Sad Swallowtail

My heart is breaking

I'm sitting here on the couch with Isabelle behind me on the back. She seems to be having a pretty good morning. That's surprising considering the night she had. Today is her last day.

We're giving her fluids every single day. Every morning she's a bit perkier, but not as much as she was the day before and she's sliding faster and further throughout the day. But with her blood work, the vet didn't think the fluids would do her any good and my girl proved her wrong for several days. But we know without them on Thursday, she wouldn't have made it another day. I've been terrified every morning since Thursday that when I get up, she'll be gone. We didn't think she'd make it through last night. She's no longer eating. She's no longer meowing.

I don't want this to be a clinical description of her final hours, so I'm going to stop with that. Oh God. Her final hours.

I slept in the recliner for half the night with Isabelle curled up on my chest and shoulder, her back beneath my chin and purring against my left ear. It's our favorite position. I think we both needed it. She's spent the last several days napping on John, being held in the baby position - it's their favorite position. I know he needed that and she took full advantage of it, loving every second. She's a Papa's girl for sure. She slept between our pillows for the last time the other night. It was such a comfort going to sleep with her furry paw near my eye. I welcomed it. She curled up on her back and turned on the cute yesterday. I've been realizing all the little things the past few days that are our normal life with her, and cherishing each time one is repeated, knowing it's probably the last time.

This is the hardest decision we've ever made. Having no children of our own, we have thrown our hearts and souls into our girls and in a very real sense, they are our kids. We adopted Isabelle (or did she adopt us?) five weeks before our wedding, when she was only eight weeks old. We've never really known life together without her. And now we're losing our baby. I've never cried this much.

Today she's been doing most of her normal things and enjoying herself as much as she physically can. She's had some water and has taken a shower with me, which ended with her wrapped up in her towel as a purrito and being dried off. She has laid on the back of the couch, watching the birds and napping. She's wrapped her paws around my arm to hold me in place while receiving chin scritches. She's laid in the hallway, holding up the wall in her usual super kitty pose and has bathed on the bathroom rug. She's slept on the bed and in John's chair. She's napped in the sun. I'm so grateful these last few days have been sunny.

One last good day.



I was an English major in college, yet there are many of the Classics that I've never read.  (My school apparently sucked and my college expected that I had already read them by the time I declared my major.)  I was browsing through my Kindle today and found a ton of free books.  Free books!  How can I resist?

I am now the proud owner of the following classics, all purchased for $0.00.
(* never read)  (*/ read in part)
  • Dante's Divine Comedy (all three parts)*
  • Emma*
  • Mansfield Park*
  • Northanger Abbey*
  • Pride and Prejudice*
  • Jane Eyre*
  • Wuthering Heights*
  • Heart of Darkness*
  • The Wind in the Willows
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales*
  • The Call of the Wild
  • White Fang
  • Little Women*
  • The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volumes 1-5*/
  • Black Beauty
  • Frankenstein*
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volumes 1 & 2
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • House of Mirth*
  • Leaves of Grass*/

Next on my list to obtain, which were not free, are:
  • Sense and Sensibility*
  • Brave New World*
  • 1984*
  • Grapes of Wrath
  • The Great Gatsby
  • To Kill a Mockingbird*

Now the real dilemma begins (I so love this part)... which do I read first?!

UPDATE:  Oops.  I probably should have checked our library of physical books first.  Maybe I need to make a "Classics" section instead of organizing them by author in whichever genre they fall into.

  • Brave New World*
  • The Bell Jar*
  • The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson
  • Catcher in the Rye
  • Catch-22*
  • Mrs. Dalloway*
  • The Jungle Book
  • Treasure Island
  • (Not to mention a handful of the ones I just "purchased."  Oops.)*
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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Like me, Taryn, believes that whatever we're doing right at midnight is what we'll be focused on for the remainder of the year. She's requested that we spend the ball drop writing, while we're surrounded by friends and family. I'm here with John, my wonderful hubby whom I love so much, as well as Taryn and Josh, Scott and Sarah.

Aaaaaand.... it's 2013!  


An update on life, the universe and everything...

