Sunday, March 19, 2006

Pain Is Such A Pain

I never thought pain could be such a pain. I mean, I never thought it would be such a pain to have pain.

Okay, I'm totally not making sense here. Sorry. I'm kinda a pain right now. I mean, I'm kinda in pain right now.

I've gone through two labors and deliveries with no meds or cheat codes. When I play a game, I play it to play it; not skip to the end.

Labor is by far the worst most horribly painful predicament any person can be in but delivery tops them all. Yet no matter how awful L&D are, it's still not that bad because you know there is a purpose for all that pain.

But, when you have pain and there is no obvious reason for it, you begin to wonder what is evolving in your body.

Once I had my first gallbladder attack just days after my first delivery and my first labor of my first child and that pain even topped L&D. Yet, once I knew what the pain was (a miniscule stone traveling merrily down a fine, narrow passage -- no biggie), what was causing it (pregnancy hormones and butter on my bread -- no biggie either) and that it indeed could end eventually (30 minutes tops), I braced myself and handled the pain like a brave, wounded, soldier.

And then the pain ended. It returned several times but it always ended. As long as it always ended, it didn't bother me as much as it would've had it not ended for once. That would've been bad.

It's weird how the onset of pain can come on us.

Like the other morning. I got out of bed and began to make my bed like I do every morning. Some mornings, Toby is there to make the bed with me but this particular morning, he happened to not be in the room. I think he likes to sneak out of bed before we partake in our solemn tradition of sacredly replacing wrinkled sheets and comforters with an attire that is more fitting and attractive on our bed. Toby always argues that there is no use in doing something that is just going to be redone at the end of the day. Though I agree that there may be some logic to his thinking, I counter-argue with the fact that laundry has the same predicament. With that said, he speechlessly and defeatedly makes his side of the bed.

So, like I was saying, I was making our bed one morning; nothing real exciting or excruciating. Suddenly I felt an ache in the lower right portion of my back.

I mused over my finding and attributed it to the fact that I was coming down with a bladder infection (sorry for having to include that disgusting fact but it really is a fact). I chalked it up to the fact that I had dealt with strikingly serious signs of a UTI all night and maybe I indeed did have a problem that needed to be treated.

Before I even got out of my room that morning, I knew I was in pain for a bad reason. By that evening, I was on the miracle pills prescribed by my doctor and totally pain free at last. It was wonderful to see the sky so blue and the grass so green again. Wait, I think it was dark out by then so I guess the sky wasn't exactly blue, but you know what I mean.

By the next evening, the pain had returned though not as intense. It has remained returned ever since and has increased in intensity at varying intervals. And I have no idea why or what is causing this.

So, this is the end of my pain story although the pain still has not ended. It's strange how the unknown makes things harder to understand. Even things like pain are increased when we don't know the reason for it. I've had headaches and stomachaches worse than this -- even backaches that were worse, but they always had a reason. This one leaves me clueless.

Well, this is a totally pointless post and probably quite a pain to come to by blog and see it updated only to have it end in such a painstaking way. I guess that's life though. You never know when something will end up being a pain!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Love Language

The Five Love Languages

My primary love language is probably
Words of Affirmation
with a secondary love language being
Physical Touch.

Complete set of results

Words of Affirmation: 10
Physical Touch: 9
Receiving Gifts: 5
Quality Time: 4
Acts of Service: 2


Unhappiness in relationships, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. Sometimes we don't understand our partner's requirements, or even our own. We all have a "love tank" that needs to be filled in order for us to express love to others, but there are different means by which our tank can be filled, and there are different ways that we can express love to others.

Take the quiz

The Men Language

Before I got married, I figured just as long as I married a guy that spoke English, I wouldn't have to become a bi-lingual person. Not that I don't think it would be cool to speak 2 languages, it's just that I never thought I'd have to learn another language if I married someone that spoke English.

I was wrong.

Toby happens to know a large percentage of 4 languages: English, Spanish, Creole French and Men. I'm not sure which one he majors the most in but I know for sure it's not Spanish or Creole. He can also say "shut up" in all four of the above languages as well as in 3 other foreign tongues. He's a well rounded speaker, if I do say so myself, but I'm lucky to understand English let alone an entire new language.

Except for the Men language. I've learned that one pretty well.

If you're single and reading this, you're probably puzzled by the "Men" language I listed above. If you're married, you probably already have the rest of this blog written in your head so therefore have skipped to the end of this post and are on to reading other things. In either case, the Men language is worth discussing because of the intricate details of this mysterious and delicate tongue.

