Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'd like to quite Garth

Garth Brooks, that is.  "I'm much too young to feel this damn old."

My birthday was yesterday, big 28.  Whoop de doo, right?  Once you hit 21, the only birthdays that are big are 30, 40, 50, etc.  Those aren't fun birthdays for most people, considering it's a sign that you are just getting older.  I have said since I turned 25, I can't wait to be 30.  My 25th birthday brought me many things--but it was the first birthday I shared with my now husband.  We had been dating for a couple of weeks and my dad made a bunch of burgers and had our family and a few friends over.  It was sort of like the big, "Hey family, meet my boyfriend" event.   We had a blast all together and my nephew and my daughter all played together well.    For those of you who don't know or didn't read, my daughter isn't really my daughter.  She is my husband's daughter from a previous relationship (not marriage), but you will never ever ever hear me call her my stepdaughter.   Alesi (pronounced uh-lacy) was 2 years old when I met her blue eyed smiling giggly self.  She called me mom like the 5th time we were together, and while it freaked me out--it never bothered me.

Her biological mother, who I refer to as the incubator or egg donor, walked out on my husband and her own flesh and blood daughter when she was just a year old or so.  My husband told her in no way shape or form could she take Alesi, because she was in a very bad place.  That's a story for another day, but that's not what this blog is about.   Anyways, my 25th birthday was the first one we spent as a family; Joe, Alesi and I.

My 28th birthday was the first birthday we spent as a married family.  It started off rocky with a torrential downpour but it let up into a sprinkle with the sun shining thru.  This is my first birthday without my grandfather, who was like a second dad to me.  The rain, I felt, was a gift from him. He was showing me that even tho he wasn't physically here on my birthday--he was with me in spirit.  I smiled up at the sky and went on my way.  I had a couple of job interviews as I am currently unemployed and looking for a job like a mad woman.    Later in the day I met with two girlfriends of mine for coffee where they spoiled me with the nicest of gifts.  I truly have the world's most amazing friends.  They knew exactly what to do to brighten my day. 

Then last night, I went with my in laws, hubby, daughter and my dad to eat supper.  My mom is in Canada on a convention so that's the only reason she wasn't there with us.  It was a great time and another friend of mine also came with her son to supper with all of us. My first married birthday was a success, even though times are incredibly tough, financially speaking.  I'm hoping things turn around and soon, but until then I'll keep hitting the grind to find a job.   

This morning I woke up early as hubby had already left for work and baby girl had spent the night at my in laws, I hit the ground running.  I put laundry to wash, started cleaning up the house for our bday bbq tonight and hit the grocery store.  I was half way thru thrift shopping on morning reduced meat when I got a frantic call from my MIL.   I could barely understand what she was saying until she said she thought she was having a heart attack.  I literally ran out of the store and called 911.  I knew her father died at an early age of a heart attack and they had a long family line of heart attacks at a young age in their family.  I sped like a wild woman to her house about 10 minutes away, if that long.  I got there and my child was in hysterics. She thought her Meme was dying and the fire dept was there talking to her and getting some vitals and such.

My husband is the VP at the local firehouse so I knew a few of the guys there on scene.  They were waiting for the ambulance to arrive as they agreed she needed to be checked out by the ER.  I called my husband to tell him what was going on and also called my FIL--both of them at work.  Then came the ambulance with wonderful paramedics and off we went to the hospital.  Her pain went from a 10 for the firemen, to a 9 to the paramedics to a 3 at the hospital. I was thinking maybe it was something else.  What bothered me was that she said the pain radiated down her left arm.  Back in 2001, my dad had a massive heart attack and her symptoms were exactly what my dad had but his pain hadn't ever let up. 

