Frigidaire gave me gas.

You know how you hear about contests or giveaways or programs and a specific person pops into your head, like “HOLY CRAP SHE WOULD BE PERFECT FOR THAT!”

Well the program was the second round of MomCentral’s Frigidaire Test Drive Campaign and the person who found out was Emily and the person she told was me. New house, borrowed appliances and a strong desire for cooking and baking. I applied immediately and was chosen to be a part of the team in charge of testing Frigidaire’s new professional series range and microwave.

frigidaire professional

I. am. lucky.

I know this.

And I’ve already tested nearly half of bells and whistles on these stainless steel beauties.

There is a button on the microwave that melts butter perfectly.

The oven’s bottom rack slides out as you open the door.

The gas range has five burners, the middle one that can be switched out to a cast iron griddle.

gas. lots of it.

I’ve lived with a hand me down microwave over a decade old for the last four years.

I’ve only baked with the most entry level of stoves and ranges, so entry level in fact that if I stepped away from anything cooking or baking in or on them it would surely end up burnt and sticky. I spent a lot of uneccesarry time parked in front of my oven but for the most part things turned out right.

KITCHEN! MINE! KITCHEN!

The first round of Frigidaire appliances promised moms more me-time, to do other things instead of hang out by our appliances waiting for them to do their tasks (and hopefully properly.) In conjunction with the test drive of these appliances by dozens of different moms, Frigidaire has set up the Spin and Win campaign, where you can spin to win one of several different daily prizes or the grand prize, a new Frigidaire Affinity washer and dryer. Also for each spin Frigidaire will donate $1 (up to $250,000) to Save the Children.

I wrote this review while participating in a Test Drive Campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Frigidaire and received a Frigidaire Range/Microwave to facilitate my review.

So, any challenges for me and my new appliances? My first one? Remember my big fat Ciabatta Fail? IT SHALL BE RECTIFIED.

on infertility and closure.

The Lupron is gone.

I’m back to being a good old fashioned wench one regular week out of the month just like the stereotype dictates.

This past week has been the week of babies 2010. Four of my friends had them, one of them had two at once. I look at their pictures, those snuzzly little babies wrapped up in white cotton all yawny and warm. I found out four more of my friends are pregnant with them and one of them has two where she thought there was only one. All four of the friends are darlings with whom I have discussed the crappy road of infertility and miscarriage.

I am so relieved they got their babies.

I am even more relieved that I am at peace with not getting mine.

Now I’m not saying it’s never going to happen or that I’m immune to the smell of new babies. But I have spent the last two months oblivious to pregnancy math and it’s been WONDERFUL.

I’m happy being the moosh family three. I’m happy to wake up on Wednesday and know that it’s just Wednesday. Not three days before I ovulate and seven days after LMP and nine months from now is November.

I like it just being Wednesday.

I like our playroom being the playroom. Not the playroom that will someday be the nursery.

I liked telling the girl who did my hair last night that Addie is my sidekick and that she’s everything I could have ever wanted in something that popped out from my nether regions.

love this little kid.

What I haven’t told anyone about the picture I took of Emily when she first held her baby was that in that moment I realized that if that moment never happened for me again? I would be okay with it.

100%.

I tried to fight it, a natural reaction after fighting so hard for a baby for years. But instead I let it wash over me and appreciated being there with Emily in that moment even more.

I like that when I hear of a new pregnancy I get excited, the way people should get when they hear of a new pregnancy. With hushed whispers and squees, maybe even some jumping up and down. I don’t get angry or bitter or immediately start thinking “WHY HER AND NOT ME?”

To those of you who are left without your babies? My heart knows the ache your heart feels when you get that negative on a pregnancy test. I hope you get your babies, even if it’s not your body that gives them to you.

I am done being bitter. I am done being angry.

All these new babies need to come into a world where love outshines jealousy. And gratitude squelches bitterness and anger.

I am finally there.

And I like it.

my kitchen. mine. MY. miiiine.

Before. Blech.
Kitchen Before.

After. Ahh!

kitchen and dining room

Any questions?

mooshelangelo, leonardo de mooshci, mooshtisse

I remember walking out to my car with my friend Leif when I was pregnant with you.

I was having a really hard time with pregnancy and an even harder time being excited about your arrival.

Leif tried to cheer me up telling me all the things I had to look forward to.

I remember saying “I can’t wait to cover my fridge in little kid art. I looove little kid art.”

Kid? You do not disappoint.

our house and our (imaginary) cat fingerprints

(click to embiggen, because it’s awesome.)

piggy perrys (as in the platypus) moosh art

And not to ruin the warm fuzzy feeling I have going here, but have you ever watched South Park?

mr. hankey? a shrimp? i don't know.