One thing I'll clear up right at the start is that the Men language is not just spoken and understood by the masculine population of our society. It is a well rounded and easily adjusted to dialect that most anyone can learn to communicate in -- whether male or female.

Although, I will say that the sooner you understand this language, the better.

For instance, when a man says he is not hungry and it happens to be supper time, he isn't saying he doesn't want to eat. A woman that understands the Men language will take this cue to mean that he wants to pick out his food for supper. And a wise woman will have a detailed list of food in her cupboards, pantry, fridge and freezer and will present the choices in an organized manner.

If he still says he's not hungry, all you have to do is gently pry a bit deeper. Then, he'll say, "If we have a frozen pizza, just make that."

You've just hit the jack pot.

If you don't believe me, make the pizza, cut it up and only take one piece for yourself. You won't have to worry about left-overs because the man who said he wasn't hungry 20 minutes ago, is ravegly consuming his dinner.

When a man says he is tired, he strongly means all three of those words: he is tired. End of story. That doesn't mean he wants to go for a relaxing walk, or that he wants to take a long, hot bath, or that he wants to snuggle with the kids on the couch and it definitely doesn't mean he wants to go shopping tonight and wait in the car and nap while you quick run in. It only means that he wants to go to bed and will actually completely and fully go to bed right then. You'll be lucky to get him to take his work pants off before slipping between the white, clean sheets. So don't even mention a shower.

If you ever have limited pantry space and mention to your man that you can't even take some of the groceries out of the bag because there is no shelf space, don't expect your Mr. Fixit to plan on building you a bigger pantry next Saturday.

But, if you say that you need more shelves built in the pantry, plan on your Saturday being booked with household repairs. You won't even have to say, "Please build me some shelves" because men who actively use the Men language don't need to be begged with polite manners when you make a need known in an obvious way. ("I need shelves built.")

If you want the lawn mowed because it's been 6 weeks since your man mowed it last and you fear that you may need to rent a combine in order to harvest the foot long plants growing where your grass used to grow, never say to your man, "the grass is getting really long" and expect him to pull the mower out that evening and get the job done.

But, if you say, "You'll need to mow the grass tonight, honey," he'll get to the job before even bringing his lunch box in when he gets home from work.

If you want to skip out on making supper and you casually hint that maybe it should be "hubby cooks supper" night, don't expect to get out of making food. Men totally don't get that hint. They also don't get it when women say that they don't feel like cooking tonight. Men just assume that whether you feel like it or not, the job always gets done.

But, if you want results, you have to say, "Honey, do you think we could go out for supper tonight?" You'll be getting the kids ready to leave in short order and supper will be the last thing you'll have to worry about that night.

Men are straight-forward-don't-beat-around-the-bush kind of people. Women are sissies. We can't seem to make up our minds about anything and have this uncanny way of pussy-footing around everything. And then we sit their and complain and pout that our husbands don't understand us or care when really, WE don't understand them.

Like when I tell Toby that the kids are up from taking their naps, all I get is the sound of another page turning in the book he's reading.

If I say, "Honey, you can get the kids out of their beds if you want," he'll not even finish the paragraph he's reading and have both of the kids downstairs in no time.

Then if I say, "Did you change Landon's diaper?" and expect him to take that cue to mean, his diaper is wet, please change it, I'll be one frustrated woman.

But, if I say, "Can you change Landon's diaper please?" I may get a debate (most men loath soiled diapers) but I'll at least get a response of some kind.

Just this afternoon, I wanted to know when to have supper ready for this evening. I called Toby and asked when he was coming home from work. He acted as if I was blaming him for doing something wrong by being gone to work today or that I was expecting him home right then.

"I just want to know," I said, trying to help him see I wasn't accusing him of neglect or anything. He also needed to know I wasn't expecting him to come home right now.

He hemmed and hawed and sighed and groaned and wondered.

Finally he pin points a time and I hear, "Anywhere between five o' clock and six thirty."

Now, if I didn't know Men language, I would stew and worry and wring my hands in frustration because I wouldn't know what anywhere between five o' clock and six thirty means.

But, since I happen to be well skilled and versed in this mysterious Men language, I know full well that Toby won't be home until after seven o'clock Central.

And I won't be hurt or feel abandoned or mis-lead when the clock is far past six thirty and still no husband. Because, time is another thing that you learn to understand different as well when you live with a man that uses Men language.

I bet you didn't know there is more than just the Central Time Zone in the mid-west, did you? When you live with a man, you learn to tell time in whole new way.