Meanwhile, my FIL and my SIL show up and SIL and I wait outside of the room with Alesi to keep out of the nurses way.   FIL was in there with her and maybe 10 minutes later, the pain came again.  There went the nurses and Dr,  into her room. An EKG and a chest Xray later proved she had indeed had a mild heart attack and they sent her to the cath lab.  I thought for sure they wouldn't find any blockages.Turns out--she had 3 major blockages of 90% or higher.  The minor heart attack at first set off an alarm of sorts in her body and they were able to put stints in to take care of the blockages while in the cath lab. 

So MIL is currently now in CCU and resting comfortably.

I am just much too young to feel this damn old.  I feel like a 50 year old woman right now.  Seeing my MIL go thru this, just really made me realize I'm not getting any younger.  One day, this may happen to me!  She is only 51, so very young for this.  

I'm going take a nap and hopefully wake up not feeling so drained.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Artist's work

Originally uploaded by jlbergeron
My sweet precious five year old daughter is in love with "doing artwork" as she calls it. In the living room, kept in a lined wicker basket with a lid sits her markers, crayons, pens, stamps, ink pads, etc for her to do artwork. See, I'm a mean mommy and won't let her do artwork in her room as I'm afraid she'll have multicolored carpet in a matter of a week. She does her artwork on her table in the living room on our tile floor in case she spills or something, it'll be easier to clean up. PLus I can supervise her and she's learned the right way to close her markers and such and keeps it fairly neat.

She learned how to write my name probably a year and a half ago or so. I wrote it maybe 2 or 3 times on her art easel. Santa brought her a wooden Melissa and Doug art easel for christmas in 2008. Oh that was probably one of the best gifts she ever received, next to our Puppy Jack that she got the same year. I saw it on Amazon before christmas for a whopping $22 with free shipping (retails for up to $50) so I snagged it really quick. Point being is that I wrote the shortened version of my name a handful of times for her and she has never ever forgotten it. She asked today if she could make some artwork so of course I said that was fine. She sneakily asked me if I liked rabbits or horses more and I told her rabbits. She stamped the inside of the card with her bunny stamps, another Melissa and Doug wonder. They make wooden stamp sets that I think her Aunt Christy bought her for her birthday or Christmas one year, and she wears those bad boys out as well. She also drew me inside the card and then wrote the above shown words on the card and gave it to me as an early birthday card.

She makes me a card probably once or twice a week but this one just seemed more special to me. She thought about what I would like and asked me what I would prefer without telling me why she was asking me. She did something for me that she knew I would like. My child really is turning into a mini me, and for that I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Introductions, my dear

I guess I should start at the beginning if I'm going to do this right, eh? Ready? Ok, let's go ya'll.

Here I am at age 2 I think.

Way back in 1982, this sweet couple had a baby girl. It was their last baby, and boy would she turn out to be fun! I'm fun, right? Oh you don't know yet. Trust me, sit back and wait for it. I'll show you fun. Anyways, my parents were sweet enough to raise me to be a spit-firing go-getting young lady. I am the baby of the family, having an older brother and then two older sisters. One of my sister's passed away at birth and the other, well I don't talk to her. There is a long story behind it, but she is nothing like me and for that I am always wondering. I still joke that my mom must have had relations with the Schwann's man and just kept my sister around. I kid. That's not funny, I know. I grasp at straws often to figure out how she could be the person she is today being raised by my parents. I think my parents are truly wonderful, amazing people. They had me at age 36 and boy was I ever a big surprise. My mom always said she didn't expect me to happen, but she loves that God gave me to her and my daddy.

Yes I am almost 28 and still call my father, Daddy. Deal with it. It's the South and I'm proud to call him Daddy. I'll call him Daddy until I'm dead and gone.

Anyways, I was born into a traditional cajun family. My dad's dad passed away long before I was born and his mom lived until I was 24. She only spoke cajun french for the first 10 years of my life and was mean as sin. My daddy will agree to this. He took on many odd jobs as a kid to save enough money to get out of his house. My mom, well her parents are a different story. Paw Paw and Granny lived right around the corner from us and they were basically a second set of parents to me. I was incredibly close to both of them growing up. My Paw Paw was one of my heroes, second only to my Daddy. They were sweet grandparents and spoiled us all rotten. Paw Paw just passed away last November, a mere 2 weeks after I got married. I was heart broken and still tear up at times thinking of him. I made a deal with God when I got engaged in 2008. I told him that as long as he kept Paw Paw on this Earth to see me get married, he could have him after. His story comes later, but for now please know he is a special man to me and I wish I could have one more day with him.