Well HAI DEE HO!
Yeah. Um, it came from what I thought was an innocent Christmas coloring book. Now I’m not so sure.

revisiting to vote.

(thank you thank you to everyone who took the time to vote, we won!)

I have had pictures make it into the finals over at Greeblemonkey’s monthly contest.

Since the very first one the contest has gained popularity and with popularity has come talent.

Serious talent.

I made it this month to the finals. So many of the pictures are better than mine as far as technical details and level of difficulty. I can’t justify asking people to vote for me this time around without explaining myself since there are so many spectacular pictures that I would vote for over mine, you know, if it wasn’t me.

This is the picture that’s in the running, the one I took of Emily the first time she ever held Little Mr.

first touch

I never could have imagined this moment in a hundred million years.

To be there for it stopped my heart.

To be able to catch it on camera?

Oof.

It felt as if the entire room had gone silent and still. I felt as though the clicks of my camera were loud as an air horn. Even writing about it seems to be messing with the moment too much.

Emily says she can never repay me for capturing this moment. Truth is I can never thank her enough for letting me be there. I’m really proud of this picture. The whole “a picture is worth a thousand words” thing? Yeah.

It only takes two clicks to vote, and I’d be honored to have yours. Thank you.

(Voting ends tonight at 10 PM EST. Midnight MST.)

the 2010 chevy camaro, a review in several parts.

Back in November Chevy delivered a 2010 Camaro RS in yellow to my front door for us to drive around for one week. (Back story, I drove one at Blogher in July and told Christopher Barger that driving one a 2010 yellow Camaro was on Cody’s life list, Christopher’s words? “LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN.” And he did. Thank you Chris!)

camaro OOOOOOO!

So first is Cody’s review. He will own one of these cars. And I am okay with that. He grew up with two Camaros in his garage (a ’71 and an ’89 IROC.) I don’t think he could find a single fault with the car except that it wasn’t the V8. And that there weren’t enough hours in the day to drive it.

husbands driving camaros are happy husbands.

My review? Well, let’s just say the toilet in our new house broke (surprise!) only we didn’t care because we had the Camaro. Not only did we drive to Home Depot at 8pm. We drove to the Home Depot two counties away BECAUSE WE COULD. (There’s actually a Home Depot less than five minutes away from our house.)

late night home depot runs are fun in a camaro.

We also drove it to church the one Sunday we had it. We had a hard time listening in church with all the bickering the minivans were doing outside over who got to go out of the parking lot behind it when church was over.

camaros make all the minivans at church jealous.

I also slammed my finger in the door. The very big. very heavy. very tightly closing door. Ow. I cried. My finger swelled to three times its normal size. I formed a blood blister on the pad of my finger and my fingernail has since turned black and is ready to fall off. But you know what makes it okay? Driving to CVS in a Camaro. To buy a finger splint.

late night drug store runs in a camaro are fun.

camaros kiss your finger better, even aftery they smash them.

Cody and I went on a hot date in the Camaro and we ended up on the Sirius radio station “90′s on 9″ It was at this moment when rocking out to “Baby Got Back” that ZOMG we’re becoming those people our child will be embarrassed to be seen with! But guess what? Stuff like that doesn’t matter when you’re in a Camaro.

Addie and I also used OnStar. I’ve never used OnStar before, I’ve always wanted to. I know it’s for saving your life and stuff but we used it to find the nearest Dairy Queen. (What? Girl Scout Cookie Blizzards, need I say more?) Not only did the nice lady find us one but the Camaro gave us turn by turn directions to said Blizzards.

Driving past elementary schools in a Camaro? Eight year old boys run to the fence screaming, leaving you feel like a rockstar. (Okay, more like a Wiggle, but whatever.)

Stop at a stoplight in a Camaro? Make sure you’re really dedicated to singing along to “Baby Got Back” because people are going to stare.

I’m going to be perfectly honest. It’s really fun to drive around in such a pretty car. It’s fun to walk out to, easy to find in a parking lot and ooh. fast. Is it necessary to have such a pretty car? No. I’m perfectly happy with mine because it runs and it’s paid off. But we’re still going to own one someday. So there.

Addie’s review?

little kids pulling G's in the back of camaros are cute.

WHEEEEE!!!!!

Drive one if you get the chance. Buy one if you can afford one (HI CODY’S DAD.) and appreciate that Chevy finally brought the Camaro back and brought it back right. So thanks for that.

(We were paid no money for this, nor did we pay any money for the opportunity (well, gas money, lots of it. Although even driving it the way we did (WHEE!!!) it still got at least 26 mpg.) nor were we influenced in our review. These are our opinions and “WHEE!!!” is not an understatement.)

playing store, a giveaway.