And the sooner you learn that time, the less suppers you will burn.


At 4:40pm, I called Toby to see if he had another time pin pointed down when he was coming home.

You see, men have this ability to alter and change their schedules in short notice and without regret. Woman have this ability to conform. Yes, we honestly have that ability somewhere. When I find it, I'll let you know. Because for now, I'm scrambling to get supper ready in 10 minutes.

Seriously, he said he'd be home in 10 minutes.

So much for my seven o'clock theory...

(And men think women can't make up their minds. HA! We can't help it because we get it from living with them.)

I'll keep you updated though. 10 minutes in the English language and 10 minutes in the Men language don't always mean the same thing. 10 Men minutes very unlikely ever means ten, sixty second minutes. If that were the case, he'd be home at 4:50pm.

And that's in 3 minutes. (in the English language.)

Later still...

He came in the door at 4:53pm. Now I know that anywhere between five o' clock and six thirty can mean anywhere around five o' clock and six thirty.

It still could mean seven o' clock on another day.

As A Mother Careth For Her Children

Janae was clumsily attempting to crawl towards me this afternoon but the loose legs of her outfit were keeping her from making full strides. I could tell she was getting frustrated with it even though she wasn't hollering. Yet.

She had almost made it to me when she really started getting tangled. Her sounds of relief were so cute as I reached down and put my hands out towards her.

But, she surprised me.

Instead of just stopping where she was and putting her hands out, she made one last attempt to close the distance between us.

I put my hands closer to her. Just inches from her face.

She was excited about the prospect of sitting on my lap and her happy grunts and bobbing head showed her anticipating. Still, she worked harder against what was holding her back. She began to trip and slip. But, she wouldn't lift her hands.

Finally, in order to keep her pretty little face from smashing into the floor because of the way she was tripping and slipping, I put my hands under her arms and pulled her up.

With squeals of delight and relief, she snuggled into my shoulder.

I wondered how many times as a child of God, do I do that to my Father. How may times do I try to fix my problems before I go back to Him? How many times do I try to prove to myself, others and God that I can do things myself?

But by His grace, I too would smash my pretty little face into things more vicious than a carpeted floor. Thankfully, He too reaches for me and covers me with His love.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Quote Of The Day

This evening when I affectionately asked Toby if he loved me, he enchantingly drummed up a tone of voice that indicated he was in the most romantic of moods. He poetically inclined his tongue into an ever increasing volume of feeling and responded with,

"Does a toad love his own warts?"

(oh my, this is getting sweet...)

"Does a vulture love his own vomit?"

(I am thoroughly touched by now...)

"Of course I love you honey!"

Let me tell you, I was touched and never felt so loved in my life.

Who Wears The Pants?

The absence of my husband's companionship the entire week he was gone, gave me new light and appreciation for the man I call mine. His little quirks, habits, tendencies and even what could be annoyances, have all opened up to a new perspective for me. And I appreciate him all the more because of what and who he really is.

Just before he left, I got a book from the library called, "How To Live With A Man" and the subtitles concluded the title with, "And Love It." Toby found it next to our bed one night and picked it up and browsed through it. His only comment was, "How would you like it if I got a book that said 'how to live with a woman?' "

I sympathized with his hurt feelings but assured him that if he got a book that at all related to some of the concepts of this book I had about living with a man, I as the woman would actually be made the happier.

The book fully addressed the need for women to let their men be MEN and to let them live happily in their own house. And not just to tolerate their habits and tendencies but to use their typical "that's-just-men-for-you" way of doing things, as lovely and positive aspects to your relationship and home life. It teaches you the importance of appreciating all the different aspects of your husband's character and personality.

Believe me, if I caught Toby reading a book that said, "How To Live With A Woman And Love It," I would feel like one special woman. From him reading a book like that, he'd make it so there'd be breakfast in bed every Saturday morning, surprise shopping trips every weekend, grilled supper every Friday night, romantic walks in the sunset, a vase of roses on my bedside table every time I had a cold, sweet text messages on my cell phone every afternoon we were apart and a back rub every night after he'd get home from work. Not that he doesn't already do all those things but you know what I mean.

One chapter in the book discussed the ways you can get even the most stubborn husband to change his style of clothing and even eventually change over his entire ward robe. I thought that idea was only possible for men who let their women rule the roost so merely read the chapter for kicks.

At the end of that silly chapter, I was blissfully renewed with hope and assurance that even the most submissive wife can tweak her husband's clothing habits to suit her own taste yet equally make him think he's still the one in charge of his dresser and closet.

