (seriously, EVERY. NIGHT.), and our power was back on, but the cop cars were still outside. Weird.

I asked Dave this morning if he had noticed all that, and he said that he heard a loud bang and assumed that a transformer blew. He didn’t notice anything with the police cars and lights because he was asleep.

I checked the news this morning and found out that apparently some drunk idiot hit a utility pole. Based on the pictures of that truck, I can’t believe that his injuries were “non-life threatening.” Crazy.

And I have to say, it is really weird to see your street on the map of a local news story.

But hey, at least I’m not hallucinating, so there’s that.