So back to my parents, eh? They are good cajun people. My dad worked offshore my entire life, 7 days at home and 7 days offshore. I never knew any other lifestyle and it worked for us. I have the best childhood memories of family outings, trips, and just every day things. Daddy and I have always been close, and it hasn't changed even today. Here I am with Daddy as a toddler

Here I am with my Daddy on my wedding day this past October

He just is an amazing man. He could fix anything, do anything, all while being the best father and husband on Earth. I hold him in my highest regards and I don't ever see that changing, ever.

My mom, oh she is such a good woman. She was a stay at home mom, before that phrase was coined. She was a typical house wife and could do it all. She could sew, cook, referee, play baseball, scrub floors, and keep me from breaking my arm all at once. The two times she wasn't watching, I broke my arms. I blame my sister on one of those, but the other. Oh the other broken arm was out of sheer excitement that my mom was home from a meeting. My mom rarely wasn't there while I was awake. She had a meeting once and I was so excited for her to return. I took off running down the hall to greet her and tripped and fell right before I got to her. Oh yes, hairline fracture right at the elbow going up. Oh lawd have mercy, that was the longest needle ever they had to give me. I don't even know why the heck they put a needle in my arm but I still have nightmares about that needle.

This is my momma and yep, I call her momma. I don't call her Mom and if my daughter calls me Mom again in that way, I might smack her. You know, the "Mooooooooom" stretching out that short O forever. Anyways, her is my momma (and my Daddy) on my wedding day. Lots of pretty pictures from that day!

She is my rock and one of my best friends. I talk to her probably every day. I treasure her opinion now, but I sure didn't way back in the day. She really knows her stuff, and I'm just realizing that. I don't always listen to her but if I did, well life would be perfect wouldn't it?

I am the perfect blend of my parents. I got my daddy's eyes and cookin' skills, and I got my mom's spit fire ways along with her tenacity to do anything my mind is set on. I got some bad qualities from them but that's just my thighs and my acne scarred face. Ehn, well life ain't perfect is it?

I had the story book child hood, well to me I did. We didn't have much money but we never wanted for anything in our family. I grew up, got good grades thru school and decided on a whim my senior year of HS to go out of town to college. I knew my senior year of HS that I didn't want to live in our small town for the rest of my life. I wanted bigger and better things. I never really put much consideration into where I'd go before, but I knew I'd leave our one horse town. I think I always thought I'd go to our local college, Nicholls State University, but that wasn't where I felt the need to go. I set my eyes on LSU and attained it. I graduated with honors in HS and sailed thru school. I worked at the mall at the ice cream shop for my junior and senior yr of HS to save for college and a car. I couldn't get to Baton Rouge without a set of wheels, right? Once graduating from HS, I took a job at a grocery store to be a cashier. That summer was one I'll always remember. I broke up with my HS sweetheart because he was a jackass. I got a brand new car. I highlighted my hair for the first time. I was the skinniest I ever remember being. Life was pretty darn good.

In August of 2000, my parents moved me into Graham Hall on LSU's campus. Dorm living was the way for me. At that time, all incoming freshmen had to stay their first year on campus. At least I think that's how it went. I transfered to the local grocery store near campus and worked 25 hours a week all while attending college. I worked more and more as time went on and went to work full time while going to school full time. I graduated an entire semester early from college with my Bachelor's of Art in Political Science. Oh how I wish I could go back and change my major. I wanted to go to law school. I was dead set on it. Until I sat in a class one day at LSU Law and decided there was no way in Haiti I was going to law school.