Toby is not one to give much thought to the latest styles and trends typical for guys his age and stature. When it comes to clothes, he doesn't care. Or so he says. He doesn't like clothes shopping and doesn't really get too excited when I come home with a new shirt or pair of pants for him. I don't even get a thanks but I really don't mind because as long as he'll wear what I bring him, I'm happy. I've found that he does really care about what he wears although he'll rant and rave that he really doesn't give it much thought.

He's particularly picky about some things and no amount of persuading, begging, flattering or admiring can change what he likes and doesn't like. He just rolls his eyes and goes back to his book when I tell him how nice he looks in his new shirt or pants.

And when it comes to pants, he's unusually and alarmingly opinionated.

All our married life, I have striven to encourage him to see that men with his height and length must wear long pants. They don't make those pants for short people so obviously, those long pants are for people with above average height. Like him.

I'll never forget the first time I told him this. After I falsely assured myself he understood mine and the rest of society's stand on this whole deal, I went out and bought him 36" length pants, thinking the whole time he would really appreciate my efforts. I didn't think I was going out on a limb here, but it turned out, I went out on a very long limb.

Many of his pre-marriage pants were actually 32" length and for a man standing 6' 4", that just doesn't quite fit the bill. (or the leg, for that matter.)

After shopping forever for pants 36" long, I finally found a dusty pair at the bottom of the stack of pants in the far back corner of the store. It wasn't quite that primitive but I was surprised at the lengths I had to go to in finding long pants. I inwardly assumed that the reason he just stuck with 32" or 34" pants was because they were much easier to find.

I was excited about my find after searching for so long and at the first opportunity I had to entice Toby to try these pants on (he hates trying on clothes because as you remember, he doesn't care much about clothing), I snatched it up and kindly persuaded him.

Shocked and surprised were my feelings when he loosely shuffled out the door and unhappily modeled his pants for me. What I thought fit on the length, he thought was way too big. I realized that Toby didn't like his pants to even threaten to touch the floor so therefore, anything longer than capris, were not well suited to his taste.

I admitted the waist was too big but he overwhelmingly described in great lengths that by far the length was way too long. To me, the pants looked to comfortably brush on the floor when I cinched the waist up to where it should've been had I gotten the correct waist size. (It's amazing how much an inch can make.) I also assumed that with the usual pair of shoes on his feet, his pant's hem would narrowly miss the floor due to resting on the top of shoes. He stressed that it was great disturbance to walk on one's hem and therefore he would not wear such excessive amounts of denim on his pants.

"So, I have to take them back?" I asked with a lump in my throat.

"I'm not going to wear these," he assured me with a tone that said he was still the one who wore the pants in the family.

Having said all that, I was anxious to try the tips out in that book about changing my husband's pants size. In his great and terrible absence for a week, I used one evening to load up the kids and browse a shopping center that I heard had nice men's pants.

After searching for 2 hours at one store, I finally found a dusty pair of Levi's in the far back corner of the store. They were sort of that "dirty denim" look but didn't have any of those stylish holes and rips. They were made out of a dark blue denim and had faint high lights of brown in them ultimately giving them more of that dirty look but still staying very classy. They were very suave, handsome and manly pants and the exact style and size Toby needed. They even sported a classy "36" on the tag and I was overly thrilled about that number although somewhat discouraged by the number on the overly priced price tag the pants also sported. To me, it was worth it to pay for that extra 2" of denim though.

When Toby arrived home, I was just as anxious to have him try those pants on as I was to greet him with a kiss. The first opportunity he had, I made him try them on. He did and he actually liked them. He actually liked the length. I kept telling him they were "thirty-sixes" and he kept saying they looked nice. He honestly, actually liked them. I couldn't believe it and still can't.

I'm not sure what I did right about what the book said but whatever I did, worked. He's happy and I'm happy too. Not that I wasn't happy with 34" pants but to me a tall man should always wear long pants. Especially if he's my husband. I mean, everyone knows that even though the husband pays for the pants, the wife always buys them. What would people think of me when they saw my husband tramping around in high waters?

Hardly a day since, has he worn any other jeans except for those 36" Levi's. I'm anxiously excited about the prospects I may have to further his ward robe reconstruction although I will maintain a submissive awareness that at any moment, he may catch on to my advances and entirely disarm all my new found designing on his side of the closet. But I'll never forget the miracle of the 36" Levi's.

And even if he does catch on and authoritatively remind me who wears the pants around here, that's okay because I love learning how to live with a man. Especially one that wears such nice pants.