Friday, July 22, 2011

Sweet Misery

There is so much in life that I have to be thankful for. A beautiful family, a renewed sense of self, a job that I love, a roof over my head, food on my plate, the list really goes on and on. And yet despite all of these wonderful things my brain just seems to zero in on the negatives. I am not quite sure how to fix this other than "focus on the positive" which in reality is not very concrete as far as advice goes.

The past two weeks have been beyond challenging. Roger got a job (yay!) which is not too far (yay again!) but the catch was that Benjamin cannot start preschool until he is officially 2, 7/25. That left us 2 weeks of a child with no one to watch him. Omg. So I asked pretty much everyone I know if they'd watch him and thanks to my cousin Tina, my aunt Bev, and Mirtha, the woman who watches my grandma, and Aidan's old nanny Katy, we had sitters. But for the last 2 sitters babysitting meant that I was driving from San Leandro, to San Francisco or South San Francisco, back down to Burlingame for work, back up to San Francisco to get Benji, and then home over the Bay Bridge which is easily an hour longer to get home from during rush hour. I wasn't getting home until 7:30-8pm.

So in addition to spending a fortune on gas and toll, I have driven over 1000 miles. The silver lining: it has been in a rental car. Oh and speaking of rentals, during all of this, we had to take in our other car so there were literally 2 days where my coworker Dave (God Bless him) was my chauffer. He picked me up int he morning from the auto shop, he took me to get my morning coffee, he picked up Benji from the sitter, took us to the auto shop the next day... insane. I am so grateful to work with someone so generous and kind. But despite his kindness I still just felt like "WHAT NEXT?! WHAT ELSE COULD GO WRONG?!!!" Because day after day it was one thing after another.

And indeed, another thing went wrong. Sunday night, middle of the night Benji calls for me. I go in... he is barfing. Oh Lordie. His first time ever. My poor boy. He has the stomach flu because it is not just barf its the poop too. Save me. Then Monday night, Aidan calls for me. I go in and lay with her (this is a common occurrence so I don't think much of it).... then she starts barfing! Oh lord, SAVE ME! Roger handles barf way better than I do so he takes over from there and then a few hours later I hear him in the bathroom with you guessed it... BARF. So now I have 3 barfers, 2 poopers, and me. So Roger and I decided that a) he was sick and couldnt go to work but b) since I had had so many issues with transport and being late/leaving early the previous week, he would take one for the team and stay home on Tuesday. Which selfishly I was happy about because it meant not having to find a sitter. Well little did I know when he woke up on Tuesday he was VERY sick with a fever, etc. As was Aidan. I knew there was no way he would be able to take care of both kids. So the San Fran journey began : ( And I felt bad also because Benji was not 100% but I could not take another day off work. So fast forward to now.

After me getting a very brief and lessened version of the illness, our 2 weeks of insanity are wrapping up. THANK GOD. I return my rental car today (sad day for me and my Cedes) and it's back to the old Jetta. Love my Jetta, just wish she was clean (whole nother post with that one).

Oh and Roger got another job offer for more money, but it also means a longer commute and a toll bill. So I am really torn on how I feel about it. So torn that it has ruined my day. Sometimes life is just easier without choices, huh? Oh and for those thinking "She needs to not complain that he has 2 job offers on his plate" I totally get it. We are very fortunate. I am not doubting that in the slightest. I just don't know what to think. (Since starting this post last week he has chosen to accept the job... so, I guess my answer is "suck it up and be happy!")

So on to the positives:

With the wedding quickly approaching there are so many people who have performed random acts of kindness that make me realize just how lucky I am. Perhaps my boss, who is "donating" all of the rentals for the wedding, allowing me fancy linens, chairs, china, glassware, etc etc etc. Or maybe even the guy "next door" (literally the next office over in the hallway) who owns a crazy fancy lighting and sound company who pretty much said "whatever you want it's yours" as far as a/v needs go. Or my cousin Cara who, as my Maid of Honor, has been crafting, purchasing, planning, etc etc etc all out of the goodness of her heart. Or last but not least, the lady at the bridal shop who has let me change my dress not once, not twice, but FOUR times.

Yes, that's right ladies and gents, I am a FOUR dress bride. I didn't set out to be, but for all engaged ladies out there the best advice I can give is WAIT to buy your dress!!!! I was so excited once we got engaged that my first stop was the dress shop and even though I knew in my head I would be 30ish lbs lighter I picked a dress that flattered me at the time and was within my price range. It was pink. I'm sorry... "BLUSH". Here is me, about 10lbs less than when I FIRST bought the dress.

Looking back at this picture I am a) GLAD that I decided to switch dresses and b) wondering how I let myself be convinced that this was THE dress?!

Oh and let's not forget the fact that to go with the pink dress I had selected the mother of all hair accessories... the pink flower/feather/fascinator thingy. Ay ya yay! (and FYI this was my hair TRIAL and not what I shall look like on the big day! I saw myself in this picture and said "I look like my name needs to be Great Aunt Maude or something)

Yes folks that is a BIG ASS FLOWER! :P

So after the pink selection process, I indeed lost an additional 30 or so lbs. It is amazing what 30lbs means in the grand scheme of your body structure... at least it does mine! I started to feel a lot more confident and appreciative of figure fitting clothes, and although I am nowhere NEAR perfect, I feel good!