Melissa and Doug GiveawayClicky clicky here for all the details.

on giving depression a voice.

I have tried to take my own life more than the one time I have acknowledged on this blog.

Almost exactly two years ago I drove myself to the hospital. The entire drive there I had to keep talking myself out of driving into oncoming traffic. My eyes were puffy, they stung from all the crying and my heart felt as though it had been pummeled by a meat tenderizer.

Alone. Broken. Hopeless. Alone. Broken. Hopeless.

I called Cody from the parking lot and told him where I was and what I was about to do.

Voluntarily commit myself.

He understood. It wasn’t the first time that me going back into the hospital had been considered.

He offered to meet me there, I volunteered to come home. He found somewhere for little Addie to go and he took me to the mental crisis unit of the hospital.

It all came back so fast. The locked doors, the patients talking to themselves, random screams and the constant buzz of florescent lighting. The doctor I met with was named Dr. Wink. Dr. Wink saved my life that night. There was no judgement.

She got it.

She understood my fear of going back “in there” but she also understood how I had come to a point where “in there” may be the only safe place for me to be. We talked for a long time. She didn’t commit me, instead she gave me hope. Hope that I could make it through this without having to hand over my shoelaces and pride.

I left with hope. And a very important prescription. I have been taking that prescription since and have not once felt I needed to go back there.

****

Mental illness is not a choice.

Nor is it a cop out, curable or something that one can merely “get over” like a pulled hamstring.

There is nothing wrong with taking a pill to get me through the involuntary chemical imbalances in my own head.

I’m not going to lie, there are some days I hate that stupid pill. I hate taking it, I have even tried to go without. I hate that my body can’t just “work.” But something up there doesn’t fire right and the repercussions from a misfire can be devastating. So I take the pill.

No one has ever thought any less of me for needing contacts to see or prescription strength deodorant to keep me from sweating like a pig in the sun on the fourth of July. The same goes for my depression medication.

If you are suffering, please. It’s not a cop out to get help. There are people out there like Dr. Wink who know it’s not your fault and that you would never volunteer to feel the way you do, alone, broken and hopeless.

If those words resonate anywhere ANYWHERE within you, please. Find someone to talk to. Anyone. There’s websites, phone numbers, friends, me, doctors and clergy that will listen. That cold rainy night in February last year didn’t end the way I had it in my head, if it had I would have either had a toe tag or my name on commitment papers.

I can’t even say I was looking for a miracle. Miracles don’t exist to someone trapped inside their own brains. What I was given was hope through the words of another. Enough hope to get me home, enough hope to try a new medication. Enough hope to know that I would feel “normal” again.

And enough hope to know that these demons I battle are not my fault.

****

Karissa, or Krissy as her family called her, took her own life on Saturday. I have scoured her tweets and her site looking for any sort of hint that would have hinted at how alone, broken and hopeless she felt. Aside from “taking a break” there was nothing. No hints to anyone online that she was slipping.

After reading through her comments I noticed how many people she had supporting her. And after knowing of her passing, how many people mentioned that they had thought about reaching out to her but didn’t.

I wrote this last week, it’s haunting.

I guess what I wanted to say is that when you get that feeling to write somebody something heartfelt or out of genuine concern, just do it. If they don’t respond chances are it’s not because they are a jerk. It’s probably because they’re suffocating.

January 5, 2010

and to everyone I wrote these words in the post about my overdose,

I am not ashamed now because I have a message, if someone says they’re not doing so well, please listen. I tried to tell someone that I was not well a week before this happened. They brushed it off as pregnancy hormones and sleepiness. I didn’t want to push, maybe it was just pregnancy after all. But that’s just my point, those who truly need your help will rarely shout for it. They will suffer silently hoping somebody, anybody will notice. Those who are truly hurting will not want to draw attention to themselves.

I didn’t want to be a burden or seen as a complainer. So I tried to figure it all out myself.

And I failed.

But I was blessed through my failure.

Not everyone is so lucky.

November 19, 2007

I’m not saying any one of us, or all of us, could have saved Krissy from making the decision she did. I honestly didn’t know her personally. Even if I had I’m not sure that even I would have noticed her slipping away.

Her loss has left her family grieving. I can’t imagine the pain all those who loved her are feeling, I can’t even pretend to. My heart and prayers go out to them. I know if her cousin could have just one wish it would be to go back to Saturday and make it all better.

****

Please. If you’re not doing well, speak up. Please. Just because you feel hopeless does not mean you are. And even more importantly, you are not helpless.

God didn’t put billions of people on the planet for us to only take care of ourselves.

It’s our job to take care of each other. In sickness and in health. No matter what.