Instead, I applied for jobs and got hired on at the now defunct Hibernia Bank. I worked there for almost 2 years, until I couldn't take that anymore. I then worked temporarily for Your Other Warehouse, then got hired on full time a few months into my temp job. I worked there until October of 2005 when I moved to NYC. I moved to NYC to be with my boyfriend at the time. I worked for a small dot com company there and loved my job, most of the time. I lived in NYC until March of 2007 when I decided the relationship was over. Thankfully, my boss let me keep my job as they just started allowing people to work remotely. I moved back in with my parents to the small town of Houma that I swore I'd never live in again. It was so weird living in my childhood home with my parents at age 25. I hadn't lived there in 7 years, boy was it weird! I worked 50 hours a week at least and spent time with friends I hadn't gotten to spend time with in a long time. I had sworn off men and was completely Ok with being Single Jess. Single Jess was fun, care free, and energetic.

My friend Bethany and I made plans to go to Jazzfest that May. After all, I was almost 25 and I wanted to experience NOLA like I never had. We bought tickets and the night before we were set to go, I got sick. I got so ill that I was having chest pains that I thought were mere symptoms of a heart attack. My mom had to call the ambulance to come get me to bring me to the hospital. I waited in the hallway of our hospital for 12 hours on a gourney, before finally being evaluated. Turns out after 14 hours, they realized I was healthy and the only thing to explain the episode was a gall bladder issue. A surgeon my Daddy knows and trusts took one look at my chart then at me and said, "You need your gall bladder out and NOW!" On Cinco De Mayo of 2007, I had my gall bladder removed.

My parents took good care of me that week and by the following Saturday, I was going stir crazy. I had been in the same house for 7 days and hadn't seen much sun or fun for an entire week. I called my girlfriend Sherrie and asked what she was up to. She invited me over to a impromptu BBQ at her house, which she lived with her parents at the time as well. I called up my friend Bethany and said, "bring me, please!" and she brought me. That faithful afternoon was one I will never forget.

I met my in laws there that day, only I didn't know they'd eventually become my in laws. A and R (in laws) were complaining about their "no good, lazy son that was a single dad who did nothing but party and go out." I joked and asked if they had seen the move Failure to Launch. I told them for the low low price of $50, I'd whip their son right in shape. She got out her cell phone, dialed her son Joe up, and handed the phone to me. Thank God I got his voicemail and left something to the effect of, "Hey there big boy. Thanks for last night. I'll cook you supper one night as repayment. However, you need to move out of your parents' house already and put your big boy underwear on. " When I got off the phone, my girlfriend Sherrie looked at me wide eyed and asked if I knew who I had just left a voicemail for. I shrugged and said no clue, I didn't know him. She corrected me, and told me I did. Turns out, we all went to HS together. She told me his name and I immediately wanted to take back what I just did. This was him in HS:

I remember him walking with his chest out like a rooster in HS even worse was that he walked on his tip toes sort of. Cue shock and nerves when he called his mom right back to ask her who left that VM on his phone. He hadn't answered his phone since he didn't want to talk to his mom but listened to the VM and was curious. I made sign for her not to tell him my name and he was very adamant that he wanted to know who I was. I wasn't having any of that, but I relented and told her she could tell him once I left. I left to head back home and giggled with my friend Bethany the entire way home. I didn't think twice about it until I signed on myspace. I had a message and a friend request on myspace from Joe. I wanted to die. I didn't even want to open the message but reluctantly I did. He was sweet and just said I had a pretty voice or something and he'd like to take me up on the offer on supper but he'd like to take me out. I thought instantly, "Oh no, men aren't on my to-do list this year!" but then I saw his profile picture.

Ok, he wasn't half bad and he looked like fun. Maybe he had learned to overcome the chest poking out and walking on his tip toes. After a lot of correspondence on myspace, I decided to meet him. He had me laughing the entire time and the rest is history. I met his daughter Alesi shortly after that and fell in love her very quickly. How could you not fall in love with this?