The more I thought about my pink dress, the more I hated it. I mean, it was fine. It was pretty. But it wasn't exciting... AT ALL. The biggest excitement was the color pink and even that was quickly losing its allure. Also, I realized that I was going to have some crazy expensive alterations because it was going to have to be taken in, the straps shortened, hemmed, and bustled....ay ya yay! For that I knew I could get a whole new dress!

I started scouring Craigslist because I have no shame in my game and would totally wear a used dress if the price was right! Nothing really screamed at me, but there was an ad for a small bridal shop in Oakland. One evening after running an errand I popped in. There was a nice old woman who asked me what I was looking for and my size. I said "Well I am a 12 or 14" and she looked at me and said "Oh honey I don't think you are a 12 or 14!" So I just let her grab whatever she wanted that I sort of liked and I figured I'd give it a go. Little did I know that my once big Puerto Rican booty would be able to squeeze into a GORGEOUS size 8!!!! OMG.

Keep in mind I don't even wear a size 8 in street clothes so the fact that I fit into a bridal 8 (thank you small ribcage and not broad shoulders!) made me ecstatic. Seriously... I couldn't shut up about it. I had her take a photo of me in the spectacular gown and I revised my gown search for that particular dress.... I looked downright THIN in it!!!!

Alas, the gorgeous glamourous dress just was not meant to be mine, but the bridal shop lady was willing to let me switch to not have a pink dress. Ironically I blamed it on my mother's reaction to hearing I would be wearing pink, and in reality, after I had switched I told my mom I was initially wearing pink and she FREAKED OUT. "That's DISGUSTING!"... say whaaaaa???? Roger reacted the same way "That's WEIRD! That's not normal!"... ummm ok? So I went on a dress hunt and came up with this one:

So the dress was obviously too snug on my hips, but the shop lady informed me that it would be easy to let out around the hips and all would be well. Great! So she let the dress out and this is where things get tricky....

I went in to get refitted with the dress and all of the sudden it was buckling under the bodice. I was FREAKING OUT. It's my wedding day afterall... I need to look PERFECT. Bridezilla was rearing her ugly head. I informed the shop lady that if this was not fixed, I would indeed be crying..... and I asked if I could look at the sale dresses yet again. She said ok, and I found 3 or 4 to try on. And found a fantastic dress that was light weight, didn't need to be hemmed, and was just beautiful!

The catch: For this one the BUST needed to be let out a bit, which again, the saleslady assured me was super easy and since there was ruching on the torso there would be no issues of buckling fabric, etc.

Hahaha... yeah right. She lets the bust out and there are 2 problems. The first, more personal issue is the fact that I felt like I looked like a roman column. Never in my life have I felt "straight up and down" but wow... I looked like I was in a white tube. That was besides the point. Because more important was the BUCKLING fabric on the back of the dress! Both sides, and around my butt. I looked like I had gone to one of those cheap dress stores in the mall and bought the mot ill fitting dress possible. UGH.

So this time, even the shop lady could not figure out why the dress was doing the weird fabric thing, and when I asked to do a "final lap" because the wedding is a week away, she let me. And more importantly, I got to shop from the "FRONT OF THE STORE" this time!!! This means all of the newer stock dresses that are full price.

In the end I found a GORGEOUS dress that fits without any alterations (God Bless the corset!) although in all honest, I'd love it to be a size smaller, but at least this way my hips and butt are comfy to move around! All it needed was a hem and bustle and I just so happened to have my wedding shoes in the trunk. I think she was so relieved to not mess with any complicated alterations that she agreed.

And so, I walked out with a new $1450 dress for the price of $385 out the door! (the price of my initial dress). And even better, I LOVE IT!!! See, there is a bright side! However, I do not have any photos of me in the dress, and I can't find it online because it is couture. So.... you all will just have to wait til the big day!

And For the handsome men: Traditional black tuxedos! Henry and Luke were so excited during their fittings it was hard not to take a picture!!! They look so grown up and handsome. I gave them the choice of wearing a tux or a suit and both insisted on wearing tuxes (ask my mom about it.... she is the poor lady footing the bill for that one : P)

And so, since starting this post, the sun is really coming out of the clouds. This morning was Benjamin's first day of school. The transition was pretty flawless thanks to Roger having taken a month off and Benji getting to play at school each morning. He knows the teachers, all of the kids know him, he is doing great! And of course his big sis is VERY protective of him. A kid tried to take his toy and Aidan was right there to scream "GIVE IT BACK TO HIM!" lol. She is like her mom I guess :P Just kidding. Ok maybe not.... haha. And it was so nice to have both Roger and I experience the morning together, and enjoy watching them both at school.

Oh and Benjamin turned 2 today!!! As of 12:40amish he is a big boy! This morning he woke up and called for me and I brought him into our bed and said "Benji it is your birthday today!!! Are you 2???" and his response: "I want cake!". Ummm ok?!!! LOL. He got to bring cupcakes for his first day of school.

And this weekend was all about Roger's new job at the Half Moon Bay Golf Links. We had breakfast at the course, spent some time roaming around the Ritz Half Moon Bay (GORGEOUS!!!), took the kids to the farm, and then we went into the city for Benji's bday celebration at Great Grandma's house. Sunday we were invited to Pebble Beach for lunch by Roger's new GM. Had a good trip and the weather was amazing..... phew. Finally some good days to enjoy!

I think the main thing I need to remember is that seasons change, things get better, my family is healthy and happy.... and in less than a week.... I'm gonna be MARRIED!!!!! WOW! Crazy stuff huh?