Job: This is the main motivation for this post.  You might remember back to THIS entry, where I had job opportunities.  I also questioned HERE whether Corporate would ever get the hint about (former) Supervisor.  Well, apparently Corporate did get the hint, or something big and bad happened because former Supervisor was fired last week.  Well, I can't say fired.  We were informed that "she's no longer here" but considering she had planned a carry-in for Friday and this was on a Wednesday... speculations are made and are pretty accurate in the 'fired' category.  Now, where does this lead me?  Sitting right in the same spot, or at least that's what I thought.  I'm in AR now, I've not been in Customer Service for just over a year and where I may have had some desire to go back, listening to the girls deal with angry clients has annihilated that desire for the most part.  I enjoy my job.  It doesn't click with me the same way the self pay side did, but I do enjoy it. Compared to the stress I put up with for over six years, it's actually bordering on relaxing (although I think I work better under pressure).  So imagine my surprise when many coworkers came up to me (including both team leaders and one supervisor) to ask when I would put in for the job. I have to admit, that took me by surprise. Why would I? I'm no longer next in line; I gave that spot up when I transferred out. Then I got to thinking... why shouldn't I? I'm the most qualified for the job, even being out of it for a year. I'm not tooting my own horn here; I truly have the most experience in the job, even more than all the current customer service reps put together.

So yesterday, Manager comes to me and asks to see me outside the department. So I go to the meeting place and I take the opportunity to ask her about the position – and she tells me she's been expecting me to ask her about it. Apparently everyone knew I would do this before I did. So we go over the expectations of being a supervisor, a job which I have no experience in and have never had any desire to do. But here's the thing – I was awesome at my job. Not because I wanted to be, but because I had to be. And I've realized over the last few days that there are times when an opportunity comes and though I may not feel ready to walk through that door, I know if I don't that door will shut forever. So while one part of me cries and clings to the door frame, the other part of me realizes that this is my life, whether I like it or not. And that part of me takes a deep breath and says, “Okay. Let's do this.” 

Manager raps up our informal interview-ish discussion by telling me there's a new customer service rep starting on Monday. We had already been informed of his arrival, so this was nothing new. Then she looks me straight in the eye (something she doesn't normally do when being informal) and says, “Amanda, I need you. I need you to train him. Nobody knows the job more than you do, not even me.” Booyah! All those years carrying former Supervisor and doing the training that she was supposed to do was finally recognized a year ago and is now promising to pay off. 

Despite all of that, I was still unsure whether I would put in for it or not, until today. I was gathering training material for New Guy and going through all the procedures (that I actually wrote) when I felt that mental shift from employee who's doing what she's told, back into employee taking control of her position and who knows what needs to be done. It sounds strange, but I actually felt it – and in the oddness of the ways of the world, the moment I realized it I was doing something basic. I was walking quickly and literally ran into my current supervisor. She made the comment that I was walking with a purpose and I realized I had already taken on the position in my mind. I was talking with John tonight and whatever I said made him laugh and he replied, “Wow. You are back!” I hadn't realized I had left, but I can see it now, just from my own confidence. So tomorrow, I'm putting in for it. I'm still not looking forward to a big part of it, but being promoted would be nice. We'll see.

Sadness: Nicole, one of my best friends from college, lost her dad inSeptember to lung cancer. She called me in the morning before a doctors appointment, and I was there by that evening. Randy was a surrogate dad to me in a lot of ways, even though we didn't really share deep feelings like I do with my own dad. Her whole family pretty much adopted me into their group without hesitation, simply because Nicole had become my friend. And just knowing Nicole and her feelings for her dad are so similar to my own feelings about my dad, seeing her go through the intense grief and loss... it was hard. I stayed with her and her mom and held them both while they sobbed. I stayed and watched the baby while they went to the funeral home to finalize things. I helped them collect pictures and music for the funeral. The whole time I kept asking myself if I should be there, if I wasn't imposing on people during their most intimate times of grief and sorrow... when I finally voiced that concern, I got the hot end of the Italian temper from them all and was put in my place, which is firmly within the family. My own grief caught me off guard to be honest. I came home two days earlier than expected and found the house empty, which gave me the chance to finally let go – and I was flooded with this overwhelming emotion that left me sobbing in the garage. I've had some hard times since then, once again feeling dejected about living here when my parents are so far away, and how that will be affected when we have a child. Seeing Nicole's loss has brought it all into the foreground, including worries about my own parents health. Someone had to be with Randy at all times near the end, so the kids, the wife and the aunts all took turns. I'm too far away to do that and I can't help but fear horrible about not being able to be there for the people who mean the most to me. I shared this with Mom and she, like Nicole's mom, put me in my place. She basically told me that none of that has happened with them and we'll make do in that situation however we need to and I need to stop worrying about what hasn't happened and I need to stop moping about living here. I made the decision and I have a good life here, so (essentially) quit whining and enjoy it.