We started dating in June of 2007 and wound up moving in together in September or October of 2007. It was quick but we knew what we had was special. At some point in November or so I told Joe that I was nervous to fully attach myself to he and his daughter as he didn't have any legal custody of Alesi. She was starting to call me mommy when they moved in and I discouraged it at first. It freaked me out, big time. Her egg donor, how we refer to her, left her when she was just a little under a year old I think. She is a hot mess and I won't go into anything other than she is a hot mess and Alesi is ten thousand times better off with us than she'd ever be with her egg donor. Joe took my words to heart and hired a lawyer to obtain full custody of Alesi. He offered egg donor supervised visitation but she didn't utilize it much and she finally signed over her rights in full in November of 2008.

So now all walls were down and I fully attached myself to Joe and Alesi. We were a family and did everything together, even since day one. I could count on one hand how many alone dates we had the first 6 months of us dating. In Feb of 2008, we started shopping around for a house to buy. In April of 2008, just three days before our daughter's (I refer to her as our's because she is just as much mine as she is her daddy's now) third birthday, we moved into our own home. It was such a whirlwind of a weekend, but we loved every minute of it AFTER it happened.

There had been talk of us getting engaged but I knew with buying a house, we'd have to save up money first before he could buy a ring. I had to go on a business trip for my job in May of 08 so I spent an entire week in NYC. I was still working for the dot com from home at that time. It was the first time away from both of them for more than a night and I was sort of miserable. I missed the both of them and just wanted to come back home. Little did I know that my wonderful boyfriend at the time had snuck some cash to the side and bought a ring that week I was gone. He asked for my dad's permission and everything. Knowing this after the fact, I was so proud of him.

So I get back from NY and my boyfriend is really sick. So sick that he had to have a PET scan or something and turns out, one year and a week after I had my gall bladder out--he had to have his out. I took care of him after surgery and did what any girlfriend would do. Then just 5 days after surgery was his mom's birthday. She wanted her friends and us to all go out to a local bar/lounge to celebrate. I knew I'd be drinking so we stopped at Arby's en route to drop our daughter off with her grandpa for the night while we went out. While in the drive thru of Arby's, just after ordering supper, my now husband proposed to me. He said he couldn't get down on one knee after just having surgery, but he wanted me to be his wife. My response, "Are you *%(#(ing kidding me?" and cue the tears. I didn't even answer him. I turn around and ask our daughter if she knew what this meant. She looked at me like I had 4 heads and I cried while telling her I would really be her mommy now. My husband asked me if I'd give him an answer and I finally did.

We planned to marry in October of 2009, LSU's only byweek of the season. Yes, I am that die hard of a fan. It's a marriage in heaven because so is my husband. He walked in one day and I asked him how he felt about October 17 and he was like for what, and I asked for our wedding date. He asked who LSU was playing and when I told him it was the byweek, well he grinned like a kid on Christmas morning and said that's why he was marrying me!

The wedding planning was long and fun. I'd do it all over again if I had an endless amount of money. It was a great time and just truly the best wedding I could have ever imagined. However, 6 weeks before we were to marry I got laid off. The man who took over the company I worked for was a twit. I was glad to be let go and that was that.

Now here I am. A stay at home mom and wife, that cooks and cleans and does everything.

That's the short version.

If you got thru this, you deserve a cookie.

Now I'm off to bake said cookies, so give me a minute would ya?

This is me, ya'll.

Forgive me

I've been blogging my life privately for a very long time, 8 years in fact. There has been such a surge of public blogs becoming hip and cool. I've had my own group of readers for a very long time on another site, but I think it's time to branch out. It's time I see what else there is out there.

I'm making the leap onto this site, to write publicly on a vast assortment of things. One day you might read a recipe, other days you might read a rant. It will vary, but one thing I will promise. It will be an interesting ride and some days, you'll need your seat belt. Other days, it might be more like a standstill while cows cross the road. Just be patient and we'll see where this takes us.