Baby: We're now official with Kirsh & Kirsh and the change has been remarkable. We're still no further to being matched, technically, but we know it's coming. We get updates – whether it be via phone, email or even (believe it or not) facebook, we get updates! It's November and they have placed over 80 adoptions this year. 80! We've had a couple of moments where we've had to call them with a potential and the way Steve Kirsh handled it was so professional, so selfless (9pm on a Saturday night and he was out with his family, but dropped what he was doing to call me, call the potential birth mom and go back and forth with her until 2am) and so genuinely honest I just couldn't believe it was real, even as the situation didn't work out. I've still not heard from Phyllis with a Loving Choice, even after I wrote her a letter releasing us from her business. She'll probably never speak to me again, and that's fine. We are so confident with who we're with now, it may be costing us a full years salary to do this (a second mortgage, woe), but it's worth it. And K&K are worth every penny so far.

NaNoWriMo: I'm doing NaNo again this year – the first since 2009. And I will win. And yes, this post will be added to my word count to get me over the 50k mark. I wrote it in November, therefore it counts. This year I've stayed away from the official regional group, mainly because it's mostly made up of teenagers this year. I know there are some adults on there, but like me, they seem to be keeping their distance and writing on their own. I got Taryn and John involved – or rather, they got me involved this year and we were even able to corrupt Circle Kim into doing it. She seems to have truly enjoyed herself and actually hit 50k last week. And, she's been getting out of the house and being social, which seems to be something that's difficult for her to do. Tis the miracle of NaNo.

Muse Conduit: To help with NaNo, I have a new laptop. I can now write for more than 45 minutes without the thing overheating and shutting itself off. considering my desktop computer also fritzed out due to old age, this is very exciting. And it was on sale! Huzzah! 

Mushy-Gushy: John had black Friday off work. He was planning to spend the entire day writing. Instead, I came home to find our crib had been put together. I didn't expect that to go up until some time in December and thought I might even have to fight for that, considering the busy bustle of the month. And I had the loveliest of surprises when I got home! He didn't realize we had a mattress in the closet, so when I told him, he got it out. I stepped over to help him and he was very adamant that I was not to help, that this whole thing was the Papa's job and he was going to do it. It's goofy and mushy, but it's a great memory that I want to remember and share with our cub later on. I love my hubby. (On another note, the changing table is in a box in the living room and the rocking chair is being delivered tomorrow morning. It's so much fun!)

GeekGirl: I'm incredibly excited to see The Hobbit when it comes out next month. Also, I'm obsessed with Doctor Who. It's so full of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey awesomeness. Alonsy, my precious!  (Right. I'm never doing that one again.)

There are obviously other things that have happened since I last updated, but alas, I'm drawing a blank. I think I've hit on the big ones. Hopefully, I'll be back again soon to continue my life on LJ for all the world to see, and hopefully without taking a months-long hiatus. I don't want anyone to think I've died in a ditch somewhere. Also, I hate knowing that I've become one of those people who never posts on LJ but does post on Facebook... often.  

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Doofus' R Me

And in this corner Lj app has fucked up. I can't delete my post from my phone, which was intended to be a comment on someone else's Lj, so instead I make a post pointing out that on occasion, I can still be a techno tard. And wow, I like the run on sentences.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Obey the Muse

The structure of an update is as of yet nonexistent.

I need to write.  I have so many things to write about: adoption updates, writing updates, stitchery updates, friend updates, work updates.  All of it is swirling around in the ole' brain pan, but none have yet come to completion enough to formulate a structure.  And without structure, I ramble and never get to a point.  So I continue to wait and think.  Soon, my precious... soon.

The Hunger Games

I have finished The Hunger Games trilogy.  It wasn't awful, but it wasn't great.  The more I think on it though, the more disappointed I am with how the trilogy ended.  And the more I think it's not a good book for an audience of young adults.

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I also think this is why I've never completed and published my novels... because I don't want my own stories to be judged as something so close to awesome that the fact that it never gets there makes it horrible.  
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